Retaining a registration mark

Retaining a registration mark

You can apply to remove a registration number from a vehicle and reserve it for up to 3 years. It will be held on a retention document (V778).

You (as 'the grantee') can also choose someone ('the nominee') to hold the registration number in their name until they decide to assign it to their vehicle.

Please note that you can't apply to retain a registration number in Northern Ireland.

Who can apply?

You can apply to retain the vehicle's registration number only if you are the registered keeper, or the person who is about to become the registered keeper, of the vehicle.

What are the conditions for retention?

Vehicles must be:

  • Registered at the DVLA
  • Available for inspection
  • Of a type that needs an MOT or GVT certificate
  • Currently taxed

However, if the vehicle isn't taxed, you can still apply as long as:

  • You've made a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) and there is no break between the date the vehicle tax runs out and the start of the SORN
  • The vehicle tax ran out (not refunded) no more than 12 months before the date you apply

How do I apply?

You must complete application form V317 to retain a vehicle registration number.

Send the following to the DVLA at the address on the V317 form:

  • The completed retention application form V317
  • The registration certificate for the vehicle (V5C) or the new keeper supplement (V5C/2) for the vehicle with an application for a vehicle registration certificate (V62)
  • A test certificate for the vehicle (if needed)
  • The fee for the retention period (as shown on the V317 form)
  • An application for a vehicle tax (V10) or the reminder V11 (or V85 for a heavy goods vehicle)
  • An insurance certificate
  • The vehicle tax payment where the vehicle needs taxing

What happens next?

The DVLA might need to inspect both vehicles and will contact you to arrange this. Otherwise, your application should be approved within 2 weeks.

Once approved, you'll receive:

  • A letter confirming the replacement registration number
  • An authorisation letter V948 to get your number plates made up
  • A replacement test certificate

The DVLA will also send you a retention document showing you as the grantee and a registration certificate showing the replacement registration number. You should receive this within 4 weeks of the confirmation letter, but it can take up to 6 weeks if you used a V62 application when you applied.

If you retain the registration number in someone else's name, the retention document will be sent to them as the grantee.

How do I renew, replace or update the retention document?

If your retention document is about to expire, you can apply to renew the document for up to 3 years.

The DVLA should send you a reminder about 4 weeks before the retention document expires. If you want to renew the retention document, complete it and send it to the DVLA address on the retention form.

  • If you want to add or change the nominee's details: you, as the grantee, should complete and sign the retention document with the nominee's details and return it to the DVLA with the appropriate fee.
  • If you want to change your name and/or address: complete and sign the retention document and return it to the DVLA. There is no fee for this.
  • If you want to correct any errors, e.g. misspellings: return the retention document to the DVLA together with a cover letter specifying the errors. There is no fee for this.

If you lose the retention document, you can write to the DVLA asking for a replacement. There is no fee for this.

How do I assign the registration number to a vehicle?

When you're ready, you'll need the retention document to assign the registration number to your vehicle. Notes on the retention document tell you what you need to do.

Back to top

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We would also like to set some optional cookies. We won't set these optional cookies unless you enable them. Please choose whether this site may use optional cookies by selecting 'On' or 'Off' for each category below. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookie notice.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Performance cookies

We'd like to set cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. For more information on these cookies, please see our Cookie notice. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form. Data is only used in aggregate.

Functionality cookies

We'd like to set cookies to provide you with a better customer experience. For more information on these cookies, please see our Cookie notice.