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If you’ve bought your own personalised number plate from a private dealer or the DVLA, it is probable that you don’t want to change this when it comes to buying a new car. With The v778 Retention Certificate you can keep hold of your old number plate for a brand-new car without having to buy a new registration plate.

A retention certificate (or formally known as a V778 Retention Document) legally allows you to take the number plate off your vehicle and retain it for another.

If you want to sell your registration plate, on a site such as NewReg.co.uk, or use it on another vehicle then you’ll need this document in order to do so. Whether you have a replacement straight away or you’re waiting to sell it, applying for the V778 is simple, quick and can be done online.

Therefore, you do not have to wait weeks before you decide to find a buyer for the number plate.

The DVLA have made changes to their old system so that the retention certificate is now valid for up to 10 years. Before-hand, you would apply for the certificate depending on how many years you thought you would have to keep the plate under retention. The new system is much easier and you now also have the option to renew the certificate for another 10 years absolutely free if necessary. Applications for the initial certificate cost £80.

Are you eligible?

If this is something that you want to do, first you’ll need to check If your number plate is eligible to be retained and you must ensure that:

• The vehicle with the plate has been taxed to date
• The vehicle has been MOT’d to date
• You are the registered keeper of the vehicle, your name must be on the V5 log book
• The number plate is transferable

How to apply for the V778 Retention Document

If after reading the above, you believe you are eligible to have your number plate retained then you are able to apply for the V778 document two ways:

-For the quickest and easiest method, you can apply online
-If you’d prefer to apply via post, you can download the DVLA D317 form, complete it and post to the DVLA offices in Swansea, along with the original V5/V5C (Vehicle Registration Document).

What happens next?

If you’re documentation is approved then you will receive the V778 via post, as well as this, you will also receive a replacement registration number. If viable, the DVLA will reissue the vehicle’s previous number plate, however if this isn’t possible then the registration number will coincide with the vehicle’s age. You can replace this number plate with a private one at any point, however, you are unable to sell the replacement plate that you have received from the DVLA.

Before approval it is possible that the DVLA might want to inspect your vehicle, to confirm if it is eligible for the new registration number. They will check that your car has been taxed and MOT’d. If either have expired, then your vehicle will have to be transported to the DVLA office. As well as this, they will check your VIN number and chassis plate. If your application is declined, you may not get all of your fee back.

If and when your application has been approved, you will receive your V778 document, as well as a V5 registration document to show identify the replacement registration number. Instructions on how to extend your 10-year certificate are located on the back on the V778 document.