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The Process Of Buying A Private Number Plate

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The Process Of Buying A Private Number Plate

Matthew Kirkman
March 12, 2013


Private Number Plates are now more affordable than ever. It's also incredibly easy to buy one, especially as a lot of car registration companies now operate online. There are many different DVLA cherished plates to choose from, or customers can design their own (these must be checked with the car registration company to see if they're available).

When you buy a personalised number, you are buying the right to assign the number to a specific vehicle - whether it is registered in your name or in someone else's (private number plates can also make great gifts). There are two main rules for assigning a personalised plate to a car: you can't put a registration number onto a car displaying a 'Q' plate, and you can't make the vehicle look newer than it is.

You can purchase a personalised plate online, in a private sale or at an official DVLA auction (these are held around six times a year and bids can be made in a number of ways: in person, by phone, in writing or online).

When choosing a private number plate, you can run an online search for the registration you want: popular searches often include names (of people and companies, for example), initials and single numbers. Once you've chosen your plate you'll then need to send in an application to your nearest DVLA office to assign the registration number to a vehicle (which must be registered and taxed).

There are a few things that are required when doing this: a Certificate of Entitlement (V750), a valid MOT certificate, and the V5 Registration Document (log book). When needed, you can renew the Certificate of Entitlement (V750), for a further 1 - 3 years. The DVLA will sometimes need to inspect the vehicle, but will usually get back to you in two weeks.

When purchasing a private number plate, you must follow the terms and conditions as set out by the DVLA, all of which are available online.


A private number plate can be a great way to conceal the age of your car, give your car a more exclusive look, or even just invest your money. If you're looking for DVLA cherished plates, you can find plenty more information on the internet.



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