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Certificate of Entitlement

The Certificate of Entitlement, also known as the V750 certificate, is the piece of paper issued by the DVLA which states that you are entitled to use a private or personalised numberplate on your car. This is the form and piece of documentation you will need if you want to swap a standard numberplate on any vehicle for a personalised plate.

What It Looks Like

The V750 certificate is pink, and clearly says “Certificate of Entitlement” along the top. The certificate shows the name of the purchaser and the nominee. This terminology can be confusing. In essence:

The other important piece of information on the certificate is the unique certificate number. This is the number needed to transfer the ownership of a personalised plate from one owner to the next, so it is important that this number is not shared with a third party, or published online.

Uses of the V750 Certificate of Entitlement

If you have bought a car, and want to assign a new personalised number plate to it, you will need to complete the V750. Or if you have bought the personalised number with the intention of using it at some point in the future, you can keep the V750 Certificate of Entitlement until you are ready to assign the number to a car. It is important however to pay attention to the expiry date on the back as the entitlement certificate does not last forever. You can, however, extend the certificate to give you longer entitlement to the personalised number.

The person who is listed as the purchaser needs to sign the certificate of entitlement. Either the purchaser or the nominee must be the same person as the registered keeper of the vehicle which will have the personalised numberplate assigned to.

Lost Certificates of Entitlement

As the certificate of entitlement doesn’t have to be used straight away, lost certificates are a fairly common occurrence. If it’s time to renew your certificate, or if you wish to assign you personalised plate to a vehicle and you are unable to find your certificate, then you can make a request for a duplicate. Only the purchaser of the numberplate is allowed to do this. If you are the nominee, you will have to ask the purchaser to do this for you.

Expired Certificates of Entitlement

All certificates of entitlement have a date printed on them on which they expire. If you have missed the expiry date, then you should be able to get it brought back to date in most cases. Again, the nominee is unable to do this and the process must be followed by the individual or the company named on the certificate as the purchaser. In most cases, the company which originally sold you the personalised number plate will be able to help you with expired certificates of entitlement, but there might be a fee involved for doing so. Avoid paying extra by making sure you keep on top of validity of your certificate.

Buying a Personalised Numberplate from the DVLA                 

Many people who buy a personalised numberplate get it direct from the DVLA, when they release a new batch of unused numbers. If this is the case, the DVLA will sent the certificate of entitlement to you in the post when the transaction is complete. Keep the certificate safe, as you will need it when you want to put the personalised plate onto a car. It usually takes around two weeks between making the purchase and the certificate arriving in the post, so don’t chase DVLA until that time period has passed.

Do I have to put my personalised plate straight on a vehicle?

Many people who buy a personalised plate do not wish to assign it to a vehicle straight away. The DVLA appreciates that many people buy a personalised plate because the combination of letters and numbers is significant to them, and may wait months or years to buy the vehicle which the plate will be put on. Every V750 certificate has an expiry date, and you have until this date to choose which vehicle you wish to use the number on.

If the expiry date rolls around and you still haven’t made the choice, then there is the option to extend the entitlement period with the DVLA for another one to three years, at a cost of £25 per year. You can either do this online, or fill in section 2 on the certificate of entitlement and send it off, with a cheque, to the address given for the DVLA in Swansea. You can make the application to extend the certificate any time before the expiry date. If the certificate has already expired, you only have 28 days to arrange an extension. You can extend the certificate as many times as you like.

Adding or Changing Nominee Details on a V750

The easiest way to make these changes is by signing into your DVLA account online. If you wish to change the nominee, or add a nominee, there is a £25 fee. If you want to assign the registration number onto a vehicle at the same time, you can also do this by filling in sections 1, 2 and 6 of the certificate, and sending to the DVLA.

