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The Uk's Largest number plate dealer

Established 1982

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Number Plates Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)  

We have many different types of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), so we've split them up into groups making it easier for you to find what you're looking for.

General FAQ

Why are you advertising my number for sale without my permission?

Regtransfers advertises numbers on behalf of most of the other UK registration dealers and for private sellers, our data comes from many different sources and errors may sometimes be present when the data is supplied to us. Also, there are occasions when a donor has failed to advise us of the sale and subsequent non-availability of a number.

When someone asks us to remove their number from our website and advertisements we always do so. However, if another dealer has also been advertising the number, and has not removed it from their list of numbers for sale, then sometimes the number may be in the lists of registrations that they send us to advertise for sale. This is very difficult for us to filter out.

If you have seen your registration listed and wish to provide us with further information, or want us to remove it from our adverts and website, please send an email to Please remember to specify the registration in question and the validation character from your V5C (log book) for confirmation.

How can I safeguard my entitlement to a number?

To preserve your entitlement to a number you must ensure that you have the number transferred to a Retention Document before the bearer vehicle is written off, scrapped or otherwise passes from your possession or keepership. Once a car is written off or scrapped it is not usually possible for the former owner to recover its registration number. Similarly if a car is sold, or keepership transferred to another party and the registration document updated, then the former owner normally loses entitlement to the registration. Another way to help safeguard entitlement is to ensure that your number plates comply with regulations. One of the possible penalties for displaying non-compliant plates is loss of entitlement (without compensation) to a registration.

What if my vehicle is stolen and not recovered?

If your vehicle is stolen and has not been recovered after a year you can apply to have its registration number reassigned to your replacement vehicle providing certain conditions are met. In order to qualify for the concession, the theft must have been notified to the police and recorded at DVLA as stolen for not less than 12 months. In addition, at the time of the theft the vehicle must have had a current test pass certificate and have had a current vehicle excise license (tax disc). The Agency will also require a letter from your insurers confirming that they have no objection to the number being re-issued. This must be provided because once insurers have settled your claim, they have a rightful claim to the vehicle should it be recovered.

What if my vehicle is "written off"?

A write-off happens when a damaged vehicle is judged by insurers to be beyond economic repair. In such a case, the insurance company agrees a pay-out with the insured, and legal ownership of the vehicle then passes to the insurance company. The company is then free to sell the vehicle as salvage and the purchaser may repair it and put it back on the road. Unless you transfer the registration to another vehicle or a retention document you risk losing your entitlement to that registration.

What if my vehicle has been scrapped?

Scrapping occurs when a vehicle is broken up for spares or otherwise destroyed. Once a vehicle ceases to exist its registration number is cancelled. If your vehicle has been scrapped, you will not be able to transfer its registration number. The person who actually breaks up or destroys the vehicle must notify the governing bodies that the vehicle has been scrapped and return the V5 registration document.

I have an old vehicle which is not registered at DVLA. Can I register the vehicle and transfer or retain its registration number?

It is usually possible for the vehicle to be registered by the governing bodies but you will not be able to transfer or retain its number. If you are able to supply documentary evidence (eg the old-style log book) to establish a link between the vehicle and the registration number, you may be able to register the vehicle under that number, otherwise the vehicle may still be registered but in this case a number appropriate to its age will be assigned. If the age or origin cannot be established, then a "Q" number may be assigned. Whatever the circumstances, however, the vehicle's registration number will be non-transferable.

My vehicle has a "Q" prefix registration number. Can it participate in the transfer and retention schemes?

No. Vehicles are assigned "Q" prefix registration numbers to draw attention to the fact that their origins or age are uncertain. "Q" numbers are therefore non-transferable and must remain with the vehicle unless documentary evidence which confirms its origins/age comes to light. In this case, the evidence should be sent to your nearest VRO who may then assign a replacement age-related number to the vehicle.

My V5/V5C registration document says my registration number is non-transferable. Can I transfer a cherished number onto my vehicle?

