What is the Difference Between a V750 and a V778

Today we are going to cover the difference between two very similar DVLA Documents. The DVLA Documents V750 and V778 allow a personalised number plate to be kept whilst it is not attached or assigned to a vehicle.

DVLA Document V750 – Certificate of Entitlement

The V750 Certificate of Entitlement is a pink A4 size piece of paper. It is used by the DVLA for the first issue of a personalised registration. If you have a V750 then the vehicle registration number shown on the document has never before been displayed on a vehicle. It is a brand new registration.

V750 Certificate of Entitlement

DVLA Document V778 – Retention Document

The V778 Retention Document is a green A4 size piece of paper. It is used by the DVLA when a personalised registration has been separated from a vehicle and placed on retention. If you have a V778 then the retained personalised registration has previously been displayed on a vehicle.

V778 Retention Document


Expiry of your DVLA Documents

Both documents have historically been valid for 1, 2 or 3 years from the date of issue by DVLA. From the 9th of March 2015 all V750 & V778’s issued by DVLA are valid for ten years. If after ten years you are still not ready to transfer your personalised number plate to your car you can extend the certificate for a further ten years free of charge.

There is no limit for the length of time a vehicle registration number can be held on a certificate. This is particularly useful in the situation where a parent or grandparent may have bought a personalised registration as a future gift for a child. It is not unusual for some registrations to be held on paper for 17 years. It is a fantastic occasion when the number plates are eventually made up and fixed to the first car or motorbike belonging to your son, daughter or grandchild.

79 replies
  1. Hayley
    Hayley says:

    Hi James,

    I purchased a car roughly 4 months ago, it came with private plates on. I already had my own personalised plates from previous car and assigned them to my new car. What happens to the rights of the old plates that came with the car?


  2. Lucy
    Lucy says:

    Hi James,
    I have tried to do a plate transfer online and got the unable to complete online page.
    I am doing it on behalf of my partner that is currently out of the country and the only paper work he has for his plate is a v750/1 not the actual certificate of entitlement. Will this be the reason do you think? The car has been taxed with the number plate recently. It’s so confusing…
    Thank you

  3. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Elizabeth, The way you are going about it is fine. Just sign & date the V750 certificate in section 1 before giving it to the lucky recipient.

  4. elizabeth
    elizabeth says:

    Hi I’m buying a personalised registration as a gift but going through the pages to buy it’s coming up as me being the main holder (as its from my account which I bought my private reg off) and the person I’m buying it for is the nominee. Will this matter for the certificate of entitlement or not?

  5. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Findlay, Just send the retention document with a cross in section 3, signed & dated in section 6 (without a covering letter) and it will automatically be extended for 10 years. You can apply in the 28 days before your document is due to expire, so no need to apply just yet.

  6. Findlay Beveridge
    Findlay Beveridge says:

    Hi James,

    I have a V778 Retention Document that states the registration must be assigned to a vehicle by 16th October 2016. I don’t have a vehicle to put it on and was about to extend the retention and send £75 for a 3 year retention when I happened across your page. Its been a very interesting and useful read and I just wanted to be sure, am I understanding this correctly (I believe I am) that even for existing V778’s in place before 9th March 2015, they are automatically (and without a fee) now valid for 10 years from the date on which they state they should have been assigned to a vehicle? In order for this to happen I simply put a cross at section 3 (but not put a cross in either of the 3 “extension period” boxes. i,e, 1,2 or 3 years), sign section 6 and send it to DVLA, then they will return it showing a new 10 year Retention period, i.e. in my case to 16th October 2026 ? Should I send it back with a letter requesting a 10 year extension but not send any cheque or do I not need to send any covering information ? Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

  7. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Arlene, It depends what method the dealership used to retain your plates. If it was done online you should have received replacement documents within 5 days. If a retention application is made to DVLA by post it is usually completed within 2 weeks. It might be worth speaking to the dealership, or alternatively contact DVLA (link on the right-hand side of this page).

  8. Arlene Campbell
    Arlene Campbell says:

    I traded 2cars in With private plates . The dealership put theses plates on retention for me (agreeing to pay the 2x £80 fee) this was 2 1/2 weeks ago . How long should it take for me to receive my retention certificates as I have so one wanting to purchase one of them . Thank you

  9. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Rina, If you buy from the DVLA Personalised Registrations website you will receive a V750 Certificate of Entitlement valid for 10 years in your name. Just be careful if you are buying privately. You need the certificate to be in your name if you don’t intend putting it on a car until a later date.