Missed Extension Period

As discussed above, you have 28 days after the expiration of your V750 certificate to notice and take action to extend the validity of the certificate. This isn’t an automatic process, and you will have to write to the DVLA explaining why you have left it late to make the extension application. Include a cheque for the fee, and send it off to the DVLA. In most cases, the DVLA will accept your late application to extend your certificate. But they don’t have to – it’s at their discretion. Avoid all the stress of having to argue for a late application by keeping tabs on when your certificate entitlement expires. It’s easy enough to put a reminder on the calendar or on your phone.

Assigning Your Registration Plate to a Car

When you are ready to use the personalised number which you have bought on a vehicle, then the only way to do this is by contacting the DVLA either online, or in writing. Given the backlogs that the DVLA has experienced in recent months, organising the assignment of the plate is best done online. Just one point to be aware of: the DVLA refer to registration plates or personalised numbers as “marks”. This language can cause confusion, so bear in mind the different terminology you might come across.

The DVLA website will guide you step by step through the process off assigning your personalised numberplate, or registration mark. If you are submitting your application by post, you will also be given a list of documents which you might need to send with your application. If you are the nominee, then you will have to get the purchaser of the registration number to sign the form to agree that it can be put onto a vehicle. If you are unsure about anything around the process it’s always better to clarify with the DVLA by phone or email rather than guessing and getting it wrong as this is only going to hold up getting the transfer done. It usually takes at least a couple of weeks to arrange to get the paperwork back in the post.

Making Up the Number Plate

Once you have organised the paperwork to get the registration mark transferred to your new vehicle, all that remains is to get the numberplates made up and put onto your vehicle. It used to be a very easy job to go to any retailer and ask them to make up plates. Rules and legislation about who can make up plates and the evidence required are now much tighter, and you will need to go to a registered number plate supplier to have your new personalised plates made up.

Displaying Your New Registration Number

Many people buy a personalised numberplate because it spells a word, or has their initials, or numbers which are special to them. We’ve all seen the plates where the spacing of the numbers and letters has been altered to spell out a word, or uses a fancy font which deviates from the standard. This is illegal, and even if you can persuade the shop to make up the plate in this way, you risk being stopped by the police. It’s also a MOT fail, so if you need to book a MOT for the car with the personalised plate, check the spacing, size and font complies.

Giving Up Rights to a Personalised Plate

If you have bought the rights to a personalised number plate but have never got round to putting it on a vehicle, then you might be able to apply for a refund of the assignment feed. You’ll have to get in touch with the DVLA by filling in sections 5 and 6 on the certificate and sending it off in the post. Once you have done this, you will obviously not be able to use the personalised plate any more. 

If you want to sell the rights to use the registration plate to someone else, then you have a range of options for doing this. You can organise a private sale, or sell it through a used registration plate dealer. The DVLA will not buy back any registration numbers which you have bought from them and no longer wish to use.

Transfer Your Plate Onto Another Vehicle

One of the benefits of having a private registration plate is that you can put it on a series of vehicles, swapping it onto a new car, or series of cars over an extended period. There is a fee of £80 due to the DVLA for doing this. If you have bought a new car, you will need to keep the original number until the transfer has been processed.

Who Is the Purchaser?

We’ve mentioned that you need the purchaser of the number plate’s details to be able to assign the number to any vehicle. If for whatever reason you do not know who the purchaser is, you can write t the DVLA and ask. You will need to explain why you need to request the details, and when you purchased the rights to the number. There is a fee for doing this.

Right to Change Your Mind

It’s perhaps unlikely, but if you’ve bought a personalised numberplate from DVLA, not assigned it to a vehicle and changed your mind about it, then you have the right to cancel and get your money back. You have ten working days from the day of purchase to request a refund from DVLA. You can do this by email or over the telephone. When you contact the DVLA you will need to tell them :

If the application to a refund is approved, the DVLA will contact you within 10 working days, and the refund will be processed onto the credit card which you used to make the purchase. If you have bought rights to use a personalised number through an auction, different rules apply so check the terms and conditions of the auction site carefully before committing to any purchase.