Different Ways Of Transferring Registrations

When buying aregistration you need to know how to document your purchase and transfer your registration correctly to a new vehicle.  All UK Car Registrations have to be transferred via the DVLA Local Offices, then finalised in Swansea and there are various different ways of doing it and different restrictions and documentation requirements for each.

All vehicle registrations have to be held on a UK Registered vehicle which is of a taxed & Mot’d type or a Valid Dvla Certificate, each may present different problems especially if the registration is being transferred to a new owner or not to a vehicle registered in the same name as current owner of the registration.

Read below for a summary of the main processes, when they are appropriate and what documents are needed. Refer to our DVLA documents page for more information.

Vehicle To Vehicle Transfers

This is probably the easiest way to transfer to a new keeper. This way of transferring a registration is probably the most common. A private individual transfers his/her number from an old vehicle to a newer or another vehicle. This type of transfer is pretty straight forward if the documents for both vehicles are in order.

Due to DVLA rules, many donor vehicles, especially if they are 15yrs old or more OR have been declared as SORN for any length of time will sometimes require a routine vehicle inspection in order for the transfer to be authorised & completed.

Documents required – Donor Vehicle

  • V5C,
  • MOT (if app),
  • signed V317 (Front section-2),
  • Copy of Tax disc if recently re-taxed

Documents required – Recipient Vehicle

  • V5C,
  • MOT (if app)
  • Completed V317 (reverse, section 4)
  • Transfer application,

The fee for this type of transfer is £80.00,
The application for this type of transfer is usually sent to the DVLA VRO closest to the Donor party. This is if the donor vehicle requires inspection. This transfer will take approx 7 working days, providing the donor vehicle doesn’t require an inspection from DVLA.

Vehicle To Retention (V778)

This is ideal if you want to hold the number for the future or as an investment. This type of transfer is called a Retention.

If you wish to sell a vehicle and keep the registration you must carry out either a vehicle to vehicle transfer (as above) or put the number onto a Retention Document.  This will hold the number on a certificate that will be valid for 12 months.  After 12 months, if the registration mark still hasn’t been assigned to a vehicle you can extend the entitlement for a further 12 months by paying a fee of £25 (or multiples of £25 upto £75 for 3 years) to DVLA Swansea.

This type of procedure is commonly done when selling a registration to a customer who has not yet got a vehicle to transfer the mark to, or perhaps are in the process of obtaining a new vehicle.

The vehicle the registration is assigned to must be Taxed & tested within the last 12 months.

Documents Required – Donor

  • Completed V317 – sections 1 ,2 & 3
  • Retention Application form (can get from any DVLA VRO)
  • V5C Registration Document,
  • MOT (if app)

Documents Required – Recipient

  • No documentation required,
  • Nominee/keeper details to state a nominee at the point of Retaining the mark.This will then allow either the Grantee or Nominee to re-assign the mark to a vehicle in either of those names.

The fee for retention is £105.00 payable to DVLA Swansea. (One Year)   A fee of £130 or £155 can be paid to retain the number for 2 or 3 years if it is unlikely that the number will not be assigned to a vehicle during that time.

Yet again the application should be sent to the DVLA Local Office closest to the owners address.   The timescale to retain a registration is 4-6 weeks but the timescale can vary.  The DVLA Local Office will issue a replacement tax disc & number to the donor within 7 working days. DVLA Swansea will later issue a V778 Retention document to the Grantee & new V5C for the vehicle bearing the replacement registration.

Retention To Retention (V778)

Normally encountered if you have bought a new number and do not have a vehicle to hold the number. A retention certificate is perfect if you do not have a vehicle to hold the registration.

Numbers you see on sale in any motor magazines or here on the internet will more than likely be held on a DVLA v778 retention certificate. Registrations on a retention certificate can not actually be fully transferred to another person, only the “grantee” on the certificate (which is the registered keeper of the previous donor vehicle) can apply to change the nominee (or extend the certificate). Once the nominee is changed into the “new owners” name it is recommended he/she transfer the number to his/her vehicle ASAP. DVLA state that the nominee has no legal rights to the number. Basically the grantee can apply for a new certificate at any time.

Certificate Of Entitlement (V750) To A Vehicle

A number will only be held on a V750 if it has never previously been on a vehicle.

Certificate Of Entitlement (V750) To A New Keeper

Normally occurs when a number has been purchased for re-sale or investment.

Any Certificate To NI Registered Vehicle

A transfer from a DVLA certificate of entitlement onto a Northern Ireland registered vehicle can be very awkward. The number will have to be transferred to a vehicle on the UK mainland first.

1.Find a vehicle on the UK mainland for the number to go onto.

2.Register the DVLA V750 certificate of entitlement in the same name as shown on the recipient vehicle’s registration document (change of nominee).

3.Transfer the number via a local registration office.

4.Await confirmation and the vehicles documentation to return from DVLA Swansea.

5.Pair the NI vehicle’s documentation and the UK mainland “donor” documentation together for the final transfer.

6.The original UK mainland vehicle should receive the original number back (keep the actual number plates).

We offer a full transfer service to NI registered vehicles, please contact us on 08700 111 911 for more information.


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