Yes. Although you cannot transfer or retain a non-transferable number, the vehicle can receive a registration number providing the non-transferable number is not a "Q" mark and providing the vehicle meets the normal conditions of the Sales, Transfer and retention schemes.

I have seen Northern Ireland registration numbers advertised. Can I transfer one onto my vehicle?

Yes providing the donor and recipient vehicles are registered at DVLA or on the NI Register. Similarly, you may transfer a GB number to a vehicle registered in NI. In either case the vehicles must, of course, meet the requirements of the transfer scheme.

Can I transfer a registration from an agricultural vehicle?

In most cases, no, because it is not permitted to transfer a registration mark if it is on a vehicle that does not require an MOT: for example, a tractor, steam roller, milk float etc.

FAQ about Buying a Registration Mark

Once I have bought a personalised registration mark, do I have to put it straight onto a vehicle?

No. If it has been supplied on a retention certificate you have until the expiry date shown on your V750 or V778 to put the mark onto a vehicle (or to renew the certificate).

What documents do I need to buy a registration number?

If you are buying a number to go onto a vehicle straight away then you will need to provide your V5C, MOT (where applicable) and a copy of your tax disc or a note of your current tax expiry date and serial number.

How much is the transfer fee?

£80 (+ an additional £25 if the registration is going to be held on retention with a certificate).

Why are some, but not all, registrations subject to VAT?

VAT is payable on sales of registrations owned by Regtransfers, on sales of government issue registrations, and those sold on behalf of third party vendors who are VAT registered. Registrations sold on behalf of third party vendors who are not VAT registered are not subject to VAT.

What happens to the registration that is currently on my vehicle if I buy a new registration?

You may choose to pay the Department for Transport fee and retain it, otherwise the registration is automatically made void. If you choose not to retain the number then you may dispose of the old plates when you fit your new ones.

How long does a transfer take?

We complete all transfers as quickly as possible. There is some variation in the time taken to complete depending upon the circumstances of the transfer in question. Please call 01582 967777 and ask an advisor for an estimate of how long your transfer will take.

If I am having my registration issued on a retention document what do I do when I receive the certificate and do I have to pay any more money at the VRO?

When you want to assign to a vehicle you will need to contact your local VRO and provide your vehicle documents: V5C, MOT if applicable and a copy of your tax disc or a note of your current tax expiry date and serial number. There is no additional cost.

How can I check the status of my transfer?

Upon completion of your purchase you will be given the option to create a tracking account that will give you access to our online tracking facility at Customers who have purchased from us before and who have already created their tracking account will be able to use their existing log in details.

Does the recipient vehicle need to be inspected like the donor vehicle?

Not usually. However, if for example significant changes had been made to the construction of the vehicle the authorities may want to inspect it. You would be notified if this was the case.

What restrictions apply to the transfer of a registration with a year letter?

You may not attempt to make a vehicle look newer than it actually is by displaying a registration bearing a more recent year identifier code (whether suffix, prefix or current style two-digit code). For example, you may not put a plate with an S year suffix on a car that originally carried an R suffix registration (or on any car older than that).

What happens if I need to tax or MOT my vehicle while the transfer is being processed?

In this case you should send the appropriate fee, your insurance certificate or cover note and the tax application form to us, ensuring that you state the old registration number on the application form. In the case of a new MOT please ensure that the garage issues the MOT certificate under the old registration and send the certificate to us immediately, with details of the registration mark you are purchasing. Regtransfers will have the MOT amended accordingly during the transfer procedure.

If the recipient vehicle already has a mark can I transfer that mark to another vehicle or to retention at the same time?

Yes. This kind of double transfer presents no problem for Regtransfers, but you will need to immediately supply us with the documents of the third vehicle involved and an extra £80 cheque payable to the Department for Transport. Regtransfers does not make any extra charge. If no third vehicle is available then the mark can normally be retained on a retention certificate. The current fee for that is £25, (plus the £80 transfer fee).

