How to Retain a Number Plate

Updated February 21, 2017

A number plate is a plate that holds the registration number of a car in the United Kingdom. It's the U.K. equivalent of a number plate in the United States. If you sell or otherwise dispose of your car, you can keep the number plate and transfer it to a new vehicle. You can also transfer the number plate to someone else, so if you sell your car to a family member and they like the plate, they can keep it.

Complete form V317, application to transfer or retain a vehicle registration number. You'll need to supply information like the vehicle's chassis number and the registered keeper of the vehicle.

Locate your nearest Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

Send the completed V317 form along with a check. The fee varies according to how long you want to keep the number: £107 for one year, £133 for two years or £159 for three years. You also need to send a test certificate if your vehicle is more than three years old and the registration certificate. If the DVLA does not want to inspect your vehicle, you should get your confirmation letter, authorisation letter and tax disc in about two weeks.


You must renew a retention document before it expires, otherwise the number may be assigned to another vehicle.

Things You'll Need

  • V317 application
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About the Author

Stephanie Ellen teaches mathematics and statistics at the university and college level. She coauthored a statistics textbook published by Houghton-Mifflin. She has been writing professionally since 2008. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from State University New York, a master's degree in math education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from National University.