Keep your DVLA documents & reference numbers safe

If you are yet to use any of the DVLA online services, you may not be aware of the importance of keeping the reference numbers and codes displayed on your documents confidential. The specific risk we are highlighting in this article does not concern identity theft, but rather the possibility that a scammer could steal the rights to your personalised registration without you knowing.

DVLA image keep documents safe

 

Taking a private number plate off a vehicle is a fairly straightforward process and it became even easier when the DVLA online retain facility was introduced in 2015. Other vehicle related tasks can also be completed online such as; tax a vehicle, make a SORN and notify DVLA of a change of keeper. One of the disadvantages of some online facilities is the increased risk of fraud if sensitive or confidential information falls into the wrong hands. This risk applies to some DVLA online services and unfortunately there have been instances where unsuspecting motorists have fallen victim to fraudsters.

Rather than detailing the exact methods used to commit fraud, we are going to indicate which codes to keep safe and show you exactly where they appear on the following DVLA documents.

V5C Registration Certificate (logbook)

The V5C is issued by DVLA to the registered keeper of a vehicle. As the document states, it is not proof of ownership. It shows who is responsible for registering and taxing the vehicle. The registered keeper is required by law to notify DVLA if the vehicle is sold, transferred or dismantled (scrapped).

The important part to conceal is the ‘document reference number’, an 11 digit code printed in five different sections of the V5C.

It appears on the front cover:

V5C front cover

 

The inside front cover:

V5C inside front cover

 

And the sections labelled V5C/2, V5C/3 and V5C/4:

V5C inside back cover

 

V750 Certificate of Entitlement

The V750 is issued by DVLA to the purchaser of a brand new (never previously issued) personalised registration. The purchaser has the right to assign and subsequently display the personalised registration on a vehicle subject to the rules of the scheme.

V750 Certificate of Entitlement

 

The important part to keep confidential is the ‘certificate number’, a series of letters and numbers which can contain 19 characters not including spaces. The certificate number is prominently displayed in bold in the upper half of the document. However, many people are unaware that the certificate number also appears in the bottom right-hand section of the document.

V778 Retention Document

The V778 is issued by DVLA to the Grantee when a personalised registration is intentionally removed from a vehicle (retained). The Grantee can choose to put the registration on a vehicle in the future, typically a new car if they have sold their old car. The Grantee may choose to sell the rights to the personalised registration, in which case they may assign the registration to the buyer’s car on receipt of full payment.

V778 Retention Document

 

The important part to conceal is called the ‘document reference number’, a similar series of letters and numbers as detailed above for the V750. There have been several versions of the V778 in recent years and on some examples the section identifying the reference has been left blank. The Retention and Sale of Registration Marks Regulations 2015 specifically calls the code a ‘unique identification reference’, a term which may be used by DVLA in the future. As with the V750, the reference number is printed twice on the document but it is in the bottom left-hand section on the V778.

Important points to remember

Before using DVLA online services ensure the address shown on your documents is correct and up to date. Often the transaction will result in DVLA issuing a replacement document or an acknowledgement by post which will be sent to the address on record.

You must apply to take your private number plate off a vehicle BEFORE you sell it if you wish to use it in the future (either to sell or to put on a different car).

You should not share any document references or certificate numbers until you have sold your car or personalised registration and you are satisfied full payment in cleared funds is received.

This blog post is for information purposes only. GOV.UK is the best place to find the latest DVLA information and advice. If you have any questions about DVLA documents and online services please contact DVLA.

 

 

 

Personalised Number Plate – 52 D

Continuing the feature of profiling personalised number plates for sale from our stock, we move on to 52 D.

Reverse D registrations (numbers before letters) were issued in Kent starting with 2 D in 1964. Single-letter registrations are suitable for those with the letter as their first name or their family name. The letter D as a first name initial is very popular in the United Kingdom. You may view this as good or bad news depending on whether you already own a D registration.

52 D private number plate

If you already have a D number plate you are in possession of a highly sought after and popular registration. Demand is strong for registrations with this particular letter and as a result they often command high asking prices. I am sure you can think of at least one person you know called Daniel, Darren, David, Dean, Debbie, Derek, Diana, Dominic or Donald.

If you decide to acquire 52 D, it may turn out to be a shrewd purchase. Historically three character registrations have steadily risen in value over time. Please remember the past is not an indicator of what may happen in the future. Private number plates are not sold as investments and should not be viewed as such. They should be seen as a fun and clever way of personalising your vehicle.

Call James on 0113 288 7553 if you would like more information about the number plate  52 D, or indeed any of the private number plates listed for sale on the Simply Registrations website.