  10. Rina
    Rina says:


    I’m looking to buy a personalised number plate, but don’t want to place the plate on the car until a later date. What process do I need to go through? I’m confused by the different forms!


  11. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Gareth, This is normal; the rights to the private plate do not pass until the registration is assigned to a vehicle. At that point the retention document is void and whoever is named as the registered keeper on the V5C log book inherits the rights. Read the post ‘Grantee & Nominee Explained‘ for further details.

  12. Gareth Pawson
    Gareth Pawson says:

    Hi James,

    I have recently purchased a private plate from someone local to me. The retention form was sent through the post and was signed by the person i had purchased it from. I have filled it in and sent it off but when the new document has come back it has my address under the ‘Grantee’ but his name. Also the document reference number still has his name under it although my name is displayed under the ‘Nominee’ ! I am a little confused, is this normal or has the form been incorrectly filled in?



  13. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Ian, Put a cross in the box to renew/extend your entitlement and sign & date in section 6. Make sure your address is correct (you can update it if necessary) and post the document to DVLA, Swansea SA99 1DS. I can only presume the reminder you should have received was lost in the post.

  14. Dr Ian Hodgson
    Dr Ian Hodgson says:

    Hello James,
    I have just noticed thatthat the rules on retention changed and that my V778 certificate of entitlement expired on 30.06.2015
    Since the new rule came in on 9.03.2015, I am wondering what to do now, I received no reminders from DVLA and no other documents, just the last V778, no new certificate and no confirmation that no further fees are required?
    So, I’m just a bit confused?
    I also did not get any reminders to extend the retention of the numberplate.
    What do I need to do now ?

  15. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Dan, If the lease car is brand new (unregistered) you will need to add a nominee before forwarding the V778 to the lease company. Even though it is no longer necessary to do so, some lease companies do ask you to add the nominee in advance even if it is a pre-registered vehicle. It may be worth speaking to the cherished transfer team at the lease company to ask about their own procedures.

  16. Dan platt
    Dan platt says:

    Hi James

    I have put a plate on retention and attempted to change the nominee at the same time, as the plate will now be going on a lease car.

    DVLA have forgotten to add nominee. Rather than sending the document off again, can I assign a nominee at the same time as asking the lease company to assign to the vehicle using the V778?


  17. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Steve, I guess the time limit to fit replacement number plates is determined by how quickly you are able to sort it. Start the online retention application and if you get to the payment stage you know your registration can be retained online. You can abandon the application and reapply when you are a few days away from trading your car in.

  18. Steve Conway
    Steve Conway says:

    Hi James
    When I put my number on retention, I understand that the plates should be changed “as soon as possible”. Is there actually a time limit for doing so. I do not have the original plates and do not really want to have to buy a new set before trading the car in for a new one. (I would rather let the dealer worry about that!)
    Thanks in anticipation

  19. Simon
    Simon says:

    Hi I purchased a plate last year from plates4less and I am now thinking of taking the plates off my car , when I purchased it I paid for it all to be trasfered etc but I have never received any paper work to say I own the reg , what shall I do

  20. Stephen
    Stephen says:

    Hi James,

    Many thanks for the very helpful reply.

    If I go down the online route, after taking the existing reg off my vehicle, would that trigger a brand new, age-related registration being generated before I assign the other plate to the vehicle? I.e. even if it took me only a minute to take the existing reg off and assign the new one, would the generation of the age-related plate be instantaneous? Or is there somebody monitoring things at the other end who would spot that the two requests are related to each other?

    The car has had a personal plate from new; so, even though it’s a 15 plate, it has never actually had a 15 plate on it.

  21. Stephen
    Stephen says:

    Hi James,

    Firstly, brilliant blog and great answers to posters’ questions.

    I’ve currently got a personal plate on my car; however I am assigning another registration (on a V750 with me as Nominee) to it. Just want to clarify, before continuing, that I have filled out a V317 to retain the existing plate.

    Anyway, I’ve sent off the paperwork and realised that I forgot to fill in the current vehicle registration/validation character boxes as well as tick whether the vehicle is registered or unregistered at the top of Section 1 of the V750 (the Purchaser, a number plate dealer that I bought the registration from, has signed and dated it).

    Will the DVLA return the paperwork to me for me to complete the rest of Section 1 of the V750 or will they fill in the missing details themselves? I ask this, because, from the additional documentation I’ve had to supply, it’s pretty clear that the vehicle is registered, and the current V5C enclosed with the application shows both the registration and validation character; hence they have all of the information in order to fill in the gaps. Or would they require me to physically complete the form before continuing?

