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Frequently Asked Questions about Number Plates

What do Nationla Numbers sell?

We sell the rights to use a given registration number, not the plates themselves (although we can supply these).

Where does the term "Cherished Number" come from?

The term "Cherished Number" was originally coined to describe a registration having a sentimental value to its owner and which he/she wanted to keep in the family.

What are the basic regulations surrounding transfers?

The regulations regarding the transfer of registration marks from a doner vehicle to another (recipient) vehicle or to a retention certificate (V778) are : -

  • The donor must either hold both current MOT and tax; be taxed and MOT expired; MOT expired and tax expired less than six months.
  • A fee of £80 to the Department of Transport is payable for a vehicle to vehicle transfer and £105 (£25 of which is the actual registration fee) is payable for placing the mark onto a retention certificate. The certificate is valid for twelve months and can be renewed annually for £25 per year.
  • A donor vehicle must be subject to MOT testing at some time during its life.
  • Registration marks legally are owned by the Secretary of State for Transport - it is the right to display the mark on a vehicle which is granted or transfered. If you pass on a vehicle to a new keeper, then you lose control of the registration mark.
  • You can't use a mark to make a vehicle look newer than it is e.g. you can't assign a P registration to an M registration car. You are allowed to use an older registration.
  • You can't put a cherished number onto a Q registered vehicle.
  • Northern Ireland use the letters I and Z and so, when using the make your own plate section, you can't have an I, Q or Z in the letters.
  • Registration marks which have never been used on vehicles before, are issued in the form of certificates of entitlement (V750). Like V778's, they are renewable annually for a fee of £25 per year. So if you find the registration you've always wanted, you can keep it on a certificate until you have a suitable car. Marks on certificates are ideal to give as surprise presents since the actual vehicle documents aren't needed until after the event, so you can give the certificate and a pair of plates, attractively wrapped. Click on the make your own plates button if you're interested.
  • To assign a registration mark on a certificate to a vehicle, you need to take/post your registration document (V5), MOT (if applicable), current tax disc (or tax application) to your nearest Vehicle Registration Office (VRO) - usually in the telephone directory under "Transport, Dept. of". The assignment fee will already have been paid at the time of purchasing the mark, or placing it in a retention, so there will be no more costs to pay. You will be given back your tax disc showing the new mark (your old disc will be retained) and any MOT submitted re-stamped with the new registration. Your V5 will be sent to DVLA, Swansea for the new reg to be put on and then returned direct to you. The V5 will not show another keeper.
  • The legal time in any registration transfer to actually change your numberplates is when you have a current tax disc showing the new mark.
  • You can apply for tax at the same time as a transfer by sending us your insurance certificate or cover note, a completed V10 (This can be obtained from a post office and should, technically, be filled in with the existing registration mark) and the appropriate fee (cheques to the Department of Transport).
    Present fees are £85.25 for six months and £155 for twelve months.
  • You can apply to put the vehicle into your name at the same time as the transfer by filling in the appropriate part of the V5. If you only have the small green part of the V5 (V5/2) you can use this to do a cherished transfer accompanied by a completed V62 form.
  • In general the documents needed for a cherished transfer are : - V5, MOT (if applicable), V317 (transfer form).
    We request these by letter and then submit them to the DVLA (formerly the DVLC) on your behalf.
  • When you take a cherished registration off your vehicle, you will be given back a registration mark suitable for the year of the car. Usually, nowadays, you will be given back the original mark. This simplifies DVLA records and, also, is better for drivers who have had their windows etched with the original reg. mark.
  • A cherished number can be put onto a brand new vehicle. This involves either sending the appropriate entitlement certificate to the car dealer or by us requesting the application for first registration (V55) from the car dealer. The usual Department Of Transport fees are payable since you are choosing a special reg, not just taking one from the car dealer's association.
How do I go about buying a registration?

This one's easy. Simply give our office a call and our friendly staff will be able to assist you in the selection, and purchase of a suitable registration. They'll be happy to answer any questions you have regarding the purchase or transfer.
Alternatively, you can buy a large selection of our registrations safely and securely online!

Do you own all the registrations you are selling?

No, whilst we do have a large number of stock registrations, a lot of our reg come from individuals who are looking to transfer the marks off their own vehicles, and we also offer a vast range of as yet unissued Government stock.

What methods of payment do you accept?

If buying online, or over the phone, we accept most major credit or debit cards, including Visa, Delta, Mastercard, Switch, Solo, Electron and American Express.
We also accept payment by cheques or postal orders, and are happy to discuss any other method of payment you may wish to use.

I want to buy a registration mark as a gift, but want to keep it as a surprise - what do I do?

If you make sure to point out to the sales person you deal with that the reg is a gift, we can send all the documents out in plain envelopes, but for the best results, we recommend having an address where we can send the documents where there is no chance of them being seen, e.g. a work address, or an address with a neighbour or relative.

How long does a transfer take?

