Personalised Number Plates - How does it work?

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Some people dream of having personalised number plates on their vehicles, but they have no idea how the whole process works. This can put them off from actually having them for their car or motorbike, when in actual fact, we can make the process super simple. Here, we’re going to talk you through the process so that you have total confidence when purchasing your plates, and know exactly what to expect.


You’re not the first person to have questions about their personalised plates, and we want you to feel fully in the know before you make your purchase. Let’s take a look at how the whole thing works:


Two Ways To Supply Your Registration

There are two main ways we can supply your registration:

  • On a retention certificate
  • Through our fully managed transfer service


On a retention certificate, you’ll be responsible for handling all of the legal aspects of the transfer with the DVLA. Once you have purchased the retention certificate, you have 10 years to put the registration on a vehicle. You’ll have the retention certificate and plates between 3-7 days after placing your order, but this will depend on the postage option that you chose when making the order.


If you instead decide to use our fully managed transfer service, Primo Registrations will take care of the legal transfer for you, even if you don’t want to use the registration on your car right away. You’ll receive a transfer pack from us once you have ordered, and you then return this using the pre-paid envelope when you are ready to transfer the registration. Most people select this option when ordering as there is little hassle and the process goes much smoother. Once we have your details it can take between 1-15 working days to complete the registration of your vehicle, including an change of log book, tax, and MOT.


Transferring Plates

Many people who order personalised number plates want to know how soon after buying a car they can transfer plates. Many have recently purchased a nice new vehicle and want to finish it off with their unique new plates.


As soon as you receive the valid green tear off slip in section 10 of the V5C you can apply to make your transfer. This means you can begin the transfer even before you have the full VC5 from the DVLA.


The Cost

This can vary substantially. The cost of your chosen number plate can vary substantially, from as little as £29 to thousands. However, the DVLA transfer cost is always £80; it doesn’t matter how much your plates cost. You’ll also want to take into account the price of VAT on your plates, which you can find out by clicking ‘order online’. You’ll be able to see all of the costs and highlights at this stage, so it won’t’ actually take you straight through to the payment.


The Process Timeline

Transfers are usually completed in as little as 1-5 weeks. If you have Primo Registrations take care of the transfer for you, we will not be able to begin until you have sent us all of the documents that we need. We will ensure your documents are kept safe, but please bear in mind that we can’t accept responsibility for them once they have been passed on to the DVLA.


Bear in mind that some transfer times are faster than others. It will all depend on whether the registration plate has been issued or assigned to a vehicle before. If it has not been used then the process usually takes 7-21 working days as there isn’t a donor vehicle that needs to be inspected by the DVLA. The DVLA will want to inspect a donor vehicle before completing the transfer if the plate has been previously assigned to another vehicle.


Your vehicle is not likely to need to be inspected unless there has been a change to the construction of the vehicle. You’ll be notified if this is required.


Is A Personalised Plate Suited To Your Vehicle?

A personalised plate can be used on pretty much any vehicle, but it should not make your car look younger than it is by using a more current year than its first date of registration. Date signifiers that make the car look newer than it is will not be allowed.


Your Old Registration

Your old registration will be made void unless you pay the DVLA to retain it. In most cases, it’ll be reassigned if you do decide to transfer your new one to a different vehicle, however, this is never guaranteed. If you know that you 100% want to keep this registration then you can apply and pay for a retention certificate which will last for 10 years. We can organise this for you too.


It’s also worth bearing in mind that if the vehicle you would like to transfer new plates to already has personalised plates, you can transfer both at the same time. This is called a double transfer, so you can either put the plates on a different vehicle or put the registration on retention, whichever is best for you.


Can My Number Plates Say Anything I Want?

While your number plates can certainly be unique, your options aren't quite limitless. So, for example, as we mentioned above you will not be able to include numbers that indicate your car is younger than it is. You will likely be able to find a plate that is close to the original message you want to convey, but the more popular it is, the more expensive it is likely to be. This is why people often use a mix of letters and numbers that convey a message in a little more obscure way. Whatever you decide to do, remember that it is against the law to sell plates that are spaced differently in the UK. Spacing must be the same. You can read about the law here.


Contact Us To Discuss Your Personalised Plates Today

Still not 100% sure how it works? Contact Primo Registrations today for more information!