How to Transfer a Number Plate Between Cars

We explain all you need to know about transferring a number plate between cars.

If you're thinking about selling your car or buying a new one, you may want to keep your current number plate. Transferring a number plate between cars is a straightforward process, but there are a few things you need to know before you get started.

Getting a new car is exciting, and you will no doubt be itching to get in the driver's seat and test out your motor. Before all that, though, you must ensure you have followed all of the legal procedures if you wish to transfer your number plate over.

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It may be something you have never done before, so you must follow the steps to make the transfer as quick and seamless as possible, so you can maximise your car's usage.

In this article, we take you through the step-by-step guide to completing your registration plate transfer while also helping you understand the general processes when buying a new car.

Get the Right Paperwork

To transfer a number plate, you'll need the following documents:

  • V5C registration certificate for both the donor and recipient vehicles
  • V317 form from the DVLA
  • MOT certificate (if applicable)
  • Tax disc (if applicable)

Apply to Transfer the Number Plate

Once you have the necessary paperwork, you need to apply to transfer the number plate. You can do this online or by post as you can see below.


Online Application

  1. Go to the DVLA's online number plate transfer service.
  2. Enter the registration number of the donor vehicle.
  3. Enter the document reference number from the V5C registration certificate of the donor vehicle.
  4. Enter the registration number of the recipient vehicle.
  5. Pay the transfer fee.

Postal Application

  1. Download and fill out the V317 form.
  2. Include the V5C registration certificates for both vehicles.
  3. Include the MOT certificate and tax disc (if applicable) for the recipient vehicle.
  4. Pay the transfer fee.
  5. Send the application to the DVLA.

Wait for the Transfer to be Approved

Once you've submitted your application, you'll need to wait for the transfer to be approved, which usually takes around two weeks. During this time, you should not remove the number plate from the donor vehicle.

Transfer the Number Plate

Once your application has been approved, you can transfer the number plate by following the below steps:

Remove the number plate from the donor vehicle.
Attach the number plate to the recipient vehicle.
Update the V5C registration certificate for the recipient vehicle with the new number plate details.

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Transferring a number plate between cars is a simple process, but it's important to make sure you have all the necessary paperwork before you get started. By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free transfer.


How much does it cost to transfer a number plate?

It currently costs £80 to transfer a number plate with the DVLA. You can complete the V317 form online or download and print it.

What happens if I display the wrong number plates?

Driving with the wrong plates displayed (or without any number plates at all) is a legal offence. You risk a fine of up to £1,000 and your vehicle will fail its MOT.