Transferring a cherished number plate is a fairly straightforward task; although it hasn’t always been that way. When the business of buying and selling car registrations was in its infancy back in the 1970’s, things were very different.
The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) was still unsure what part it wanted to play in the selling and transferring of vehicle registrations and systems were still to be properly established. At one stage during 1976 the DVLA suspended transfers of all registrations following industrial action by members of two civil service unions.
Protests by the founding members of the Cherished Numbers Dealers Association (CNDA) helped to bring the strikes to an end and a new set of rules was introduced by the DVLA to govern the transfer of car registrations. The price of a cherished transfer was hiked from £5.40 to a staggering £50, which was a lot of money back in 1976. Retention certificates were abolished and vehicles had to be registered to a keeper for nine months before an application could be submitted for a number plate transfer.
The DVLA is now one of the most active players in the sale of personalised registrations. The idea of the Agency going on strike and banning transfers seems ludicrous, especially considering over £1billion in additional revenue has been generated for HM Treasury via the sales and transfers of personalised vehicle registrations.
So next time you begrudge paying the DVLA £80 to transfer your car registration from one vehicle to another, consider what the owners of cherished number plates before you had to endure. The system is far from perfect, but at least you don’t have to chain yourself up to the railings outside DVLA headquarters in Swansea to get your personalised registration transferred.