Registration Fun Facts

The following article is reproduced with kind permission of the author: John Harrison

Under the provisions of the Motor Car Act 1903 any motor vehicle used on public roads after 1 January 1904 had to be registered. Compared with other countries, Britain was comparatively late in introducing vehicle registration because it was thought the requirement to display a registration infringed civil liberties. Although Britain was “late to the party” in introducing registrations, it now has the oldest national system in the world under which a number issued at the system’s outset could still be legally used on the same vehicle.

It is often stated that A 1 was the first British registration to be issued. This is not the case. As far as we can tell from surviving records, it would seem that the first number issued was DY 1 issued on 23 November 1903 by Hastings, whereas A 1 was not issued until 7 December 1903. Also, it is sometimes stated that Earl Russell who had A 1 queued all night to obtain the number, but there does not seem to be any contemporary record of this, so the story might well be an urban myth.

The Local Government Board who were responsible for bringing the registration legislation into effect allotted one- or two-letter codes to local authorities in England and Wales in 1903. They did it in alphabetical order by population size with A going to London, the largest authority running through to FP which went to Rutland, the smallest authority by population size. Wales was not given any special recognition in this allocation. There were, however, separate Local Government Boards for Scotland and Ireland and they issued their codes using the authorities’ names in alphabetical order, not using population size.

When codes were originally allotted to local authorities, two objected to the codes they had been given, Dorset which had BF (which stood for “bloody fool” at the time) and Northampton which had DF (which stood for “damned fool”). Their protests were accepted and replacement codes FX and NH respectively were allotted instead.

In 1921 local authorities in the part of Ireland that was to become the Republic were refusing to cooperate with the British authorities and this included not registering new vehicles and collecting tax on them. The Road Vehicles (Defaulting Councils) (Ireland) Order 1921 was passed which therefore passed these functions to the police, the Royal Irish Constabulary. When southern Ireland became Independent the following year the Irish registration system remained based on the British one until 1987 when a new system was adopted. When the Republic introduced reflective plates in 1969, however, red rear plates were used in contrast to the British yellow ones.

Nowadays it is not unusual for a celebrity to have a personal plate. The first celebrity to have one is thought to have been the famous music hall comedian, Harry Tate who had car number, T 8. He later also obtained HT 20 when Bristol started issuing HT combinations in 1920. It might be thought that the paparazzi is a comparatively modern phenomenon. In 1935, however, Harry Tate’s car was followed by two journalists who recognised the T 8 number plate. They realised he was driving erratically and signaled a police patrol car. Mr Tate was charged with drunk driving and dangerous driving. He was acquitted on the first charge, but fined £12-12s for driving dangerously.

The format of the British registration system has had to evolve as vehicle ownership has increased. The original format was one or two letters followed by up to four numerals, e.g. AB 1234; then in 1932 issuing three letters followed by up to three numerals commenced, e.g. ABC 123. In 1953 some authorities started putting the numbers ahead of the letters, e.g. 1234 AB or 123 ABC. In 1963 year-suffix marks were first introduced, e.g ABC 123A and in 1983 year-prefix marks, e.g. A123 BCD. In 2001 the current format, e.g. AB51 CDE, was introduced.

Between 1955 and 1962 it was possible to apply to a local authority to have an old voided number reissued on payment of £5 (about £80 in today’s money). A lot of numbers comprising one or two letters followed by one or two numerals still seen on our roads are £5 reissues dating from this period and are now, of course, worth a considerably larger amount. The then Minister of Transport, Ernest Marples, put a stop to this practice as sometimes the search in the records for a voided number to meet a request was costing more than £5.

When year letters were introduced it resulted in number plates having a maximum of seven characters instead of six which required smaller characters. Number plate manufacturers did not want to have to change to a different character in one go, so the introduction of year letters was phased in. the first authority to issue them was Middlesex which started using them on 18 February 1963 as it was running out of available combinations in the previous format. Other authorities switched to issuing year letters in a phased programme over the next two years, with the final authorities switching on 1 January 1965. One consequence of the smaller sized number plate characters was the requirement to read a number plate at 75 feet to obtain a driving licence was reduced to 67 feet (now expressed as 20.5 metres in legislation).

Only one person is allowed not to have to have number plates on their car, the monarch. Until 1936 all the monarch’s cars were plateless, but now this exemption is just applied to the monarch’s official cars.

Bentley state limousine

In 1922 in Dundee a “Keystone Cops” situation occurred when five of the King’s cars were brought to that city by boat to be driven on to Balmoral for a hunting party and the Dundee Police who did not know that King’s cars did not require number plates pursued them.

You may think that DVLA only issues registrations with the current “age identifier” (17 at the moment). That is not the case. A lot of vehicles have to be given “new old” numbers, e.g. when personal plates are transferred off them or they are imported second-hand, so there have to be previously unissued numbers available for vehicles of any age, e.g. if somebody imports a 1965 car it has to receive a C-suffix mark. There is even a series available for veteran vehicles, i.e. ones made up to 1904. This is BS 8***. This series does, however, progress quite slowly with about 20 marks being issued each year.

