Assign a private number to a vehicle

To assign a private (personalised) number to a vehicle, you need one of the following:

  • a V778 retention document
  • a V750 certificate of entitlement
  • an online reference number

You get one of these when you either buy a number or take a number from another vehicle you own.


You cannot:

  • assign a number starting with ‘Q’ or ‘NIQ’
  • put a private number on a ‘Q’ registered vehicle
  • use a private number that makes a vehicle look newer than it is - for example, an ‘07’ registration number on a 2003 registered vehicle

The vehicle must:

  • be registered with DVLA in the UK
  • be able to move under its own power
  • be of a type that needs an MOT or heavy goods vehicle (HGV) test certificate
  • have been taxed or had a SORN in place continuously for the past 5 years
  • be taxed currently (or have a SORN in place - if it’s had a SORN for more than 5 years, it must be taxed)
  • be available for inspection

DVLA will check your application and contact you if your vehicle needs an inspection.

Apply to assign a number

If the vehicle is:

  • registered to you - apply online or by post
  • a used vehicle you just bought - wait for DVLA to send you a new V5C in your name before you apply online or by post
  • brand new - give the dealer your V750 or V778 document and ask them to apply
  • registered to someone else and you want the private number to be transferred to them - apply online or by post

It’s free to apply online or by post. You need the vehicle’s log book (V5C).

If you already have a private number on your vehicle, apply to take it off first. You could lose the right to use the number if you do not.

Apply online

The number will be assigned immediately if your vehicle does not need an inspection. Be ready to put new number plates on the vehicle as soon as you’ve applied.

Assign a number online

This service is open from 7am to 7pm. It’s also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

Apply by post

It is taking longer than usual to process paper applications because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Send all of the following documents to DVLA:

If you’re assigning the number to someone else’s vehicle, add them as a ‘nominee’ - complete section 2 of the V750 or V778.

To tax your vehicle at the same time, include all of the following:

After you assign a private number

You’ll be sent:

  • a new log book (V5C) - it can take 4 to 6 weeks to arrive
  • your original MOT back (if you sent it to tax the vehicle)

You must:

  • put new number plates on the vehicle before you drive it
  • tell your insurance company your new registration number

You can keep the original registration number and plates - they’ll be reassigned to the vehicle when you take off the private number.

You must not sell or get rid of a vehicle until you get the new log book (V5C).

  1. Step 1 Buy a private number

  2. Step 2 Assign your private number to a vehicle

  3. or Keep your private number

    You do not have to assign your number to a vehicle.

    You must renew your right to use the number every 10 years.

    1. Check how to renew your number
  4. Step 3 Get a new number plate made

    If you assign your private number to a vehicle you must get a number plate made up from a registered supplier.

    1. Check the rules for number plates
    2. Check what documents you need to get a number plate made
    3. Find your nearest number plate supplier