Retention of a Personalised Number Plate

There are occasions when you may need to separate your personalised registration from your car. The usual reason is because the car is going to be sold and you don’t want lose the rights to display your personalised plates.

There are two options available when removing a registration from a vehicle; you can either transfer a registration to another vehicle, or you can apply to remove a registration from a vehicle and hold it on a retention document (V778).

You can now retain a personalised number plate online.

Alternatively you can submit an application by post using form using DVLA form V317 – Application to Transfer or Retain a Vehicle Registration Number.


Changes have been made to the retention scheme since this article was originally published in 2010. The information you are reading is regularly updated and reflects changes as recent as March 2015.

Documents required to retain a private number plate:

The V5C Registration Certificate – often called the ‘log book’

DVLA form V317 signed by the registered keeper of the vehicle (for postal applications)

£80 fee (cheque, bankers draft or postal order payable to DVLA Swansea for postal applications – credit or debit card if applying online)

Where should you apply?

Postal applications should be sent to:

Personalised Registrations
SA99 1DS

From Monday 9th March 2015 all V778 retention documents issued by DVLA will be valid for 10 years with no fee payable to renew or extend the document. For more information about these changes, read: It now costs less to retain your personalised registration.

If you are applying to retain your private number plate because you intend to sell your vehicle, it is definitely wise to plan ahead. It can take up to four weeks for DVLA to process a retention application by post. Please allow enough time making sure you have replacement vehicle documents before you handover or part-exchange your car.

51 thoughts on “Retention of a Personalised Number Plate

  1. James Saperia Post author

    Hi Usman, Did you complete the new keeper section of the V5C registration certificate (logbook) for the car you bought at auction? Effectively the car you bought no longer belongs to the previous owner. If you entered the previous owner’s name and address on the right-hand side of the V317 that is enough for DVLA to reject the application. Wait until you have the rejected application back from DVLA and give me a call.

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