If I am buying a new unregistered vehicle can I transfer a number onto it?

Yes, this is usually easy enough. We will require the form V55 from your supplying garage (it is wise to check with the vehicle supplier first as certain vehicle franchises will NOT release V55 documents, for reasons that they would explain) plus your insurance certificate and cheque payable to Department for Transport for the road tax and £80 transfer fee. Due to the fact that the transfer time is uncertain it may be more appropriate to have a normal registration assigned by the garage supplying the vehicle while you are waiting for your transfer to complete. This would ensure that you have full use of the vehicle whilst the transfer is taking place.

Can I buy a personalised registration for my motorcycle or moped?

Yes, motorcycles and mopeds can participate freely in the registration transfer scheme.

FAQ about Selling a Registration Mark

Can I change the amount shown on the agreement that shall be returned to me?

Yes. However, please bear in mind that our price quotation is informed by the experience of hundreds of thousands of transfers and represents the price that we believe your registration mark can realistically achieve. If you insist on a price that is much higher than what we believe to be the true market value, then we may decline to advertise the registration mark on your behalf, as there would be little chance of success.

Do I have to pay for a new registration for my vehicle once mine has been sold?

No. Your vehicle will be automatically issued with an appropriate, random replacement number. There is no charge to you for the standard replacement registration.

When do I get paid?

Payment is made upon completion of the sale, which is either when the registration has been successfully assigned to the purchasers vehicle or, if the purchaser is having the number on a certificate, when we have the signed certificate correctly showing the purchaser as nominee. If the registration is being transferred from the seller's vehicle straight onto the purchaser's vehicle we will need to see a copy of the sellers new V5C (showing the replacement age-related registration) before payment can be made. Upon completion payment will be raised which can take up to 2 working days and will be sent out to you by first class post.

Can I cancel my agreement with Regtransfers to sell my registration?

You may cancel your agreement at any time before a buyer has been found, by sending notification by email to or by letter to: Registration Transfers Ltd, 139 High Street South, Dunstable, Beds, LU6 3SS. If a buyer is found then the agreement must be honoured.

My Vehicle is not taxed and has no current MOT. May I transfer the registration from it to another vehicle or to retention?

If the licence for the donor vehicle has expired or been refunded no more than 12 months prior to the date of application and a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) has been made, it may still be possible to transfer the mark. In order for a vehicle to qualify for this concession, there must be no break between the expiry/refund date of the licence disc and the commencement of SORN.

Can I scrap my vehicle before the sale of the number?

No. It is important that you don't dispose of the vehicle until the transfer has been fully completed and you have received all relevant amended documents. If you scrap or otherwise dispose of your vehicle too soon, it is likely that you may lose your entitlement to the registration.

My log book states the number on my vehicle is non-transferable. Can I still sell it?

No. If the registration document states that the registration number is non-transferable, then it cannot be transferred or retained on certificate.

My vehicle no longer exists but I still have the old V5/V5C/log book. Can I still transfer the registration number?

No. Once a vehicle has ceased to exist, entitlement to its number also expires regardless of possession of a log book or registration. If a vehicle has been scrapped, you are required by law to notify the Secretary of State and return the registration document to DVLA.

How will I know if you find a purchaser for my registration?

We will make every effort to contact you with all offers, even if they are less than the agreed price. Upon finding a buyer Regtransfers will contact you to request the documents necessary for completion of the transfer.

If my car is old enough to be exempt from the requirement to have an MOT test, does that mean I can transfer or sell its registration number without the usual need for a current MOT certificate?

No. Even if your vehicle is normally exempt, you will need to obtain a valid MOT certificate for the purpose of the registration transfer.

Can you transfer a registration from a vehicle registered in the Isle of Man

As the Isle of Man isn't part of the UK, they have a separate Registration System, so registrations cannot be transferred to a vehicle in the UK.

Can I part exchange or swap my registration?

We do not offer a part exchange or swap option, but we can market your registration.

