Retaining a registration mark and how to apply
This facility enables a registration number to be removed from the vehicle to which it is assigned and held on a retention document for 12 months pending assignment to another vehicle. The retention period can be extended annually provided it is not allowed to lapse.
The facility also allows the applicant the option of nominating a person to whose vehicle they may wish to subsequently assign the number.
Who can apply?
Only the registered keeper of a vehicle is entitled to apply to retain its registration number.
What are the requirements for participating vehicles?
Participating vehicles must be currently licensed, subject to annual testing and available for inspection. However, applications involving untaxed donor vehicles will still be considered if:
- the tax disc expired no more than six months prior to the date of the application
- or if the donor vehicle is not old enough to be tested, ie less than three years old for cars, motorcycles, etc or less than one year old in the case of HGVs
In both the above circumstances, all other requirements of the number retention facility must be met in order for applications to be considered.
Receiving vehicles must have current vehicle tax in order to participate in the number retention arrangements.
How to retain your registration mark
The retention scheme enables a number to be removed from the vehicle to which it is assigned, and held on a retention document for 12 months pending assignment to another vehicle. The retention period can be extended annually provided it is not allowed to lapse. The facility also allows the applicant the option of nominating a person to whose vehicle they may wish to subsequently assign the number.
What application form do I use?
The V778/1 application form. It has a tear-off sheet containing notes for guidance in question and answer form. You should read these very carefully and retain them for future reference. The completed application and associated documents should be sent to the nearest Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) local office.
What do I take or send to the DVLA local office?
Please note that Northern Ireland vehicles simultaneously being registered in Great Britain (GB) and taking part in retention applications will be subject to ID checking.
- the completed V778/1 retention application form
- the V5/V5C registration document or certificate for the donor vehicle
- a test certificate for the vehicle if it requires one (although the vehicle may not be old enough to need one, it must belong to a class of vehicle that normally requires MOT or heavy goods vehicle (HGV) testing)
- the current fee of £105. This represents the £25 retention fee and £80 assignment fee
- if you need to tax the vehicle at the same time, you will need to complete a V10 vehicle tax application form or the V11 tax reminder form and provide the relevant certificate of insurance or valid cover note, and the appropriate rate of vehicle tax. Please ensure that you have your vehicle tax disc details (expiry date and serial number) and vehicle identification (VIN) or chassis number to hand if you intend visiting the DVLA local office
What happens once I have taken or sent my retention application to the DVLA local office?
The DVLA local office may wish to inspect the vehicle. If everything is in order, the donor vehicle (the vehicle giving up the registration number) will be allocated a replacement age-related registration number and, if appropriate, a replacement tax disc will be issued and the MOT certificate will be amended to show the replacement registration number. You will then be instructed to replace the number plates on the vehicle and return any old tax disc for cancellation.
The papers will be sent to DVLA, Swansea for the records to be updated. Within a few weeks you will receive a V778 retention document showing you as the grantee (valid for 12 months) and a V5C registration certificate for the vehicle under its replacement registration number. The V778 must be kept very secure because you will need it when you come to assign the number at a later date. The notes on the V778 will tell you how to go about assigning the number to a vehicle. It will also explain how to extend entitlement and add or change nominee details. The current fee for these services is £25.
Once the expiry date has lapsed, entitlement is lost. Although the DVLA is not obliged to, it does issues expiry reminders, but the responsibility to apply to extend in time rests with the grantee.