DVLA offers a very unique retention service which allows number plate owners to move their registration mark offline and figuratively ‘stored’ inside a certificate. This service permits registration mark owners to safely retain possession of their valuable private number plate even if they sell the vehicle previously associated with it. Moreover, the retention can be redeemed at a future date once there is a suitable vehicle ready to be assigned to.
Retention of a registration mark is an exceptionally easy process. First, you need to disassociate the mark from the vehicle. Simply go to DVLA’s website (between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.), and enter the requested details. Your personalised plate number will almost instantly be disassociated from the vehicle (could take a couple of hours during very peak periods). The vehicle will then be automatically assigned with a new random alphanumeric permutation.
If you are a Luddite or have no access to the internet, please head over to a nearby Post Office and ask for form V317. Complete the form and mail it to DLVA.
In order to retain a number plate registration, you will need to meet the following requirements.
• Be the registered owner of the vehicle associated with the registration mark
• The vehicle must be declared SORN for the last five years or taxed
• The vehicle must be available for inspection, if required
• There must be no “non-transferable” remark inscribed in the log book
Upon receipt of your application, DVLA will evaluate it and respond within two weeks. If they are satisfied with the request, they will mail the retention certificate (V778) along with a new log book (V5C). However, if DVLA require a vehicle inspection, the process could stretch to a maximum four months.
Once you are ready to assign the mark to a new vehicle, please complete the V778 (Retention certificate), attach your log book (or use the 11 digit Document Reference Number for online applications) and mail it to DVLA Swansea. There is a fee of £105 (assignment fee is £80m, while the first year retention fee is £25) which is payable by credit card. If you are sending the application by mail, please remember to include a cheque or postal order of £105 payable to DVLA Swansea.
Important: Your insurance company must be kept apprised whenever the registration mark of a vehicle is changed. Otherwise, the insurance company have the right to void your insurance coverage.