How much commission do I have to pay you for selling my registration?

You instruct us regarding the price you require to be returned to you for the sale of your registration. When advertising your number for sale we will add a margin for our service. The price paid by the purchaser will cover both your required price and our profit margin. You receive the full amount agreed and do not have to pay us any additional commission.

Acrylic Number Plates

My vehicle was manufactured before 1 January 1973 but not registered until later. What type of number plate should I display?

Vehicles manufactured before 1973 are permitted to display the old style number plate with white or silver characters on a black background, as would have been common on vehicles registered before 1 January 1973. Alternatively, current regulation and standards compliant number plates may be displayed.

Is the Euro-plate compulsory?

No, it is optional. The provision is being introduced because the European Council issued a regulation in November 1998 requiring Member States to recognise the Euro-symbol on number plates in place of the traditional oval shaped national identifier sticker for travel within the European Union. It is for individual motorists to decide if they wish to use the new Euro-plate.

What is the effect of the Euro-plate on UK registered vehicles?

UK vehicles travelling in the European Union may still display the traditional oval "GB" sticker. Alternatively number plates incorporating the Euro-symbol may be used instead of the oval sticker. The oval national identifier sticker would still be required for vehicles on journeys outside the European Union.

Can other symbols (e.g. national flag, football team crest) be used on number plates?

Approved national flags and symbols may be displayed on vehicle number plates. These include the Union flag, Scottish Saltire, Cross of St George and Welsh Red Dragon. Football team crests and other emblems are not allowed.

Do I have to change my number plate if it is cracked or broken?

If the number plate is damaged in such a way that it makes the registration mark difficult to read, it must be replaced.

Are 3D characters allowed?

Yes, 3D characters are permitted providing they meet all the other requirements.

Is a honeycombed or other background pattern permitted?

No, overprinting including honeycomb or other background designs are not allowed.

Are stick-on number plates legal?

No, number plates must meet the British Standard requirements. We are not aware of any self-adhesive number plates that are able to meet these requirements.


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Dateless Registration
A dateless registration in one that does not contain a age/year identifier and which may, thus, be transferred to a vehicle of any age. These plates are popular amongst purchasers who wish to conceal the ages of their vehicles.

DfT, Department for Transport
Department for Transport is the parent government department responsible for DVLA and other matters relating to the UL transport networks.

In the context of personal number plates, the "donor" is the party who holds entitlement to display a registration and who must, therefore, authorise the transfer (by sale or other means) of that entitlement to the person who will next own the registration in question. In short, the donor is usually the seller of a number plate.

DoT, DOT, Department of Transport
Department of Transport was the name, from 1981 until 1997, of the government department now called the Department for Transport.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. This is the government agency responsible for maintaining records of drivers, vehicles and their licence status. The agency also collects Vehicle Excise Duty ("road tax"). DVLA issues new vehicle registration numbers, and is responsible for the administration and regulation of vehicle registrations and number plates, including personal number plates.

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New Release
A periodic issue of new registration by DVLA. New releases currently occur twice a year.

On a Retention Document, the Nominee is the person to whom the Grantee may assign entitlement to display a registration.

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Prefix Registration
A car registration in which the year of issue is indicated by a prefix letter code, as in the format: Y123 XXX, where "Y" is the year identifier. More information here.

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Receiver, Rec
The "receiver" is the person to whom entitlement to display a personal registration is transferred.

Road Fund Licence
An archaic term for Vehicle Excise Duty. Still in occasional colloquial use.

Road Tax
A common, unofficial, colloquial term for Vehicle Excise Duty.

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Suffix Registration
A car registration in which the year of issue is indicated by a suffix letter code, as in the format: XXX 123Y, where "Y" is the year identifier. More information here.

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Vehicle Excise Duty
Also know as Road Fund Licence and, commonly, as Road Tax.

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Can't find the answer here?

Telephone: 01582 967777

Fax: 01582 607713

Registration Transfers Limited,
Transfer House,
139 High Street South,

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