What to do with your Personalised Number Plate if your car has been written off

Car write off

Guide to what you need to do with your personalised number plate when your car is written off.

Car written off

You've had an accident in your car.

Your insurance company has decided it's beyond economic repair. In other words, it will cost more to repair than the value of the car itself. So the car will be written off.

What happens to my personalised number plate?

If you don't apply to remove your number plate from the car, you will lose it. You must put in an application to remove the registration number. Do this as soon as you know your car is written off. Don't wait till you've agreed on a settlement value.

How do keep my personalised number plate?

Speak to your insurance company. Tell them what you're doing.

If you don't have the car, ask your insurance company to make it available for the DVLA to inspect if needed. Or DVLA may ask for your insurer's engineers report.

Apply to the DVLA to remove your personalised number plate BEFORE handing your car documents to your insurance company.

You can either transfer the personalised number plate to another car if you have one, or place it on retention, and transfer it to a car later.

If your insurer sells settles the claim and sells the car before the personalised number plate is properly transferred / retained it goes to the new keeper and you lose it!

What do I need?

  1. DVLA V317 form: Application to Transfer or Retain a Registration Number
  2. V5C Registration Document for the car
  3. Valid MOT Certificate
  4. Copy of tax disc (don't apply for a refund till you've received official notification from the DVLA that the personalised number plate has transferred / retained)
  5. DVLA fee (details on V317 form).

The removal of the personalised number plate will take up to 4 weeks for the DVLA to process.

Some things to note:

  • Apply to DVLA as quickly as possible.
  • Talk to your insurer
  • If your car is written off remove your personalised number plate straightaway.

  Related information: Registration numbers and you - DVLA leaflet INF46  

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