4. Transfer a registration number

You can transfer your vehicle registration:

  • from your vehicle to another one in your name
  • to a vehicle you’re buying
  • to someone else’s vehicle

Conditions for transferring a registration number

You can’t transfer a registration number:

  • starting with ‘Q’ or ‘NIQ’ for Northern Ireland registered vehicles
  • if it will make the vehicle it’s being transferred to look younger

Both vehicles must be:

  • registered with DVLA
  • available for inspection
  • of a type that needs an MOT or heavy goods vehicle (HGV) test certificate

Both vehicles should be currently taxed. However, if the vehicle that currently has the registration number is not taxed, you can still apply as long as:

  • its vehicle tax has run out in the last 12 months
  • there’s no break between the date the vehicle tax runs out and the start of the SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification)

Northern Ireland registered numbers

You can transfer a Northern Ireland registration number between vehicles registered at DVLA.

Both vehicles must meet the conditions to transfer a registration number.

How to transfer a registration number

You can transfer a registration number using the online services.

  1. Take the registration number off the current vehicle.

  2. Put the registration number on the new vehicle.

Registering a vehicle or brand new vehicles at the same time

You need to provide documentation to confirm your identity with your application if you’re registering a vehicle yourself.

You need to provide identity documentation to the dealer if buying a brand new vehicle.

Name and address checks don’t apply if the transfer application is supported by a registration certificate (V5C).

The documents you need

You must include, along with your application, either your photocard driving licence or 1 original document from each of the lists below.

Documents confirming your name:

  • current paper driving licence
  • passport
  • marriage certificate
  • decree nisi or absolute
  • birth certificate

Documents confirming your address:

  • a utility bill from the last 3 months, or council tax bill for the current year
  • a bank or building society statement from the last 3 months
  • a medical card

Returning your identity documents

Your documents will normally be returned with your vehicle tax confirmation.

Include a prepaid name and address, self-addressed, special-delivery envelope if you want your documents returned by special delivery.

DVLA can’t guarantee to return your documents by a specific date.

Contact DVLA if you don’t get your identity documents back within 1 month of the date you sent your application.

What happens next

The DVLA may need to inspect both vehicles and will contact you to arrange an appointment. They’ll normally approve your application within 2 weeks, but it might take longer if they need to inspect the vehicles.

Registration certificates

DVLA will send you registration certificates for both vehicles showing the new and replacement registration numbers.

These should arrive within 4 weeks of the confirmation letter. It can take up to 6 weeks if a V62 application was used to support the application.

You must not sell or get rid of your vehicle until you receive a new registration certificate, as the new keeper will be entitled to keep the registration number if they want to.

More information

Download further information about transferring a registration number.