4. Take a private number off a vehicle

You can take a private (personalised) number off a car if you either:

  • don’t want to use it right now
  • want to assign it (‘put it on’) to another vehicle


You must be the registered keeper and have the vehicle’s log book (V5C).

You can’t keep a number starting with ‘Q’ or ‘NIQ’.

The vehicle must:

  • be registered with DVLA in the UK
  • be available for inspection
  • be able to move under its own power
  • be of a type that needs an MOT or heavy goods vehicle (HGV) test certificate
  • either have been taxed (or have had a SORN in place) continuously for the last 5 years

Your vehicle will need to be taxed if it’s had a SORN for longer than 5 years. It might also need to be inspected.

How to take off a number

You can take off a private number online or by post. It costs £80. If you don’t assign the number within 6 years, you can apply for a refund.

You can’t use the online service if the vehicle isn’t in your name, you have to apply by post.

What happens to the vehicle

The vehicle will get a new number assigned to it straight away if you do it online, it takes longer by post.

You’ll need to get new number plates made.

What happens to the number

You’ll get a V778 document that proves you still have the right to use the number for the next 10 years. You must renew your right to use a private number before it expires.

If you’ve taken the number off a vehicle online, you can assign it to another vehicle straight away - use the reference number you get at the end.