    Many thanks in advance.

  22. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Tricia, It usually takes two weeks to get a V778 back from DVLA when applying to add a nominee.

  23. Tricia
    Tricia says:

    Please can you tell me how long it takes to get the new retention document V778 back as had to add a nominee

  24. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Adam, If by ‘assignment date’ you are referring to the date by which the registration must be assigned to a vehicle, just send the V750 to DVLA. Tick the option to extend your entitlement and sign & date in section 6. DVLA will post out a replacement certificate valid for 10 years.

  25. Adam
    Adam says:


    I have a private plate that I have had on a certificate of entitlement for some years.
    It currently has an assignment date of 1/12/15. Given the new 10 year legislation, do I need to do anything and if so what do I do to keep hold of it. Many thanks

  26. Dawn Evans
    Dawn Evans says:

    Hi James,
    Do I need a V750 form to transfer my plate from my old car to my new one please? I don’t have a certificate!

  27. Eduardo
    Eduardo says:

    Hi James, Thanks very much for the answer. I still have another question since I am new to all this.

    If I apply to retain a personalised number plate, can that be done while I still keep my car with that registration plate. This of course would be done before I notify the DVLA the car is exported. Is it possible to do it from abroad.

    Thanks once again.

  28. Eduardo
    Eduardo says:

    Hi James,
    I intend to buy a car with a personal plate. In a few months I will move abroad and register the car in another country. Is it possible for me to retain the reg plate number to sell it when the car is already registered in other country. What process do I have to follow.

    Kind regards

  29. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Mark, The V778 has been revised and updated to reflect changes as and when they are introduced. One of the options down the right-hand side will relate to renewing or extending your retention document. Remember to sign & date section 6 before posting to DVLA.

  30. mark
    mark says:

    Hi James, my due to expire V778 form has section 3 as ‘change of address’. No checkbox to extend, am I missing something ? Thanks

  31. Hayden
    Hayden says:

    Hi there how do I fill in my retention document to put my private number plate on my new vehicle what do I need to fill in.

  32. Mohammad
    Mohammad says:


    I just purchased a private number plate of a private sell who had it on his car for 6 years and decided to sell it. He sent me access the green retention document. What the next step?

    I want to put this on my car but but don’t know the process. Can you help?

    Thank you!

  33. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Bee, Complete the Nominee details in section 2, sign & date in section 6 and post the V778 retention document to; DVLA, Swansea SA99 1DS.

  34. Bee
    Bee says:

    Hi James,

    Thank you for the swift response and information. I intend to assign my private number plate to a brand new (unregistered) vehicle. Could you please let me know the address of the DVLA Department I would need to write in to?

    Thank you for the clarification and all your help.

    Kind Regards

  35. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Bee, Unfortunately it is not currently possible to add a registration held on a V778 retention document to your DVLA online account. You can only add a registration held on a V750 certificate of entitlement to a DVLA account. Hopefully it will be one of the issues that will be resolved by DVLA during 2016. It is only necessary to add a nominee in advance if you intend to assign your private number plate to a brand new (unregistered) vehicle. If that is the case; you have to apply by post to add a nominee. There is no longer a fee of £25 to pay – full details in this article explaining DVLA fees. If the vehicle receiving your private number plate already has a V5C (log book), you can apply to assign your registration online. It is not necessary to have a match between the Grantee/Nominee and the registered keeper of the vehicle for online transactions.

  36. Bee
    Bee says:

    Dear James,

    My private number plate has been assigned to a car for the past few years, however I need to re-assign it to a new car that will not be owned by myself. I have applied and received a Certificate of Retention number through DVLA online (£80 fee).

    However, when I try to add the details to my online account, it is saying the certificate number provided is incorrect (which I have re-checked and it is not the case). I need to add the company as a Nominee and I am the Purchaser. Is there a way I can do this over the phone and I have read a few comments above, would it cost £25 to add the company as a Nominee?

    Please let me know the best possible way to solve this.

    Thank you in advance,
    Kind Regards


  37. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Tim, Your registration was probably supplied to you on a V750 Certificate of Entitlement (pink). The crucial issue here is whether you were the Purchaser or just the Nominee. DVLA will only discuss a registration with the Purchaser/Grantee. Call the DVLA vehicle enquiry team on 0300 790 6802 and explain the situation. If you are indeed the named Purchaser you will be able to obtain a duplicate but will have to pay £25 for every year the document has expired up to March 2015. Bear in mind it may not be cost-effective to pay the back-dated fees based on how much you are likely to receive from the eventual sale. If you are not the Purchaser/Grantee you would have to obtain a duplicate document via the company you originally purchased the registration from. That is likely to cost even more as the supplying company may charge administration fees for their involvement.

