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Friendly Expert Service Since 1997
VRM Swansea. DVLA RNPS:3166
Shirley holding number plate
9.9 out of 10 based on
10,000+ reviews
9.9 out of 10
based on 10,000+ reviews
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Use a private registration

After you buy

Buying a personalised number plate as a gift? Don’t worry—we know how to keep a secret! We offer a number of services designed to help you surprise that special person but here’s a very important tip:

Once the transfer assignment is submitted to the DVLA, the new documents will be sent by them directly to the keeper of the vehicle. If this person is supposed to be the surprised recipient of this special gift, then we advise delaying the transfer assignment until just after their special day.

The services we can offer vary depending on whether you are buying a new, previously unissued personalised number plate or a pre-owned personalised number plate (our website will tell you which). To find out more about these types of registration mark, please visit the Plate Status area. Plate Status area.

Plates4Less kept everything a secret until Jackie's birthday—she was really surprised and delighted!

Linda, Wakefield

New registration marks—choosing your transfer option

Do-it-Yourself Transfer Assignment

We'll send you the official government certificate, known as a V750 Certificate of Entitlement, bearing the new registration mark. When you are ready to complete the transfer assignment you can either handle this yourself or let the person you are buying for take care of it. The V750 is valid for 10 years and can be renewed for longer if necessary. Once the registration mark is assigned to a vehicle there is no expiry date to worry about and no ongoing fees.

For more information about this service check out these areas:


Done-for-You Transfer Assignment—transfer immediately

If the vehicle documents are all in place then the transfer can be completed straight away. The vehicle documents will be exchanged for new ones that show the new personalized numberplate, usually with 2 weeks. Alternatively, if you would like the transfer completed for a special date, let us know and we will aim to complete the transfer as close to that date as possible.

For more information about this service check out these areas:


Done-for-You transfer service—later transfer

If you have opted to delay the transfer of a previously unissued private registration, then you will have a full 10 years from the purchase date before you need to assign it to a vehicle; this period can be extended if needs be. Please be assured that as soon as we receive your documents we will act on completing your transfer, unless you request otherwise.

To find out more about transferring at a later date take a look at our New registration marks – later transfers area.


Vehicle dealer liaison

If you have opted for us to liaise with your vehicle dealership, assigning your new private registration mark couldn’t be easier!

Once you have placed your order and we have made contact by telephone with your vehicle dealership, we will send them the V750 Certificate of Entitlement so that they can register the private registration to your new vehicle; you can then drive away in your shiny new car, complete with an eye-catching personal registration mark!

In order for us to successfully liaise with your dealership, you will need to provide at least 10 days’ notice prior to your vehicle collection date.

Whilst most vehicle dealers are more than happy to liaise with us, we suggest that you check with them first out of courtesy. If the dealer is not willing to liaise with us for any reason, then we can complete the transfer for you once you have taken possession of the vehicle.

When you decide to change your vehicle in the future, you can transfer your private registration mark over to your new one, provided that your new vehicle is of a suitable age to receive the mark, or you can retain it to a V778 Certificate of Retention. Your old vehicle will be issued with a standard age-related registration mark, normally the one that was on it before your own private registration.

To find out more about transferring private registrations to another vehicle check out our DVLA Processes and Regulations section.


New registration marks—your extras

Gift options

If you selected the 'Gift' option during the checkout process, all our mail will be sent in plain envelopes so that we can carry out the private registration transfer without your special someone finding out. If you’ve ordered a gift certificate, this will be sent to you the same day that your order is placed (excluding weekends and bank holidays) as long as your order is placed before 2pm. We use Royal Mail's Special Delivery service, which is guaranteed by 1pm the next week day (excluding bank holidays). Someone will need to be at the delivery address to sign for the gift certificate, so if you would like to delay the sending, or if you want it to be delivered on a Saturday, just contact our friendly after-sales team (opens in a new window).


