When I scrap my car, can I keep my personal license plate?
Yes, you certainly can. Before your car can be picked up, you must ‘retain' your registration with the DVLA, either online or by mail. Your registration will be kept on a retention certificate until you're ready to transfer it to another vehicle.
Once your vehicle is ready for scrap/export, we’ll remove the registration plates and you’ll just need to ‘retain’ the registration again. This way, when you buy a replacement car, you can transfer your original number plate to it.
Once your car has been collected, you’ll need to register the new vehicle with the DVLA. You can do this by filling in a V55 retention application form and returning it to the DVLA. It’s best to keep hold of your current registration number, so make sure you retain this before you hand your number plate, old vehicle and certificate over.
The DVLA will also want to retain your registration number and you can apply for this by completing the retention of vehicle registration (V551), which can be found on the back of your V5C registration certificate. Your car will then receive a pink ‘Scheduled for destruction’ notice to remind any scrap metal dealers that you still have an active registration, so they shouldn’t steal it and use in their own vehicles.
CAN I TRANSFER MY OLD LICENSE PLATE TO MY NEW CAR?
If you hold your vehicle on a private number plate, then your registration and number plates can be transferred to a new car. This is called retaining and transferring. If you want to transfer your number plates, be aware that they may be up for auction if there’s no DVLA record of them being retained by DVLA users.
Once your car is scrapped, you can then transfer the registration to a new vehicle when you buy one. If you already have another car that hasn’t got a registration number on it, or want to keep your existing number plate, you’ll need to request a refund for the retention of ownership - which will be sent to your address by cheque.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO RETAIN MY PLATE NUMBER?
Simply complete the online form on the DVLA website to retain your private number plate. If you prefer, you can also complete the retention of the registration form, which you’ll need to post to DVLA. Please note that if you choose this option, it can take up to 21 working days for your registration to be registered and retained.
If you’ll be selling your current car, you can also ask your dealer to retain the registration on your behalf. When you buy another car, you can simply transfer the registration into it.
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