What does a number plate on retention mean?

What does a number plate on retention mean? 

Private number plates are often bought either because the hold sentimental value, or because the buyer is looking to sell the plate on and make a profit in the future. Either way, if you decide to put the plate on a vehicle, and later want to remove it, either to sell or scrap the vehicle, this is known as retaining the number plate. 

When you apply to retain a number plate, it is a fairly simple process that can be completed either online or via post. Once it has been completed you will receive a Certificate of Retention, proving you are the legal owner of the number plate. 

What documents do I need? 

There are certain documents you will need if you decide to retain your number plate. Along with the application, you will need to provide the DVLA with the V5C (logbook) or the vehicle the number plate is being removed from. This is to prove that you are the legal owner of both the vehicle and the number plate and the vehicle is registered with the DVLA. 

Along with this, you will need to provide proof that your vehicle has been taxed, or declared SORN (Statuary Off Road Notification) for the last 5 years and has a valid MOT. 

Once you have all of the documentation ready, you will be prepared to complete the application to retain the number plate. 

How to do I put a number plate on retention? 

Now you have everything you need, it’s time to apply to have the number plate retained, which you can either do online or via post. If applying online, you will need to visit the DVLA website and search for the V317 form. From here, the registered keeper of the vehicle must fill out section 2 of the form. 

If, however, you no longer want to be the grantee of the number plate, you can pass this onto someone else and provide their details in section 4 of the application. This means that they will have the right to the registration number. 

The process is very similar if you wish to apply via post. You will simply need to print off the V317 form from the website, or collect one from your local large post office. From this point, you will need to send the form, along with all of your documents and a cheque of £80 to the DVLA offices. 

Once you have completed the application, along with your documents, you will need to pay £80 to have the plate removed and retained. Once this has been processed, and the DVLA don’t request to inspect your vehicle, you will receive a Certificate of Retention which will last for 10 years. If after 10 years you wish to keep your plate retained, you can re-apply free of charge. 

If you decide to transfer the number plate to another vehicle, then you will need to apply again on the DVLA website or via post. This can be done any time in the period that number plate has been trained. Similarly, if you wish to sell the number plate on, you will have to fill out another application to change the registered keeper of the plate to the buyer. Be aware that there are certain costs to this that you should include in your sales price. 

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