Dvla Private Reg Assignment Submission

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 plate.

There are two options available when removing a registration from a vehicle; you can either transfer a registration direct to another vehicle (postal applications only), or you can apply to remove a registration from a vehicle (place it on a retention). Once retained, a registration can be held on certificate for as long as you like – or it can be put on (assigned) to another vehicle.

The quickest and easiest way to take a number plate off a vehicle is to retain it online. The registration can then be put on a different vehicle straight away using the online facility (subject to acceptance). It costs the same amount of money to retain or transfer a private plate (£80). By using the online facility you are effectively completing a cherished transfer online; just as a two step process – take a plate off (retain) and put a plate on a vehicle (assign). 

If your online retention application is successful you should receive a replacement V5C Registration Certificate by post within five working days. Your V778 Retention Document usually arrives (by separate post) a couple of days after the V5C log book.


If you get a message saying ‘this registration number cannot be retained online’ ring the telephone number on-screen and speak to an advisor. Often the DVLA telephone assistant can make a simple adjustment allowing the application to be processed at the second attempt.

If you provide an email address while completing your online retention application, you will receive confirmation that your application is complete.


If your application can’t be completed online, download form V317and apply by post.

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 August 2016.

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

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 four weeks for DVLA to process a retention application by post. Please allow enough time to separate your cherished registration ensuring you have replacement vehicle documents from DVLA before selling or part-exchanging your car.

DVLA will automatically issue an age-related replacement registration when you retain the existing plate. Typically the vehicle is reunited with its original registration.

Since Monday 9th March 2015 all V778 retention documents issued by DVLA are 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 would like to put your retained private plate on a different vehicle, you can assign a private number plate online.

On the left-hand side of your retention document, just above section 1, you will most likely see the words: ‘THE ASSIGNMENT FEE HAS ALREADY BEEN PAID’. This indicates there are no additional fees payable to DVLA to put your retained plate on a vehicle.

For more information please visit the number plates & vehicle registration section at GOV.UK or contact DVLA.

This entry was posted in Number Plates News on by James Saperia.

DVLA transfer costs, to be fair, have not changed for many years. However, with the recent closure of all local DVLA offices, perhaps the fees could change. We speculate that DVLA transfer costs could even be reduced as a consequence of reduced government costs. We shall see – stranger things have happened. Lets not speculate though, lets look to the facts.

DVLA transfer costs, to be fair, have not changed for many years. However, with the recent closure of all local DVLA offices, perhaps the fees could change. We speculate that DVLA transfer costs could even be reduced as a consequence of reduced government costs. We shall see – stranger things have happened. Lets not speculate though, lets look to the facts.

DVLA Transfer Costs

1. For Vehicle to Vehicle

To simply transfer a private registration from one vehicle to another a fee of £80 is required. This transfer fee is usually sent to the DVLA along with the appropriate vehicle documents (usually the V5/C, tax disc and a MOT if applicable) as well as any DVLA paperwork that they ask for – usually the V317. Both vehicles involved must meet the correct standards to be involved in the process though – this includes being taxed and tested up to date, so this could add to the DVLA transfer costs as a whole.

The donor vehicle, this is the vehicle that is “giving” the number plate, is covered by the DVLA transfer costs in regards to receiving a brand new plate. No car can be without a number plate so all DVLA transfer costs are set to cover both sides, however this is only really for the purpose of keeping all vehicles registered. The donor vehicle will receive a standard age-related plate in return, often the first number it was registered under.

It is traditional that the buyer of the private number plate pays the DVLA transfer costs. Since the majority of transfers are organised through Cherished Number Dealers (regulated by the CNDA), who will collect, check and submit paperwork for customers, the aforementioned £80 fee should be forwarded to them. Using a dealer as a third party allows the safeguard of only paying the seller after DVLA has passed the transfer.

2. For Vehicle to Retention, or purchasing a Certificate of Entitlement

Other DVLA transfer costs involve the transfer of a private mark onto a retention document (V778). This is a green A4 sized piece of paper, which “holds” the number plate until a suitable vehicle is available. To place a mark onto retention involves an initial cost of £105, £25 of which represents the retention fee and the remaining £80 being “stored” on the document as an eventual assignment fee.

3. For Renewal Fees

Further DVLA transfer costs are incurred by the registration of the number plate. This requires any and all documents to be kept in date. In other words, look at the certificate’s “Expiry Date”, if that date has passed you cannot use it and have to pay additional DVLA transfer costs to make it usable again. Essentially, you’re renewing and extending the certificate. Currently this costs £25 per annum, plus admin fees.

At first the DVLA tried to insist that expiry dates were strictly observed. In fact, if you look at either document you will see the definitive wording that the registration MUST be assigned before the expiry date. If you read between the lines the message is “use it or lose it”. In practice, as long as the extension fees are fully paid (i.e. a certificate four years out of date can be brought up to date on receipt of £100 back fees) then a renewed certificate will be issued. DVLA will not assign a mark from an expired certificate.

In recent years, DVLA have offered the facility of renewing a V750 or V778 for one, two or three years with one application. Don’t get too excited though, DVLA don’t do BOGOF offers so you still have to pay the yearly DVLA transfer costs three times. It does save time though, which is great if you don’t plan on using it for a while, such as if it is for your child when he/she grows up. Beware though, if you pay for three years and get it no a vehicle before two you don’t get that extra year refunded!

What you can do though is send the certificate back to the DVLA to have the £80 assignment fee returned. Since this is technically the fee you’ve paid the DVLA to assign to a vehicle and it is only “stored” on the certificate in the meantime you can cash it in and get that fee back. Only do this if you no longer want the number plate though, so doing so will mean you lose the number plate and you CANNOT buy it back.

DVLA transfer costs have been set in stone for as long as I can remember, but who knows if in the future these could change? The DVLA are making a lot of alterations to their processes, including taking a lot of transactions away from the post and putting them online. Perhaps in the future this will affect the fees you pay? We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it though.

By Daniel Walker. Daniel is a journalist and marketing executive who has been with National Numbers since 2012. As well as movies, Daniel's other passion is the private number plate industry. In between writing about the constant changes, Dan can be found on the phone alongside the dedicated sales team trying to help customers find their perfect number plate.

Posted by Peter Jepson

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