Important DVLA Update For Registrations On Retention Certificates
There has been a recent update issued from the DVLA concerning personalised registrations help on retention certificates and certificated of entitlements.
These changes affect only those certificates that have expired and have no bearing on current certificates or registrations that are held on vehicles.
Below is a Q & A supplied by the DVLA:
Personalised Registration FAQs
1. I understand there have been changes to the rules governing the assignment or extension
of expired personalised registration certificates. Could you confirm what the situation is?
There is no impact on number plates already being displayed on a vehicle.
It has always been the case that the law states that the right to display a personalised
registration number that is held on a certificate and not assigned to a vehicle expires after a
certain period. The DVLA sends customers a reminder 28 days in advance of expiry and if the
certificate is not renewed, the right to display the personalised registration number is lost.
While the majority of customers have remained compliant with the requirements of the
legislation, the DVLA has in some circumstances, allowed customers to renew certificates that
have expired if they pay any backdated fees owed. However, following the changes made in
2015 to extend the period for which certificates are valid to 10 years and to remove the fee for
retaining a registration number this practice has now stopped. These changes in 2015 have
benefited businesses and customers significantly, reducing burden and making the personalised
registration process more efficient and customer friendly. It is reasonable to require all
customers to comply with the law and keep their certificates up to date.
Since 16 November 2016, customers are no longer able to renew an expired certificate by
paying backdated fees. However, for a temporary period, customers with a certificate which
expired within six years will be able to buy it back for a fixed fee of £170 and receive a new
certificate which will be valid for 10 years if they contact DVLA directly. Customers with
certificates which expired longer than six years ago will not be able to renew their expired
2. What is the situation then for a registration I have sold to a customer who has forgotten to
renew their V778/V750?
If the certificate expired less than six years ago, you can either assign the registration number
online by paying a fixed fee of £170 on your customer’s behalf or extend the retention period by
making a postal application, again paying a fixed fee of £170. If the certificate expired more than
six years ago, you will be unable to transact and the rights to display the registration number
have been lost.
3. If we have a registration number on a certificate with our name shown as the purchaser
and we are unable to contact the customer, what will happen?
The DVLA is only able to transact with the grantee as named on our records and we must
receive the expired original certificate. This is to ensure that applications are genuine and helps
to protect both DVLA and customers from the risk of a fraudulent application. If an application
complies with the DVLA’s requirements and the certificate expired less than six years ago, a
fixed fee of £170 must be paid. Applications to assign or extend a registration number for which
the certificate expired more than six years ago will not be accepted.
4. We have tried to do an assignment online and it says we have to pay £170 fee. The
certificate expired in 2014.
For a temporary period which began on 16 November 2016, any customer who has a certificate
which expired less than six years ago will be able to assign the registration number provided
they pay the £170 fee. If they do not wish to do so, they can apply for a refund of the
assignment fee. Applications to assign or extend a registration number for which the certificate
expired more than six years ago will not be accepted.
5. Why do dealers have to have the certificate, surely your systems have my details as the
DVLA believes that it is reasonable to require customers to comply with the law and keep their
certificates up to date. Certificates are key to the safety and security of our online service and
and it is important that customers are aware of the need to look after these important documents.
An application to extend or assign a registration number or an application for a refund of the
retention fee for any expired certificates will only be accepted if accompanied by the most
recently issued certificate. This requirement ensures a consistent approach and helps to protect
customers and the DVLA from the risk of fraudulent applications.
6. If a customer has lost their certificate and it has expired, how do we get a duplicate
DVLA will be unable to issue a duplicate if the certificate has expired. There will be no duplicates
issued if a certificate has expired. An application to extend or assign a registration number or an
application for a refund of the retention fee for any expired certificates will only be accepted if
accompanied by the most recently issued certificate. This requirement ensures a consistent
approach and helps to protect customers and the DVLA from the risk of fraudulent applications.
7. Where does the £170 come from?
The £170 is a fixed fee which enables customers who have a certificate which expired less than
six years ago to purchase the right to display the registration mark. DVLA considers that £170 is
reasonable as it is broadly in line with the lowest price of our online personalised registration
This amount applies to all customers who wish to buy back the right to a registration number
which has expired within six years. Alternatively, those customers can apply for a refund of the
£80 assignment fee. Applications to assign or extend a registration number for which the
certificate expired more than six years ago will not be accepted.
8. As it is now free to renew, why are you charging £170 for an extension where it expired
after 9 March 2015?
The law states that the rights to display a registration number are lost when the certificate
expires. The £170 fee is a concession which allows customers to buy the rights to display a
registration number for which the certificate has expired.
9. Why have you chosen six years as a cut off point and what happens to the expired
certificates over six years?
We believe that the six year period is reasonable and it was decided following a review of the
use of DVLA’s online service and consideration of the legal position which allows customers to
choose to apply for a refund.
10. What happens after 10 years, will customers be able to extend and will there be extra
Customers must renew their entitlement prior to the expiry of their 10 year certificate. The DVLA
sends renewal reminders to all grantees and renewals can be applied for 28 days prior to expiry.
It is important to notify DVLA of any change of address to ensure the reminder is received.
Certificates which have been allowed to expire will not be renewed and there is no charge to
renew a valid 10 year certificate.