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Number Plates In Focus: Removing A Private Number Plate

Private number plates are a great way to add a personal, quirky touch to your vehicle. However, you might at some point want to remove your private plate from your vehicle. Past week we looked at how to get a private number plate; this week, we explain the process of removing a plate.

You can remove a private plate from your vehicle to either use later (on another vehicle that you own, or to sell), or to transfer it straight to another vehicle. Usually, your vehicle will be reassigned its original number plate, but sometimes the DVLA may give you a new number entirely.


The conditions for changing from a private plate are the same as those for changing to one:

Your vehicle must:

  • Be registered in the UK with the DVLA.
  • Be in good working order.
  • Be a variety of vehicle that needs an MOT or HGV test.
  • Have at least 5 years’ continuous tax or SORN history.
  • Be taxed.
  • Be available for inspection if requested.

Applying to remove a private number

You can apply to change your number plate online or by post. Online applications take immediate effect, whereas postal ones can take up to two weeks, provided the vehicle does not need an inspection. The application costs £80.

You will need your vehicle’s log book and your current vehicle registration number. You can only apply online if the vehicle is in your name; if this is the case, click here to start your application.

To apply by post, you will need:

  • Your log book (V5C) or, if your vehicle is new to you, a new keeper’s supplement with a complete V62.
  • A completed V317 form (“transfer or retain a vehicle registration number”).
  • £80 transfer fee.

Once your number has been removed

Once your application has been processed, you will be sent a new log book (V5C) which has been updated with your new registration number. If you have applied to retain the private number, you will also receive a V778 retention certificate.

As soon as you are given your new registration number, you need to get new number plates made by an approved number plate supplier. You also need to make sure that you tell your insurance company that your details have changed.

Selling your private number plate

You can sell your number plate via a dealer or independently. Dealers will charge a commission fee, but they will usually arrange all of the paperwork for you, too.

Depending on how urgently you want to change the number plate of your vehicle, you can change the plate first, then sell it with the V778 or V750, or you can wait until you have sold the plate and do the whole transaction in one go.

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