Glossary

The registrations glossary below gives definitions of all the words and phrases that you may come across when buying or selling a registration number.

  • Black and White Style Plates

    Since April 2015 vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1975 can display the older style plates. You must have applied to DVLA, and be registered within the ‘historic vehicles’ tax class. This allows your vehicle to retain its authenticity and be in keeping with its age. If a vehicle is not registered within the historic class it is not allowed to display the black and silver number plates.

  • Cherished Number

    A Cherished Number is a term used to describe a registration number which has been purchased. The term personalised registration is also commonly used, although usually only used when describing a registration number which identifies the owner (name or initials).

  • Department for Transport (DfT)

    The Department for Transport is responsible for transport issues, including the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).

  • Donor/Donor Vehicle

    When two parties are involved in the transfer of a registration number, the DONOR is the person who is selling the registration number. Donor Vehicle is the vehicle that the registration number is coming from.

  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

    The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, based in Swansea (Wales), is an executive agency of the Department for Transport (DfT). DVLA are responsible for both Driver and Vehicle Licensing and the transfer of registration within the United Kingdom.

  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre (DVLC)

    In 1974 DVLC was created to begin the central registration and licensing all new vehicles and converting old style log books. DVLC later became the DVLA.

  • Elite Registration

    The long term existence of Elite Registrations Ltd in the marketplace has also led to some people calling registration marks, "elite registrations" (a result of the extensive advertisements that have appeared in the national newspapers for many years).

  • Legally Spaced

    Number plates must properly represent the registration number and legislation prescribes the legal format and spacing of registration plates.

    The space between each of the characters on the number plate must meet with the spacing requirements laid down by the law. Figures must not be made to appear as letters or vice versa and number plate fixing bolts should not be used to obliterate or enhance any of the characters of the number plate.

    Characters must not be moved from one block to the other e.g. AB51 DVL must not be displayed as AB5 1DVL or AB 51DVL. Vehicles with illegally displayed number plates will FAIL the MoT test. The police can also issue fixed penalty fines for illegally displayed number plates. Offenders are liable to a MAXIMUM FINE of £1,000 and in some cases the registration number may be withdrawn.

    For information on Black and White number plates - see Black and White Style Plates (above)

  • Personalised Registration

    A Personalised Registration is a term used to describe a registration number which has been purchased, and usually identifies the owner or vehicle driver by name, initials or nickname.

  • 'Q' Marks

    Q marks were first introduced in 1983. These are issued to vehicles of indeterminable age, e.g. kit conversion vehicles which are built of major components from more than one donor vehicle, or imported vehicles where the date of first registration cannot be established. Q marks were introduced as a significant step in protecting the used car buyer and they received widespread support from the police and the motor trade.

    Registration numbers containing the letter Q are non-transferable. Nothing can be transferred onto a vehicle once a Q plate has been assigned.

  • Registered Keeper

    The registered keeper is the person named on the V5C Registration Document - who is the person responsible for registering and taxing the vehicle. This may not be the owner of the vehicle.

  • Registration Mark

    A Registration Mark is a term used to describe a registration number.

  • Registration Number

    Is a unique identifier consisting of letters and numbers in a prescribed format which is used by the DVLA to identify the vehicle to the records held by them and the Police.

  • Registration Plate

    For Black and White Style Plates see above

    Is the physical (usually acrylic) retro reflective plate which is attached to the front and rear of vehicles. In the UK, all vehicles except Motorcycles, are required to display a white plate to the front of the vehicle and a yellow plate to the rear. A rear plate should also be attached to any towed trailers or caravans. Motorcycles are required only to display a rear plate.

    There are only two fonts styles permitted on number plates - standard (plain legal) and 3D font. Personalisation, non-standard images, or honeycomb backing are no longer legal. The spacing of the numbers and letters in your registration must match that printed in your V5C Registration Certificate.

    Registration plates must comply, with BSAU 145D. The British Standard also requires that a number plate must be marked with the following information: -

    • The British Standard Number (currently BS AU 145d)
    • The name, trade mark, or other means of identification of the manufacturer or component supplier. (The company who actually make the number plate.)
    • The name and postcode of the supplying outlet.
    • A non-reflective border and the Euro-symbol with the national identification letters are optional additions.
    • There shall be no other markings or material contained on the number plate
  • Retention

    The process of removing a registration number from a vehicle is called retaining and costs £80. Where the number is not assigned immediately to another vehicle, a Retention Document is issued that shows the registration number is held without the need of a vehicle for a period of 10 years.

    The £80 DfT transfer fee has to be paid in advance, and nothing further is paid to assign the number onto the receiving vehicle. There is no DfT charge to renew the Retention Document

    The Grantee is most commonly the person who assigned the number onto retention (i.e. the person registered as keeper of the donor vehicle) although, at the time of transfer, the "Grantee" can be specified.

    Once the Retention Document has been issued, the 'Grantee' cannot be changed. For this reason, when purchasing a registration number, it cannot be assigned onto a Retention Document in your name if it is already on a Retention Document.

    A 'nominee' name can be added to the Retention Document which will then allow the registration number to be transferable to a vehicle registered in a name other than the Grantee's. The nominee name can be changed (or added) at any time, however the nominee does not have the right to assign the registration number, change the nominee or extend the Retention Document.

  • Transfer Fee

    The process of removing a registration number from a vehicle is called retaining and costs £80. Where the number is not assigned immediately to another vehicle, a Retention Document is issued that shows the registration number is held without the need of a vehicle for a period of 10 years.

    The £80 DfT transfer fee has to be paid in advance, and nothing further is paid to assign the number onto the receiving vehicle. There is no DfT charge to renew the Retention Document.

  • Transfer Process

    The transfer process is managed by our team of experts who are in constant contact with the DVLA (Swansea). We will do everything we can to ensure that transfer is done as quickly as possible, however timescales are often out of our hands.

  • V317 Document

    Application form to transfer a number from vehicle to vehicle or vehicle to retention.

  • Registration Certificate

    The V5C, V5C(W) and V5C(NI), commonly known as a "logbook" is a two page Certificate that is issued when a vehicle is registered with the DVLA. The V5C is predominantly red in colour and will have a "DVL" watermark visible in the white box when held up to the light.

    The V5C is not proof of ownership as DVLA records keepers and not owners. The V5C is sent to the registered keeper.

    The information it shows includes:

    • vehicle registration number
    • vehicle keeper's name and address
    • other important information about the vehicle (the make, vehicle identification number (VIN) and number of previous keepers)
  • V5C Registration Certificate

    See Registration Certificate

  • V62 Form

    This is an application form for a replacement V5C registration document.

  • V750 Certificate of Entitlement

    A Certificate of Entitlement is a DVLA Certificate that holds a "newly issued" registration number until a vehicle is available. The certificate can be renewed only by the person named as "PURCHASER". The number can be assigned onto a vehicle registered in the name of either the "Purchaser" or the "nominee".

    A "nominee" name can also be specified on the Certificate of Entitlement which will allow the registration number to be transferable to a vehicle registered in a name other than the Purchaser.

  • V778 Retention Certificate

    See Retention

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