  38. Tim
    Tim says:

    Dear James,

    In 2006/or 2007 I purchased a number plate/ownership, I think from a website and paid around £750 for the registration plate/ownership. I had intended to put it on my car, but didn’t in the end. I do remember receiving from the buyer a document (looked like the green one above), and it had my details as the new owner of the registration T111 MWL. (I wanted it to appear on my car as T111M WL). It also included the sellers details. Unfortunately, I moved in late 2009 and I can not find this document anywhere. Was it the V778 document I keep hearing about?

    I want to sell the number registration but have no idea how. I am very confused. Do I need to pay DVLA to send me a duplicate copy, pay fees etc? Also my address is now different so what exactly can I, as simply as possible please?

    Thank you, in anticipation.
    Kind regards


  39. christopher wharfe
    christopher wharfe says:

    i have baught a car with a private reg on it and i was given no paperwork for the plates i would like to know how would i go about getting the paperwork as i would like to eventually take the plates of my car and put my own private plates on how can i do it thanks chris

  40. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Damian, If that was the last issued document (2006) then yes you would need to pay 9 years worth of renewal fees before you could sell it. Have you had the registration valued? If it isn’t cost-effective to pay the outstanding fees, you can apply to DVLA for a refund of the £80 assignment fee.

  41. Damian English
    Damian English says:

    Thanks james.
    If we tried to sell the reg number would either we have to pay these 9 years of back payments before any transaction?
    thanks again for your time

  42. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Damian, I suggest you write to DVLA explaining what has happened. If what you have found is the last valid retention document you may need to send a cheque for £225 (9 x £25 fees) for DVLA to provide an up-to-date retention document.

  43. Damian English
    Damian English says:

    Hi James.
    clearing my mothers house, i descovered her old private reg plate and with it a v778w which had expired on july 2006.
    She doesnt drive any more and i was wondering what options i had if any?
    thanks for any help you can give.

  44. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Steve, You should have received a confirmation email from DVLA when you completed the retention application online. The email has an attachment (eV948), you can show this to the number plate supplier as proof of entitlement to have the plates made. It’s best to notify your motor insurer when the plates are physically changed on the car.

  45. Steve
    Steve says:

    Hi again James
    Have done the online registration retention form – been told i can remove my plates. however i dont see how i can do this until i get the replacement v5 with the new reg no ( they have already told me what this is)..as i need the v5 to get new plates made up. I assume then until this time i leave my personal reg plates on, and obvioulsy no point informing insurance till plates are changed over.
    sorry if i’m making you repeat yourself..never had to do this before

  46. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Joe, I wrote a separate blog post with a few suggestions about how to sell a private number plate. After you have agreed the sale (and received full payment in cleared funds) just sign & date the V750 in sections 1 & 6 and give it to the buyer. It’s as easy as that; there’s no need to change anything and you don’t have to notify DVLA.

  47. joe francis
    joe francis says:

    hi i have a cherished plate on a v750 i am the named the purchaser and my son is the nominee i want to sell the plate how do i go about this and do i have to change anything with dvla first thanks joe

  48. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Steve, That’s correct, you will receive a V5C for your car with an age-related replacement registration. Fit the plates, notify your motor insurer, the paper MOT is being phased out so you don’t have to do anything with it – the change will be reflected on the vehicle record.

  49. Steve
    Steve says:

    Cheers for the quick reply James.
    I assume once i get my retention document for my plate – i’ll also get a new v5 with the new reg for my car. and that i’ll have to get new plates made up and inform my insurance of the number change. what about my mot certificate?

    thanks again

  50. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Steve, The V5C registration certificate (log book) for your existing car is the document you need. I suggest applying to put your personal plate on retention a couple of weeks before you are due to change cars (£80 fee to DVLA). Once your plate is separated from your car and you have the retention document, give it to the supplying dealer so they can make sure your new car is registered correctly using your personalised plate.

