How To Remove A Private Number Plate

Whether you want to put your private number plate on retention to use at a later date or assign it to another vehicle, it can all be achieved online or by post. Within this article, we walk you through all the steps required to remove a private number plate from your car.

Tweet Pin It
how to remove private number plate
YourCar is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Find out more.

Removing a private number plate is very simple to do and it can be achieved in a matter of minutes using the DVLA’s online service. Whether you want to sell your private number plate or put it on another car, there are several reasons why you may want it to be removed and below is everything you need to know about the process.

Can All Number Plates Be Removed?

In order to remove a private number plate from a car, it’ll need to meet a number of requirements such as:

  • Be able to move under its own power
  • Be registered with the DVLA in the UK
  • Be a vehicle that needs an MOT or HGV test certificate
  • Be available for inspection
  • Has been taxed or had a SORN in place continuously for 5 years
  • Be taxed or have a SORN (if the SORN is longer than 5 years, it must be taxed and have an MOT certificate)

As many historic vehicles have very valuable private plates, you may be wondering if they can be removed. In short, the answer is yes but you’ll need a current MOT certificate even if the vehicle is exempt from MOT’s. Another exemption regarding the removal of private number plates is that you can’t keep a plate starting with “Q” or “NIQ”.

What Do You Need?

All that’s required to remove a private number plate from your car online is the logbook (V5C). However, if you were to remove a private plate by post, you’ll need to send the V5C (or completed new keeper section (V62)) along with the V317 form and a cheque for £80. If possible, we highly recommend the online method because it’s easier and faster to complete. However, it’s worth pointing out that if the logbook isn’t in your name, you’ll need to apply by post.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of removing your private number plate is £80 and this cost is the same regardless of whether you use the online or postal service. After you’ve paid the fee to the DVLA, there is no other costs associated with removing a number plate.

How To Remove A Private Plate

1. Visit The DVLA Website & Enter The Required Details

To begin removing a private plate, you’ll want to visit the DVLA’s online service. You’ll then be asked to input your car’s private number plate that you want to take off, the latest V5C document reference number and your post code.

2. Confirm Details & Make Payment

After submitting the details, you’ll then be asked for confirmation and to make a payment of £80 to the DVLA.

3. Application Successful

Once the payment has gone through, you’ll be greeted with the message “Application Successful” as shown in the image. It’s advised that you copy the retention certificate number because you may require it if you want to put the removed private plate onto a car straightaway.

How To Remove A Private Plate

4. Fit Replacement Plates On Your Car

After the application has been successful, you can then put the private registration upon another car or leave it on retention. You’ll also need to put replacement plates back onto the car that had its private number plate taken off.

Usually, the replacement number plate is the same as it was prior to the number plate being replaced with the private registration. Therefore, you may already have replacement number plates available to put back on the car. However, if you need to get new plates made up, you’ll need to use the V5C or a number plate authorisation certificate (V948) as shown in the image.

This document (V948) can be found on the “Application successful” page above or within your email confirmation. With this document printed out, you’ll be able to get replacement plates made without requiring the V5C, which may take a few days to arrive in the post.

how to remove a private number plate

5. Update Your Car Insurance Policy

Once you’ve put the replacement number plates onto your car, you’ll then want to inform your insurance company immediately. If you haven’t changed number plates before, we wrote a guide on how to fit them to your car.

6. Destroy The Old V5C

As you’ll be receiving a new logbook in the post, you’ll want to destroy your old one because it’ll be no longer valid.

Application By Post

If the vehicle that the private plate is registered to isn’t in your name, you’ll need to apply to remove it by post. To do this, you’ll need to send the vehicle’s V5C (or completed new keeper section (V62)) along with the V317 form and a cheque for £80 to the DVLA.

What Happens After You’ve Removed A Private Plate?

After you’ve successfully removed your private registration, you may be wondering what happens to your old number plate. In short, your MOT certificate and tax will remain valid (until their expiry dates) and you’ll be sent out a new V5C. If you didn’t assign the private plate straightaway, you’ll also receive a retention certificate in the post for the registration.

If you completed the removal of a private number plate online, you can expect the V5C to return to you within 5 working days. However, if you removed a number plate by post, you may be waiting up to 6 weeks. If you haven’t received your V5C within those timescales, you may want to get in touch with the DVLA or order a replacement V5C.


Removing a private number plate from a car is really that simple to do thanks to the DVLA’s online service. Of course, you can still remove a private plate via post but the ease and quickness of the online service makes it the far superior option to use. Another benefit of using the online service is that you’ll also receive your new V5C logbook earlier too.

Hopefully our guide has covered everything you need to know but if you require further information, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

Follow #YourCarUK

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved.