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FAQ's Cherished Number Plates 

What are the different types of cherished number plates?

Suffix Style Car Registrations are vehicle number plates that were issued by DVLA between 1st February 1963 and 31st July 1983. These car registration numbers all end with a single letter which denotes which year they were issued. The letter 'A' denotes a car registration number which was issued during 1963 and the letter 'B' would be a car registration number issued during 1964.
Each year DVLA would issue a new letter going through the alphabet, excluding the letters, I, O, Q, U and Z until 31st July 1983.
Some examples of a suffix style car registration number plate would be WES 7A
 or CAN 1F etc.
These types of number plates can only be transferred to vehicles registered from February 1963 onwards.

Prefix Style Car Registrations are number plates that were issued by DVLA from 1st August 1983 until 31st August 2001. During this period the letter denoting the year of registration was moved from the end of the registration number to the beginning in a similar manner to that applied to the suffix style registrations.
Some examples of the prefix style car registrations would be C9 MRW or F11 PGH etc.

These types of registrations can only be transferred to vehicles registered from August 1983 upwards.

Current Style Number Plates are number plates that start with 2 letters at the front - the area identifier - followed by two numbers which denote the year of registration. These are updated every 6 months beginning with 51 which were issued by DVLA in September 2001. The next issue was March 1st 2002 with the number 02, and then every six months thereafter each September and March respectively.

Some examples of the current style car registrations would be CR15 PCO or JE22 RYS.
These types of cherished number plates can only be transferred to vehicles registered from September 2001 onwards.

Dateless, or 'Antique' and Northern Irish Cherished Number Plates do not contain a suffix or prefix letter and are considered to be the original Cherished Number Plates.
Examples of this style of number plate would be: VA 2, 1 NDG or O 3012. Northern Irish cherished number plates always contain an I or a Z as well as a number between 1 and 9999.

Northern Irish registrations such as TUI 6 or VAZ 21 which are issued with two or three letters followed by between one and four numbers.
These types of registrations can be transferred to any year of vehicle as they have no dating letter.

How do I buy a Number Plate?

When buying a vehicle number plate we suggest you take a look around various number plate dealers to find the best number plate to suit yourself. In our opinion it is always best to talk to a number plate dealer if you are unsure of what type of number plate to go for as being in the business they will have knowledge and experience and can suggest registration numbers to match your requirements.
We are available 8am
8pm to speak to on 0116 235 0116.
You cannot make your vehicle appear newer than it is so this is important when deciding on what plate to go for. Payment can be made via debit/credit card or online bank transfer.
All transfers incur a fee of £80.00 which is made payable to DVLA Swansea for either retaining or transferring a cherished number plate.

What happens to my existing number plate?

When you purchase a cherished number plate the existing registration number plate on your car becomes void and reverts back to DVLA. (Usually on modern vehicles the original number plate is allocated back to you by DVLA Swansea if you decide to sell the vehicle and transfer your cherished number plate to your new vehicle).
If however the number plate is one that you want to keep then you would have to apply to retain/transfer the number plate to another vehicle via DVLA Swansea using a V317 form and the appropriate fee of £80.00 and documents.

How do I assign a cherished number plate?

If buying from a number plate dealer, this is usually done for you by them. If the number you are buying is on a retention certificate then the documents required are the current V5C for the receiving vehicle which has to be currently taxed and MOTd. Most of these transfers can now be done instantly using the online facility via the DVLA website upon cleared funds, however if the application cannot be processed online then it will have to be posted to DVLA Swansea cherished number plate section and the transfer can take up to 10 days.

If the number you are buying is already on a vehicle then this will have to be posted and on most occasions is all processed within 14 days, however this can take longer if the donor vehicle needs to have a DVLA inspection (most pre-1963 vehicles need to be inspected by DVLA and the odd newer vehicle, however we cannot determine which ones).
The DVLA usually send an appointed inspector to come and check the vehicle and its identity.

What is the cost for transferring a cherished number plate?

The cost incurred in transferring a cherished number plate is £80.00 which is made payable to DVLA Swansea.

What is the cost to retain a cherished number plate?

The cost to Retain a cherished number plate is £80.00 which is made payable to DVLA Swansea. When you retain a number plate the certificate will show that the assignment fee has already been paid so you would not pay any further fees when you come to transfer the cherished number plate off the retention certificate at a later date.
A retention certificate is also now valid for 10 years from the date that the number plate is retained by DVLA Swansea.

Are there any restrictions as to what cherished number plates I can put on my vehicle?

You are not allowed to make your vehicle appear newer than what it is. For example if your vehicle is a March 2002 registered vehicle then you can only transfer a number plate that is either dateless (no prefix or suffix letter) or up to the year of your vehicle. You would not be able to put any number plate newer than a March 2002 registration. You can make the vehicle look older but not newer.

If you are unsure always check before buying the cherished number plate.

I have a number plate I want to sell, are there any restrictions?

If you have a cherished number plate that you want to sell, if this is on a retention certificate then all we require is the valid V750 or V778 document which can usually be transferred online using the DVLA website facility. If the number is on an existing vehicle then the rules require that the donor vehicle must have been taxed by yourselves when it had a current MOT and then you have 5 years to sell the number. If it goes over the 5 years then in order to sell the number plate you would have to get the vehicle re-taxed and MOT’d. All MOT’d exempt vehicles however do require a voluntary MOT to take part in the cherished number plate’s transfer rules set out by DVLA.

Can I transfer a cherished number plate to my vehicle if it has a Q registration?

Simply put, no.

My V5C says non-transferable registration number what does this mean?

Under DVLA rules this means that you would not be able to retain or transfer the number plate that is registered to the vehicle, you can however apply to put a cherished number plate on it.

What happens to my number plate if I have scrapped my vehicle?

If you have scrapped your vehicle and you have not retained/transferred the number plate prior to doing this, then the number plate ceases to exist and is void. You will not be able to get the registration number back.

Can I transfer a number plate from my agricultural vehicle?


What happens after the number plate is transferred to my vehicle?

When a transfer is completed you will received a new V5C from DVLA Swansea usually around 3-5 days after the transfer has been done. This is proof that the transfer has all been completed at DVLA. Your tax and MOT details are updated automatically online by DVLA Swansea. It is your responsibility to inform your insurance company that the registration number has been changed and to purchase and fit the new plastic number plates to your vehicle.

What happens to my cherished number plate if my vehicle is stolen?

If you have a cherished number plate on your car and it is stolen you can apply to keep the personalised registration number straight away to safe guard it. You will not be able to assign it to another vehicle and no retention certificate will be issued until 6 months from the date of the theft has lapsed or the vehicle has been recovered. It is also the

owner’s responsibility to contact DVLA Swansea for the certificate to be issued after this time. If your vehicle is stolen and has not been recovered after a year, you can apply to have the registration number reassigned to your new vehicle provided that the theft was notified to the police and recorded at DVLA as stolen for not less than 12 months and at the time that the vehicle was stolen it had current MOT and TAX. You will also

require a letter from your insurers confirming that they have no objection to the number being re-issued. This must be provided because once insurers have settled your claim, they have a rightful claim to the vehicle should it be recovered.

What if my vehicle is written off?

In such a case, the insurance company agrees a pay-out with you, and legal ownership of the vehicle then passes to the insurance company. If you wish to keep the cherished number plate you must make sure that you transfer it to another vehicle or put onto a retention certificate before the insurance company takes legal ownership.

Do Number Plate Dealers or DVLA buy back cherished number plates?

DVLA Swansea will not buy back cherished number plates although if you have one on a V778 Retention Document or V750 Certificate of Entitlement then you can give up the right the number (surrender) and DVLA will reimburse you with the £80.00 assignment fee. The number would then basically be owned once again by DVLA where they can resell. Some number plate dealers will purchase number plates in for their stock or alternatively you can sell the number plate through a number plate dealer on a commission basis.

Supply of Number Plates 

Whoever you decide to purchase from for the actual plastic number plates in order to display your cherished number plate on your vehicle, nowadays you have to provide the plate manufacturer with a V948 number plate authorisation certificate which is issued by DVLA on receipt of a transfer taking place and after the entitlement has been checked. The law on the display of vehicle registration numbers is now very strict and you are not allowed to use fancy or decorative fonts. The letters and numbers have to be of the correct size and their is also a legal spacing and the materials and manufacture have to comply with the British Standards. You can face a fine of up to a £1000 is you do not display your registration number correctly and it can also be enough to make you fail the MOT test.

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