  51. Steve
    Steve says:

    Hi James. I have recently ordered a new car. i will be wanting to transfer my personal reg from my existing car which it was attached to upon purchase 3 years ago(2012) . The plate was purchased 3 months before (may 2012) it was attached to that car. I obviously gave the dealer my v750 so they could make the plates up and attach. The only paperwork i now have is the V750/1 DVLA RECEIPT. it doesnt show any expiry dates only what i paid for the plate.
    What do i have to do to have a seamless as possible transfer to the new car and how much will it cost me. Thanks in advance of your help

  52. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Dave, It isn’t possible to change the name of the purchaser; the V750 will remain in your name until it is assigned to a vehicle. Sign the V750 in sections 1 & 6 and give it to your buyer after you receive full payment in cleared funds. The £25 renewal fee was scrapped when new private number plate related fees were introduced on 9th March 2015. Your liability ends when you sign over the certificate of entitlement to your buyer.

  53. Dave
    Dave says:

    Hi James, can you help with my query please. I have just sold my private reg on eBay – its on a v750 as i bought it new from the DVLA a number of years ago but never assigned it to a vehicle. The certificate expires 28th Feb 2016. The new buyer wants to put it on retention but wants to be listed as the purchaser and nominee, in essence i am giving up my rights to the reg completely. What do i need to do please. I am concerned if i change him to the nominee and he doesn’t put it on a vehicle the DVLA will contact me for costs to extend the certificate as i will still be the purchaser. Many thanks in advance

  54. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Gary, Put a cross in section 3, sign & date in section 6 and post to DVLA. You will receive a replacement V778 retention document valid for 10 years (expiry date 8/8/2025). You don’t have to pay anything – the fee was removed on 9th March 2015 as explained in this article about private number plate fees.

  55. Gary
    Gary says:

    I have to renew my V778, due 8/8/15 …..im confused how much I have too pay and do I need to extend it 1,2 or 3 years????

  56. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Harry, Nothing to worry about, just put a cross in section 3 ‘Extending the assignment period’ and sign and date in section 6. Post your certificates to DVLA, Swansea SA99 1DS with a cheque or postal order payable to ‘DVLA Swansea’ for £50 in total. It’s the last time you will have to pay to extend your certificates. A couple of weeks later DVLA will post out replacement certificates to the address currently showing at the top left of the certificate. If your address has changed also complete section 4 to notify DVLA of your new address.

  57. harry riyat
    harry riyat says:

    Hi James,
    I have just realized that my two certificates of entitlement expired on 28.02.2015
    I have also just discovered that a new rule has now come in from 9.03.2015 .
    I did not get any reminders to extend the certificates
    What do I do now ?

  58. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Luke, If you applied to DVLA to retain your personalised registration you will receive a replacement V5C registration certificate (log book) in the post, followed by the retention document a couple of days later. As soon as you have the replacement V5C you can make a SORN.

  59. luke
    luke says:

    I have just taken my personalised reg off my car so i can SORN it. will i get a rentition document in the post??

  60. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Neil, I think you may be referring to your DVLA online account? You cannot add registrations to your account if they are held on V778 Retention Documents. New legislation was introduced on 9th March 2015 so any documents due for renewal before this date still required the £25 fee to be paid. You won’t have to pay any future fees to keep that plate on retention:

  61. neil Pinkett
    neil Pinkett says:

    just wonderd, the new dvla site for registering a v750 has no v778 option. will this include v778.. im a bit miffed as i just renwed a plate 1st march for £25.

  62. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Sam, What you have done is fine; you have given up your rights to the cherished number so the purchaser can assign it to a vehicle of his choice. Once assigned, the registered keeper of the vehicle is responsible for all future transactions regarding the plate.

  63. Sam Bryce
    Sam Bryce says:


    Ive recently sold on my cherished number, have signed the V778 & sent to the purchaser. He (the purchaser) says he will pay the £25 fee direct to DVLA once he assigns the reg. Have I left myself open to something sinister?

  64. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi John, The counter service at DVLA Local Offices is gradually being phased out ahead of the planned closure of all DVLA Local & Regional Offices later this year. If it is a straightforward assignment to a vehicle which doesn’t already have a private plate then your nearest DVLA Office will probably process it whilst you wait. In readiness for the closures, DVLA is now accepting applications direct which can be posted to: DVLA, Swansea SA99 1DS.

  65. John
    John says:

    I’ve recently purchased a private plate and received the certificate of entitlement yesterday. In the past friends have managed to get documents changed over at a local DVLA office, as no money is changing hands (the assignment fee was covered with what i paid for the plate) – do you know whether this is still possible, or does everything have to be sent to Swansea now?
    Kind Regards

Comments are closed.