Number plate Retention Document V778

What is a DVLA Retention Document V778?

In the UK, you can hold private registration on a certificate if it is not assigned to a vehicle. When you remove a registration number and put it on retention, you will receive a V778 Retention Document from the DVLA. You should keep this safe, until you are ready to transfer it to your vehicle.

DVLA Retention Certificate V778

What does a Retention Document V778 look like?

The image shows a  DVLA V778 Retention Document for a number plate.

Your personalised number plate is held on retention if you do not have a car to put it on. You can hold it on Certificate till you are ready to put it on a vehicle. The Certificate has an expiry date (up to 10 years). Be careful not to let it expire.

You can apply to remove your personalised registration number from your car. You might want to do this if you're either selling your car [what to do with your private number plate when selling your car] or if you decide to sell your private number plate.

If you have a PINK certificate, see DVLA V750 Certificate of Entitlement


How does a DVLA number plate Retention Certificate work?

Some facts about the DVLA Retention Document V778

  • A personalised registration number either sits on a vehicle or it's held on a Retention Certificate. Never both.
  • You can transfer the personalised registration number from the Certificate to a car (or other vehicle) at any time before expiry date.
  • You can continue to hold a private number plate on retention for as long as you need, but you must keep the Certificate up to date.
  • The car must be in either the name of the "Grantee" or the "Nominee". If it's someone else's name, the Nominee name has to be changed. Only the person named as Grantee is authorised to do this. The Grantee name cannot be changed.
  • You cannot make a car look newer than it is by transferring a newer registration number to it - even if it's a personalised one.

DVLA Retention Certificate V778 how does it work

What do the parts on the Retention Certificate mean?

When you apply to put a private number plate on retention you will receive this Certificate from the DVLA. It has a number of things printed on it.

  • Grantee.
    The person named as Grantee on the V778 Retention Certificate is the person who has rights over the use of the registration number.
  • Registration number.
    This is the private registration number that's been held on retention.
  • Nominee.
    There may be a name in the Nominee section. This allows the registration number to be transferred to car in the name of the Nominee. This section may say "Not Applicable".
  • Expiry date.
    The Certificate has an expiry date. The registration number must be transferred to a vehicle before the expiry date. If you're not in a position to do that, you will have to extend the Certificate further. Full instructions are on the back of the V778 Certificate. 

You may also find these articles useful:

Other DVLA number plates forms and documents

How do I put a private number plate on retention?

How do I transfer a private number plate from a V778 Retention Document to a vehicle?

How do I renew my DVLA Retention Certificate? - we're working on this page

How do I change the name on my V778 Retention Certificate? - we're working on this page

How do I change the address on my Retention Document? - we're working on this page

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