Buying a Personal Plate - Help Wanted

I have just bought a plate privately and been sent the V778 - Retention Document by the person I bought it off. I am unsure of how to proceed to get the plate assigned to my car?

The form lists both the Grantee and a Nominee. The Grantee is named as the person I bought the plate from. The Nominee is states “Not applicable”. There is a box on the form to change the Nominee but this has to be made by the Grantee. Do I need to change the Nominee to myself before I can then assign the registration to my car? If so do I have to pay the �25 is suggests.

The Retention Document states that the assignment fee has already been paid - what does this relate to?

Also, if I only become the Nominee, can the person who sold me the plate, as Grantee, take the number back at a future date? I’m a little confused

You’re not the only one…

Steve, I think I’m correct in saying the grantee should have added you as the nominee prior to giving you the certificate. DVLA will not assign the plate to your car untill this has been done. Your major concern in the meantime is the expiry date of the certificate. If this is in the near future the grantee (seller) will be able to renew his entitlemnt to the plate and in the eyes of the law he will have done nothing wrong You cannot simply add your name as nominee, only the grantee can do this. Important then that you go through the preceedure of becoming nominee AND assign the plate to your car before the certificate expires. Once assigned to your car you become the legal keeper and the grantee is forgotten. The assignment fee (�80) is DVLA’s charge to change their data base and your paperwork to reflect the new reg, the grantee had to pay this prior to putting on retention, you will not need to pay anything.
Hope that makes some sense?

Thanks for the info…it looks like I will have to send it back to the Grantee for them to nomimate me, get a new Retention document and then forward that to me.

The only question is if there is an additional fee of �25 to amend the form, should I have to pay this or is it reasonable to have expected this to have been included in the sale price? I think its fair to say that the person who sold it to me gave me the impression that this was all a bit new to them as well!

You’re not the only one…

Mike - have you just bought a plate also? What have you got?

I’ve had V2 MAL for a few years now…

(Mike’s Rocket… get it?)

Trouble is I never use it on track so none of you ever see it!!

I have S1 XEG on a Spice Yellow S1

I’m waiting for the vendor to get his V5 back after removing his personal plate, any idea how long they take to turn the paperwork round? Should I buy S2XEG while I’m waiting?

It’s gone Bob S11 XEG is about if you want it.

Steve, there should NO charge when taking a plate off retention. As mike says, a tranfer fee (�80) and a retention fee (�25) will both have been paid at the time the vendor put the plate on hold. You only get charged another �25 if you want to keep the plate on retention for another year (this usually has to be paid up 1 month before the old one expires).

No its still there

Steve, there will be a further charge of �25 for adding you as the nominee, as this should have been done prior to you being given the certificate I think its fair to say the seller should have paid for it. Obviously though you do not want to fall out over it and then send the certificate back to him to change. You need to bear in mind that all you are buying is the right to display the number, not the number itself, hence loopholes exist untill you assign it to your car.

I’m waiting for the vendor to get his V5 back after removing his personal plate, any idea how long they take to turn the paperwork round? Should I buy S2XEG while I’m waiting?

From my recent experience the DVLA can turn things around in 2 weeks approx, longer if they are busy. There are some strict rules about what can & can’t be done. If you display the plate before you get all the paperwork you could lose it.

I took a plate from a car before selling. The new number was allocated before the V5 came back. What you then potentially have is a car with a new number & a vendor with a V5 that has to change to relflect the new number. Meantime the car is not to be used on the road…

HTH (i think it’s correct). The good news is that the DVLA are a helpful bunch in explaining the rights & wrongs.


Cheers Tim, (edited to remove unnecesary blurb). Fingers crossed they’re working quickly at the moment!

Steve - thanks for clarifying that for me…I guess I will have to get in touch with the seller again.

Had exactly the same problem,where i had to send the form back to the guy i was buying the plate from.Made it one very long drawn out affair,about 8 weeks from start to finish!But i now have EX51GE R !!


I spoke to the vendor, he’s cancelled the reg transfer and will sell me the car with the plate but unless I change my name by deed poll to woody it wont be much use it me so I’ll have to transfer it off when the V5 comes back to me…