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What happens to your old number plate when you change it?

August 13, 2019

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So, you want to buy a new number plate, then you might want to check out the DVLA or sites like this one? But what do you do with your old one? This is a question frequently asked by people that are looking to invest in a new number plate but aren’t sure what the rules are on getting rid of your old one. 

The DVLA have a lot of strict regulations when it comes to private number plates, and that doesn’t stop when it comes to removing your old one. We’ve broken it down so you’ve got all of the information you need to know when it comes to what to do with your old number plate. 

What will happen to my old plate? 

It may appear to be a confusing procedure, however, the DVLA have made it as simple as possible. When you buy a new private number plate you will need to inform the DVLA that you have a private plate and fill out all of the appropriate paperwork. From here you can attach the plate to your vehicle before you drive it. You also need to inform your insurance company that you’ve changed your plate otherwise it may make your insurance invalid if you have an accident or are a victim of theft. 

From here, the DVLA will inform you that you need to keep hold of your old number plate. This is essential because the number plate will be reassigned to the same vehicle if you decide to get rid of the private number plate or sell the vehicle without the number plate. 

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What if I don’t want to use my private plate yet? 

If you don’t want to use your private number plate straight away then you need to put it on retention. In order to do so, you need to fill out a V317 document on the DVLA website and fill out section B. You can either apply online or via post. The only cost that you will incur is £80 to retain the number plate and this will allow you to keep it for 10 years whilst it is not placed on a vehicle. Once the 10 years have passed and you intend to keep the number plate retained, you must re-apply with another V317 document. 

When you retain your number plate, you will receive a Certificate of Retention which proves that you still own the plate and it hasn’t been placed onto another vehicle. This document is also essential if you decide to eventually sell the number plate as it is proof that you own it. 

How do I put my private number plate onto a vehicle? 

If you want to assign your private number plate to another vehicle then you can do so by filling out the V317 form and this time choosing section A. This will also cost £80 and you will be required to give information about the vehicle the plate is taken off and the vehicle it is being transferred too. From here, the DVLA will most likely assign your old number plate to the vehicle which is why it is important to keep hold of it. 

Now you know what to do with your old number plate if you decide to get a private one. Ensure you keep hold of it in-case the private plate is removed and keep hold of any documentation sent by the DVLA. 

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