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Private Number Plate Transfer Scheme

Article Posted 12/08/2009

The term cherished number plate has traditionally been associated with classic dateless registrations. Many of these number plates have often been owned by families for decades or have a high sentimental value. Since the introduction of number plates in the early 1900’s, the desire to own a cherished number plate has grown steadily. During this time the administration of car registrations has moved from the responsibility of local councils to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), which was set up in 1965.

The introduction of the DVLA brought with it new rules and regulations for the sale and transfer of private car registrations and for the next 10 years the trade of personalised number plates boomed. Dealers across the country would buy old cars and motorbikes, in some cases just for their number plates. Many of the vehicles were not in working order however their registration marks could still be legally transferred.

However in 1976 the DVLA head office in Swansea were about to change the laws of cherished number plate transfers with the view to totally prohibit the transfer of cherished registrations in the future. The implications of these new laws would have been devastating to number plate dealers, and the general public would not have a chance to own their perfect number plate and many of the best cherished registrations would be lost forever. It was clear that something had to be done about these changes.

The outcome of these proposals was very strong and included public campaigns and protest marches. In 1977 the DVLA took into account all these issues and re-introduced the cherished number plate transfer scheme and trade flourished once again. There were however certain key changes made to the cherished transfer scheme which are still taking place today. One main change was that once a registration number had been transferred off a vehicle the replacement mark was non-transferable. A second change required is that each vehicle must have a valid MOT in order for the transfer to be successful.

Applications to transfer a cherished number plate can be made in person at any local DVLA office or by post to DVLA Swansea. An £80 transfer fee is payable to the DVLA in the transfer process or a payment of £105 in order to put a number plate on retention. This is a scheme which enables owners of cherished number plates to transfer their car registration off their vehicle and hold it on certificate (V778). By doing this people can collect as many registrations as they like without having them assigned to their vehicles. This scheme is now administered by a central DVLA database.

With the continuous rising demand to own a private number plate, prices have increased year on year. Cherished registrations can change hands for tens of thousands of pounds and some are worth more than the average house. Many of these current and prefix style registration numbers are also worth a great deal of money and are still rising in popularity.


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