DVLA rules for transferring number plates

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Can I transfer my registration number?

Are you planning to transfer a personal registration number from one vehicle to another? Here are a few things you should know before you apply to transfer your number plate.....

Only the registered keeper of the donor vehicle can apply to transfer a registration number

That is, the person named on the V5 log book of the donor vehicle.

The registration number should be transferable

Some registration numbers may be marked as ‘non-transferable’. Check your V5 / V5C Registration Document (log book), before applying to transfer a number plate.

The number to be transferred should not make the receiving vehicle appear newer than it is. If the number you are transferring has a registration number year identifier you will not be able to transfer it to another vehicle which is older than the year identifier.


Both vehicles should be licensed

If the tax disc on the donor vehicle has expired, you may still be able to transfer the registration number without renewing the tax – if it expired less than 12 months ago, and was declared as SORN straightaway. If you applied for a tax refund, however, then you cannot transfer the number plate.

If the receiving vehicle does not have a valid license (tax disc), you will have to apply for this at the same time.

The vehicle should be MOT’d

Before applying to transfer a number plate, make sure the vehicle has an MOT. The DVLA may decide to inspect your vehicle before approving the transfer. So expect to be asked to produce your vehicle at the nearest DVLA office.
if your vehicle does not have a current MOT, you may still be able to apply to transfer the registration number (you will be asked to produce the last MOT certificate). Contact your local DVLA Office for advice.
You don’t need an MOT if your vehicle is not old enough to be tested.

The donor vehicle should be ‘testable’

Some vehicles do not fall under the MOT testing scheme, such as tractors and electrically propelled vehicles (for example, milk floats). But they do still carry a number plate. You cannot sell a number plate from this type of vehicle.  

What about motorbikes?

The rules are the same for transferring a number plate to or from a motorbike or moped.

Q and NIQ registration numbers
These registration numbers can not be transferred.
How to transfer a personalised number plate
How to sell a number plate on The Plate Market

Local DVLA offices - address and map

This information is for your guidance only. It is not intended as a definitive guide or a formal contract. You should refer to the DVLA for full rules and regulations.