Personal Number Plates Dealer
01582 967777
8am - 10pm 7 days a week

0% Finance available

Retaining Car Registration Numbers and Car Registration Plates

How to take the registration number off a car and save it on a retention document/certificate

There are times when someone may want to take the registration number off their car. It may be because they want to sell that registration number or give it as a gift. It may be because they want to sell their car but still keep the number. Of course, there can be other reasons too.

Luckily, it is possible to save and store car registration numbers in the form of a Retention Document. Here’s how it works...

  1. Make sure that the car from which the registration number is being removed is taxed or has been declared SORN. Your application to retain will fail if the vehicle isn’t taxed or SORN
  2. Download the form V317 from this location:
  3. On page 1 of the form, check the box to say that you want to take the number off a vehicle and keep it on a retention document
    V317 Application form, page 1
  4. Go to page 2 and complete part 7 of the form with your car details and a contact phone number (the car details may be found on your V5C registration document - sometimes known as the “log book”)
  5. Complete part 9 of the form only if there is to be a change to ownership of the registration number
  6. Complete part 10 of the form only if a dealer is acting for you and you want them to receive correspondence and documentation on your behalf
    V317 Application form, page 2
  7. Send the completed V317 form and other required items (as listed in section 8 of the V317) to DVLA at the address on the form. You must send:

    a: The V317 form

    b: Your V5C vehicle registration document

    c: The retention fee

  8. Await the arrival of your V778 retention document and your new, updated V5C. DVLA will issue a replacement registration for your vehicle and that number will be shown on the V5C. If the number you are retaining was a private number plate then DVLA will usually reissue the registration number with which your vehicle was originally registered.
    V778 retention document, page 1
  9. When you have received your documentation, remove the number plates showing the retained registration number and fit plates to display the number now shown on the V5C registration document.

There is also an online retention facility at Just follow the  instructions. To apply online to retain your number you will need: