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Personalised Number Plates FAQ
NUMBER PLATES INFORMATION SERVICES -Your Question And Answers on Owning a Personalised Number Plate
Q1: What happens to my old number plates?
Q2: Do I need to inform my insurers that I have a new registration mark?
Q3: Getting your new number plates made up?
Q3: Once I own a private number plate can I transfer it when I change my vehicle?
Q4: What is the Government retention scheme?
Q5: What if my vehicle is stolen and not recovered or ‘written off’?

Q1: What happens to my old number plates?

If you have the space, then put these into storage because you may be able to re-instate your old registration to your vehicle when you come to change it, although there are no guarantees (and you may just get a registration mark which relates to the age of your vehicle). ...Top

Q2: Do I need to inform my insurers that I have a new registration mark?

Yes, remember to tell them in writing that 'In the event of a total loss claim...' whereby they effectively buy your vehicle (or what's left of it) off you due to theft, or as a 'right off', '...the registration mark will remain your property'.
Get them to acknowledge this request in writing.
They do not normally make a charge for issuing a new cover note in these circumstances or for complying with this request. ...Top

Q3: Getting your new number plates made up

New laws
Legislation started on 1 January 2003 requires all number plate suppliers in England and Wales to register their details with DVLA *. From that date a business not registered will be unable to trade as a number plate supplier. It is expected that Scotland and Northern Ireland will follow shortly but at the time of writing they are not required by law to be registered. Why the need for these new laws?
To control the supply of number plates so that there is less chance of a vehicle driver avoiding the law by the use and fitting of false number plates.

How am I affected?
This will affect you if you have bought a personalised registration number or have entitlement to a registration mark and want to have the plates made up. They should only be made up with a registered supplier for your own safety as these manufacturers are known to the government and the likelihood that they will pass your personal details onto any unscrupulous third parties is lower than if they were not registered. If you would like to check if your supplier is registered then the register can be found online at . This also applies if you have to replace your number plate after the 1 January 2003 for other reasons eg accidental damage.

What will I have to do?
To have your number plate made up you will need to go to a registered supplier taking with you proof of entitlement to the mark which could be one of the following:

  • Vehicle Registration Document (V5).
  • Certificate of Entitlement to a mark (V750).
  • Cherished Transfer Retention Document (V778).
  • Vehicle Licence Renewal (V11).
  • Authorisation slip from DVLA local office with official DVLA stamp. This will apply when DVLA authorises a customer to buy plates bearing a particular registration mark, e.g. when applying to assign the mark to a vehicle but before you have had the plates made up. If you are applying by post the authorisation slip will be sent to you. This will also apply in the case of a cherished transfer.
  • Certificate of Vehicle Registration (V379).
  • Vehicle Export Certificate.
  • A letter of authority from fleet operators on company headed notepaper with contact details.

    You will also need to provide proof of your personal details which could be :

  • A current photocard driving licence (preferred) or
  • Bank/building society statement or a recent utility bill with one of the following :
  • Current paper driving licence.
  • Credit/debit card with photograph.
  • Travel pass card with photograph.
  • Foreign national identity card.

    Bought as a gift

    If you have bought a number as a gift or are having the plates made up for someone else and have no entitlement to the mark then the proof of personal details should be yours. Proof of personal details should be the actual person who is going to have the plates made up. If you have ordered a new vehicle Simply provide your motor dealer with the appropriate proof of entitlement and they will make up the plates for you as they already hold your vehicle details. ...Top

Q4: Once I own a private number plate can I transfer it when I change my vehicle?

Yes, provided your next vehicle is the same age or younger than the one you have now. The transfer fee is presently £80 and this includes putting an age-related number plate on the vehicle you are selling, although you will also be required to buy a new set of plates to match, before you sell it. ...Top

Q5: What is the Government retention scheme?

Once you have a number plate on a vehicle you are the registered keeper of, you have the sole right to transfer it to another vehicle or to a holding (retention) certificate. You will be required to pay one £80 future transfer fee in advance, in the first instance. ...Top

Q6: What if my vehicle is stolen and not recovered or ‘written off’?

Your right to your personal registration mark remains your property provided that you have informed your insurers (above).

The Government will allow your personal registration mark to be assigned to a new vehicle you are the keeper of, 12 months after the incident was reported to them. This is to allow time for the vehicle to be recovered and properly written off by them. ...Top

NB: If you follow these instructions you do not need to insure your number plate, (although there are agents who will try to sell you an insurance policy).


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Important Private Number plates and DVLA Information

DVLA is the government agency responsible for all regulatory matters related to the issue and display of private number plates and car registrations in the UK. The DVLA acronym means Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and its head quarters are here in Swansea from where it controls all UK private registration plates. It was formerly called the DVLC standing for Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre but this title was changed in 1990 and so is now obsolete. In Northern Ireland the government agency responsible for controlling and issuing Northern Ireland format (commonly known as Irish) registrations was the DVA, this is an acronym meaning the Driver Vehicle Agency.
DVLA is a registered trade mark of the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency. We liaise with the agency on a daily basis but VRM Swansea Plates4less is in no way affiliated to the DVLA or DVLA Personalised Registrations.
All personalised number plates and personal registration marks mentioned in this site are British i.e. issued and controlled by the DVLA Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency here in Swansea. They are only for display on vehicles registered in the UK and Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland format registrations are commonly known as 'Irish' registrations prior to the separation of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Any reference to 'Irish' registrations on this page relate to registration marks now known as 'Northern Ireland format' registrations.

Personal Number plates : Follow the law
As responsible personalised number plates agents we feel it is important that our visitors and customers understand the law regarding the supply and display of cherished number plates as they are valuable assets and should be protected. It was once possible to buy cheap number plates from any private car numberplates maker without any evidence of your entitlement to the car registration numbers. These days you need to provide the private registration plates manufacturer with a V948 number plate authorisation certificate which is issued by the DVLA only after your keeper’s entitlement has been checked. Your numberplates are an important identifying feature of your vehicle and can be cloned to provide a false identity to any vehicle for those engaged in vehicle related crime. There are now many stories that tell of speeding fines collected in areas of the UK where car owners have never visited, due to the display of duplicate number plates  by criminals.

The law on the display of vehicle registration numbers is now very strict and personal number plates owners may not use decorative or fancy fonts. Letters and numbers must be of the correct size, style and spacing with private registration plates also conforming to strict British Standards in their materials and manufacture. To break the law on the manufacture and display means you risk having your entitlement to your cherished registration plates permanently withdrawn and face a substantial fine of up to £1000. Incorrectly displayed private plates or personalised reg marks will be enough to make your vehicle fail its MOT test.

 VRM Swansea Plates4less is a DVLA registered number plate supplier (supplier no: 3166) and a recognised reseller of DVLA Personalised registrations. In recognition of this fact we only supply fully road legal number plates. DVLA, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, DVA NI Driver and Vehicle Agency Northern Ireland, are registered trademarks

See also: Private Car Registrations | Registration Numbers | Registration Plates | Northern Ireland Format Number Plates | Private Number Plates