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Legal Procedure to Retain Number Plates in the UK

It can be a hassle to transfer or retain your vehicle registration. The process is outlined in the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994, and it’s important that you follow it to avoid any fines or penalties from the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency). However, by following the correct steps, anyone can apply for the transfer or retention of a registration mark or 3d gel number plates UK.

What are the Rules for Retaining a Registration Mark?

If you have owned your vehicle for more than 12 months, the DVLA will issue you with a certificate of entitlement. You can then apply for your registration number to be transferred to another vehicle that meets the same criteria.

When Can’t You Keep Your Number Plate?

If you have a different vehicle than the one listed on your certificate of entitlement, then you cannot retain the registration mark. If you want to keep the registration mark for a vehicle that is not roadworthy, then again, you won’t be able to retain it. However, if you can get your car repaired under warranty or otherwise have it up and running within 12 months from when it became unroadworthy (assuming there are no other reasons why it’s unroadworthy), then DVLA may let you keep your plates until this time period has passed.

Finally, if your car is over 10 years old and its value has dropped significantly since purchase (due to depreciation), then DVLA may allow you to retain your plates while they determine if not they will charge any fees associated with future transfers of ownership (such as excise duty).

How Do I Retain a Number Plate?

The first factor here that you may need to do is apply to DVLA. This can be done by sending them an email or filling out a form on their website, which asks for your name, postal address, contact number and email address. You must also include details of the vehicle and its registration number (if you already have one). Once they receive your document they will send out a certificate of entitlement (V5C) in the post. The cost of this legal document actually varies but it costs around £25.

The Process for Re-Attaching Your Registration Mark

The first step to re-attaching your registration mark is to apply for a certificate of entitlement. This document will prove that the vehicle was registered in your name and show the legal owner of that vehicle. You can then go ahead and apply for a certificate of registration, which will show you as being legally entitled to have number plates on your car or bike. If you’re planning on selling or disposing of any vehicles, this would be a good time to do so because it makes the process faster (and less costly). Finally, once those two documents are in place, all that remains is applying for a certificate of retention. A simple formality that ensures everything has gone smoothly with previous applications while making sure they don’t get lost along with other documents!

V5C Logbook (Certificate of Registration) Retention

If you want to retain your registration mark, the steps below will show you how. You should apply immediately after selling or transferring a vehicle on which your registration mark is displayed. Otherwise, the new owner of your old car will be able to continue using it with their own number plates.

To apply for retention of a number plate:

  • Fill in V62 application form (PDF) and return it to DVLA with payment of £31.50; or
  • Apply online at gov.uk/keep-your-number-plate

How Much Does It Cost to Apply for a Certificate of Entitlement Online?

The cost of applying for a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) depends on the type of application. You can apply online, by post or by courier.

The cost of each option is as follows:

  • Online service – free
  • Paper form – £10
  • Postal service – £12
  • Courier service – £15 (for cars only) or £20 for all other types of applications

All applicants must pay a fee which covers the processing and administrative costs associated with their chosen option.

Registration mark

Anyone can apply for the transfer or retention of a registration mark. You do not have to be the owner of the vehicle. The process is free and you must make your application within 3 months of the change in ownership.


There are many reasons why people want to retain their registration mark. In most cases, it’s because they have a sentimental attachment to it or they just like the way it looks on their car. Whatever your reason may be, we hope this post has helped you understand how easy it is to retain a number plate in the UK.

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