John Harrison is the editor of a quarterly newsletter which covers all aspects of vehicle registrations, “1903 and All That”. Subscription details for the newsletter can be obtained by contacting John on john(at)theharrisonfamily.org.uk.

How to assign a private number plate online

Assigning or transferring a private number plate to a car got a whole lot easier recently. You can now apply online to put a private number plate on a vehicle. It doesn’t matter whether the plate is currently registered to a vehicle, or held on a V750 Certificate of Entitlement/V778 Retention Document – the entire transfer could be completed in less than five minutes.

Apply online to put a private number plate on a vehicle

If you have a V750 Certificate of Entitlement (pink) or a V778 Retention Document (green) you can apply to assign your cherished number plate online using the link above. 

(If your private plate is currently attached to a vehicle and you want to transfer it to another vehicle, skip to the relevant paragraph near the end of this article.)

The V5C Registration Certificate (for the vehicle receiving your private plate) must show the correct registered keeper details (name and address). If you recently bought the vehicle and are not yet the registered keeper, wait until you have the complete V5C (log book).

Follow the instructions provided on the GOV.UK website. You don’t have to pay a fee to DVLA when you put a number plate on a vehicle providing the registration is held on a valid V778 document or V750 certificate that has not expired.

If your application is successful you should fit new number plates as soon as possible.

application successful to put a number plate on a car

You will receive a confirmation email with a number plate authorisation certificate (eV948) attached. This can be used to purchase new number plates without waiting for the replacement V5C (log book) to arrive by post.

application successful to put a number plate on a car

Remember to notify your motor insurer/tracker provider/recovery agent of your new registration. Some motor insurers charge an administration fee to update your policy.

Unable to complete your application online?

Unfortunately not all applications to put a personalised number plate on a vehicle can be processed online. In some cases you may need to submit your paperwork to DVLA by post. If you get a message saying ‘this registration number cannot be assigned’, contact DVLA using the telephone number on-screen. If the message states ‘we need to look into your application further due to the vehicle’s licensing history‘ you will have to submit your application by post. Follow the instructions in section 1 of the certificate of entitlement or retention document. Postal applications should be sent to:

DVLA Personalised Registrations, Swansea, SA99 1DS

My private plate is held on a vehicle and I want to swap it over to a different vehicle
If the private plate is held on a vehicle, the transfer has to be processed in two stages. First you remove the plate (place it on retention). This is done by inputting the document reference number from the V5C Registration Document (log book). The fee of £80 can be paid by debit or credit card. (The second stage is assigning to a vehicle following the instructions from the beginning of this article.)

Apply to take a number plate off a vehicle and place it on retention

It is not necessary to retain your vehicle’s existing (standard-issue) registration when assigning a private number plate. Should you retain your private plate in the future it is highly likely your car will be reunited with the original registration. More information about replacement registrations.

For more information please visit the number plates & vehicle registration section at GOV.UK or contact DVLA.

Supercar Superstar? Simply Registrations Appears on TV

If you’re a fan of fast and stylish supercars, you may well have caught the recent Channel 4 programme, Supercars: The Million Pound Motors, that graced our screens on the 8th April this year. The more eagle-eyed among you may also have noticed a familiar face paying the Tom Hartley dealership a visit – yes, that’s right, Simply Registrations’ very own James Saperia.

James had joined a group of members from Supercar Driver, when they headed to the dealership in Swadlincote to see what was on offer for these keen supercar owners & collectors. Simply Registrations’ 5 seconds of fame showed Carl Hartley, son of Tom Hartley Senior, chatting to James as he sets out to prove that he’s ready to step into his dad’s shoes and start selling supercars, rather than just being involved in the buying process.

James Saperia TV appearance

Carl can be heard saying to James: “So all I’m saying is, if you want to buy it you can – if you don’t want to, I’ve got it for sale anyway.”

Is James about to buy a Ferrari?!

Well, who wouldn’t, given the right opportunity?! But alas, I’m sorry to report that James wasn’t negotiating a deal on his very own supercar, but was actually discussing something more in line with his own business interests… a cherished number plate.

Tom Hartley Cars had recently taken a vehicle into stock that came complete with a personalised registration, and although the edit didn’t show this clearly, that was the actual focus of the conversation caught on camera! Carl, knowing that James works in this field, was seeing if he wanted to do a deal on the private number plate – rather than a car itself.

So while I’d love to reveal that the next time you see James, it’ll be behind the wheel of a Bentley, Lamborghini or something just as super, I’m afraid that the conversation’s context wasn’t really quite clear. No new car for James just yet.

As for the number plate in question… James decided it wasn’t the right kind of registration to have and hold onto until a buyer came along, but we feel sure that Carl’s well-taught selling skills will clinch a sale soon enough.