Replacement number plates

In order for us to legally supply you with your new acrylic number plates we are required by law to see proof of identification of the purchaser. Acceptable forms of ID include:

  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • National identity card
  • Bank or building society debit or credit card statement (not online)
  • Utility bill (water, gas, or electricity) (not online), dated within the last 6 months
  • Council tax bill
  • Landline telephone bill
  • Police warrant card
  • Armed forces identity card

We only need to see a copy; there’s no need to send an original document for your ID. You will receive a postage-paid return envelope in your confirmation letter which you can use to send this to us. Your proof of ID will be sent back to you and no personal financial details will be recorded or retained. As soon as we receive proof of identity we can arrange for your plates to be dispatched by Royal Mail.

If you didn’t order number plates but want to add them on at a later date, simply contact our after-sales team (opens in a new window).

If you placed an order and have queries about what happens now, visit our Frequently Asked Questions or contact our after-sales team (opens in new window).


Pre-owned registration marks—your transfer options

Transfer to a registered vehicle now

If you already have the vehicle, we can assign your new private registration mark within 4 to 6 weeks of receiving the necessary documents from you. The confirmation letter we send you will ask you to send your vehicle documents to us in the postage-paid envelope provided. We will require your documents within three weeks from the date of purchase.


Transfer to a vehicle later

As these private registrations are owned by a third party, the most secure way to take possession of them is to transfer them to a vehicle straight away. If you don’t have a vehicle, or would like to delay the transfer, this is possible but there are different processes involved which are dependent on whether the private registration is currently held on a government certificate or assigned to a vehicle.

If the registration mark is currently assigned to a vehicle we can retain it for you so it will be held on a new government holding (retention) certificate for 10 years. You can renew the certificate every 10 years until you are ready to use it. Once it has been assigned to a vehicle there is no such time limit to worry about and there are no ongoing cost.

If the private registration mark is already held on a certificate the process is different. For security reasons the DVLA retention scheme prevents the direct change of ownership of government certificates such as a V750 Certificate of Entitlement or V778 Certificate of Retention. In order to change ownership of the rights to a private registration currently being held on a certificate, we will need to assign it to a vehicle and then re-retain it onto a new government certificate, with your details as the new owner.

We can offer a ‘Donor Vehicle’ service for this purpose. If would like to use the Donor Vehicle service for the transfer of rights, please see the additional price breakdown below:

Price breakdown for this service
Use of Donor vehicle £132.50 (inc. VAT)
Standard Government Retention Fee £80.00
Total cost £212.50 (inc. VAT)

Alternatively, you could have the private registration assigned to the vehicle of a friend or relative* and then retain it again in your details, paying the £80 Government transfer fee.

*Please be very careful because once your new registration is on your friend’s or relative’s vehicle, technically, they own it!

The private registration will then be held on a government certificate that is valid for 10 years. It can be renewed after this period if necessary and you can keep renewing until you are ready to use the registration, keeping it on a certificate until you’re ready. For example, you could purchase the private registration for a young child and renew it until they are old enough to drive - a fabulous idea for a seventeenth birthday present!

To find out more about transferring at a later date, take a look at our Pre-owned registration marks – later transfers area.


Pre-owned registration marks—your extras

Gift options

If you selected the 'Gift' option during the checkout process, all of our mail will be sent in plain envelopes so that we can carry out the number plate transfer without that someone special finding out.

Please note that we do need to put our return address on all mail for safe delivery. This will simply say: VRM SWANSEA, PO Box 465, Swansea, SA1 8YN. There will be no mention of number plates or registration marks on the envelopes.


Replacement number plates

We can only send out the replacement number plates once we have received notification from the DVLA that your transfer has been completed successfully. In order for us to legally supply you with your acrylic number plates, we are required to see proof of identification of the purchaser. Acceptable forms of ID include:

  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • National identity card
  • Bank or building society debit or credit card statement (not online)
  • Utility bill (water, gas, or electricity) (not online), dated within the last 6 months
  • Council tax bill
  • Landline telephone bill
  • Police warrant card
  • Armed forces identity card

You will receive a postage-paid return envelope in your confirmation letter. Your proof of ID will be sent back to you and no personal financial details will be recorded or retained. As soon as we receive one of these documents, we can arrange for your plates to be dispatched by Royal Mail.

If you didn’t order number plates but want to add them on at a later date, simply contact our after-sales team (opens in a new window).

If you have placed an order and have queries about what happens now, visit our Frequently Asked Questions or (opens in new window).