Transfer times on registrations do vary. Certificates from the "Make Your Own Plate/Prefix Plates" Section and "New Style Plates" Section are usually dispatched and received by the buyer within 3 to 5 working days. This does, of course, exclude any postal strikes or similar hold ups that are beyond our control. Other registrations usually take between 3 to 5 weeks to complete (upon receipt of correct documentation, where appropriate), but ALL reg transfers can take up to a maximum of 12 weeks.

Are there any delivery costs?

There are no additional delivery costs associated with purchasing a registration.

I've received my tax disc and MOT but not my V5 (logbook), where is it?

After a transfer is completed, the V5 log book is sent to Swansea for the necessary amendments to be made. This can take up to several weeks after the actual transfer is completed. You CAN use your new plates as soon as you have the tax disc, you don't need the log book.

I've accidentally filled in the wrong section of the V317 form; do I need a new one?

No, just send it back to us with the correct section completed and we can use correction fluid to sort it out.

I've allowed my certificate of entitlement to expire, what do I do now?

If the certificate has expired, it is very difficult to get it renewed. If the certificate is in your own name, then you have to send it to the DVLA Licensing Centre in Swansea along with a note giving a very good reason as to why it has expired and why they should renew it. ("I forgot" won't work; the DVLA will NOT renew it). If the certificate is in our name, then you must return it to us along with a note as above. However, please be aware that as well as the standard renewal fee of £25, we also charge an administration fee of £40.

I've been told that the donor vehicle has been called in for an inspection. What does this mean?

An inspection is where the DVLA check that the donor car is using the plates legally, by comparing the car chassis number with its log book. Whilst these checks do not happen very often they will slow down the transfer process by at least a week. This is primarily done for the safety of the person buying the plates. If it turns out that the car is stolen, then the DVLA can take the registration back, even after the transfer has been completed.

I've had plates made up, but have been informed that the transfer will not be going ahead. Will you compensate me?

No. We do state in our paperwork that you should not have any plates made until AFTER you have received your tax disc or certificate.

I cannot find the reg I want on your website. Can you find out who owns it?

Not really. The only people who have access to that sort of information are the Police and the DVLA and neither of them will divulge it as it is covered by the Data Protection Act. The only hope you have got of finding the owner is if you spot the car on the road.

I know I can't put a registration on a car that's newer than the vehicle. What about Irish marks?

Irish registration marks are effectively dateless. They can go onto a vehicle of any age, making them an attractive way of hiding the age of your car.

I've bought a reg from you, but it is still appearing on your website, what does this mean?

Unfortunately it is unfeasible to update our website as soon as a plate is sold, so in a lot of cases plates appear on our site that have already gone. In these cases the plates are NOT available and will NOT be sold again. If you are really worried about this, please give us a call and we will manually update the record on our database.

I've sold a reg elsewhere that I advertised on your site, but it is still appearing as available. What do I do?

Let us know as soon as possible if you sell your registration elsewhere, this saves everybody a lot of time and effort and stops us contacting you in connection with the reg via phone calls, emails and letters.

My reg appears on your website but I can't remember giving you permission to advertise it. How can this happen?

If the registration has previously been for sale with a previous owner and they failed to inform us that it was sold, then it can appear that way. We also keep a close watch on the trade magazines such as Autotrader and the Sunday Times. This means that even after you have given up advertising the plate, we have a record of it and could still find you a buyer. If you do not want your plate to be advertised by us, then feel free to give us a call and we will remove the registration from our files.

I am looking to sell my reg but don't know what it is worth, can you help?

Simply complete our online, FREE, no obligation number plate valuation form and we'll tell you instantly how much we think your reg is worth. Please note that we will also put your details onto our database and keep a record of the mark to assist us in answering questions about it if registrations were ever issued. If you'd like your details removing from our system, please just tell us and we'll be happy to oblige.

You have sent me a quote for a plate, but I don't agree with your valuation, what do I do?

Simply write the new figure on the quote card before you return it to us. Please remember that we have been in this business for a long time and we try to send out quotes that are realistic. Whilst a plate may be worth several thousand pounds to the right person, it is more likely to sell at a slightly lower price, as it will appeal to more people. Occasionally people feel that we quote too highly as they are after a fast sale, in these cases, feel free to change the amount by as much as you like.
If your valuation was issued online, just follow the instructions in the valuation email and you can tailor the quote to your liking.

Can I misspace the characters on my numberplate so it looks like a word or a name?

Whilst there are certain characters that look similar to letters or words, (e.g. 1 and 3 together can look like a B, 13). It is illegal to try and misspace the plate in any way. If the Police notice this, there can be a fine of up to £1000 levied against the offending individual.

What is the Retention Scheme?

The Retention Scheme is where a registration mark is taken off a vehicle and placed onto a certificate of entitlement. This then allows the owner to transfer the plate to another vehicle at their convenience, and means that they can sell or scrap the donor vehicle. Only plates registered in Great Britain are eligible for this scheme. Plates from Northern Ireland cannot be put onto retention directly. They must first be registered in England, which will incur further costs.

Where can I download DVLA Transfer and Retention Forms?

You can download DVLA Transfer and Retention forms directly from our page, Downloadable DVLA Forms.

This information is supplied for interest and because it covers most common questions we are asked.
But you are buying through us because we know what we're doing! So relax!