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Number Plates On Retention

Retained Registrations

If your registration is not to be held on a vehicle then your other option is to hold it on retention. This process provides you with a certificate showing your entitlement to the registration under certain criteria.

Similar to the vehicle transfer process, you need to be able to answer yes to certain questions for the vehicle the plate is intended for:

(* If the vehicle that currently has the registration is not taxed, retention is still possible provided that there is no break between the date the tax disc runs out and the start of the SORN, and the tax disc runs out no more than 12 months before the date you apply.)
Does your plate have a date identifier that makes it seem the same older than the vehicle it is proposed to be transferred to? YES or NO?
Is the vehicle of a type that needs an MOT or Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) test certificate and does it have a valid one? YES or NO?
Does your plate not start with Q or NIQ (these plates cannot be retained)? YES or NO?
Is the vehicle DVLA registered? YES or NO?
Is the vehicle available for inspection? YES or NO?

If yes to all of the above, and similar to the transfer process, you'll need to send the following to the DVLA:

  1. A completed V317 form – sections 2 and 4:
    V317 form
  2. The retention fee. This is:
    Period Price
    1 year £105 (£25 retention fee & £80 assignment fee)
    2 years £130 (£50 retention fee & £80 assignment fee)
    3 years £155 (£75 retention fee & £80 assignment fee)
  3. The registration certificate V5C or the new keeper supplement with completed V62 application.
  4. A valid test certificate (MOT or HGV) where the vehicle is required to have one.

What next?

Again, inform your insurance company of any changes and ensure the vehicle is available for inspection if required.

You will receive from the DVLA Local Office:

  1. A confirmation letter from the DVLA advising you of the replacement registration number.
  2. A new tax disc showing your replacement registration number.
  3. The V948 authorisation letter to get the physical number plates made up.
    Sample V948 document
    Above: Sample V948 document
  4. A replacement MOT/HGV certificate if one is required.

In addition you will receive from DVLA Swansea the following:

  1. The retention certificate V778 showing you as the grantee.
  2. A V5C registration document showing the replacement registration number.

Allow 4 weeks past getting your confirmation letter for the Local Office for this.

Renewing or updating your V778 Retention Document

You should receive a reminder letter from the DVLA around 4 weeks before the retention document expires. I’d also advise using the free SMS reminder service in Google Calendar – you can set up any number of reminders and it will SMS text you as well as email you before the due date. Jolly useful.

You can renew online for one year, or by post for one, two or three years. Retention fees apply at £25 for one year, £50 for 2 years and £75 for three years.

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Please note: At the end of 2013 all 39 local DVLA offices closed and the DVLA transferred all dealings to its national centre at Swansea. If your vehicle was registered before the end of 2013 then the street view map shown on the car registration page will point to the original office despite the fact that the office has closed.