Making a Statement: 10 Steps to Getting Your Own Personalized Number Plate

Getting a personalized number plate truly makes your vehicle your own. Still, it is important that this is done in a way that saves you time, money, and effort. While fairly simple to get a personalized number plate, this short blog post goes into depth on helpful tips and the steps to doing so.

Step One: Can You Even Do It?

The first step is simply deciding that you want one. After that comes all the changes. For instance, do you currently own a licensed vehicle and need to dispose of the old plate properly? If so, old plates might be worth something. Before you take it off though, you need to apply to take it off. If you do not do so, then you may lose the right to further use the number.

Another thing to consider, before going any further, is if your vehicle is even eligible to have a personalized number plate. For instance, it must be able to move under its own power, and it also must be registered with the DVLA. Read here for more information.

Step Two: Deciding What You Want

Deciding what you want is always exciting. More likely than not, it will be something personal to you, and that is great. But, what you want may not mean that you can get it. There are certain legal requirements that you must abide to. Read below, sourced from here:

  • You cannot start the plate with “Q” or “NIQ.”
  • If your vehicle is Q registered, you cannot put a private number on it.
  • You cannot make a vehicle look newer than it is.

The rules are not very restrictive, so your creative spirit is hopefully not dampened by that information.

Step Three: Buy the Private Number

Now is the exciting part, buying the number. You can learn more here. Buying a private number is simple and there are many options, from buying directly from the DVLA Personalizes Registrations, to DVLA auctions, to private parties and dealers.

Step Four: Get Some Documents

Once you have the private number, it is time to link it to your vehicle. Sometimes, the seller of the private number will transfer it for you. If not, you will need to obtain one of the following:

  • a V778 Retention Document
  • a V750 Certificate of Entitlement
  • an online reference number

You can do this when you buy the number, or use a number from another vehicle that you own.

Step Five: Apply to Assign the Number

You have now done most of the legwork, but there are some last remaining steps to complete before being official. First, apply to assign the number. This is simple, but depending on what type of vehicle you have, it must be done a certain way. For instance, if you just bought a used vehicle, you need to wait for the DVLA to send you a new V5C in your name. If you just bought a new vehicle from the dealer, hand over your document and ask them to do it for you.

If not, then you can do it online or via post.

Step Six: The Application Process

If you decide to apply online, you will be prompted some questions. If your vehicle is not in need of an inspection, it will be approved immediately.

If you decide to apply via post, you need to send off the following documents:

  • The filled-out V778 or V750 form
  • The V5C (vehicle’s log book) or a completed V62 with newkeeper’s supplement

If you decide to tax your vehicle at the same time, you need to include a V10 form, the right amount of vehicle tax, and an MOT certificate. About two weeks later, your application should be approved if the vehicle does not need an inspection.

It is always best to make copies of all documents that you send off, especially if you are sending off the original.

Step Seven: What to Expect

You either have already found out that you are approved, or, you have received additional instructions for completing the process. One such thing would be an inspection. To do this, go to the nearest inspection service and they will take care of you.

This is the easy part. You will receive a new log book (V5C) after about 4-6 weeks. In addition, if you mailed off the MOT for tax purposes, you will also get the original document back.

Step Eight: The Best Part

The exciting part is putting your new numbers on your vehicle. You must do this before you drive it! So always wait until the personalized plate arrives to avoid trouble with the law.

Step Nine: Tell Your Insurance Company

You must also give your new personalized number to your insurance company. You should always keep the original registration number because if you ever decide to take off the personalized plate, it will be reassigned to the vehicle. You may decide to do this if you want the plate on another vehicle of yours. It will save you many a headache down the road.

Step Ten: Drive Your Vehicle

This is the moment you have been waiting for, and you have done everything legally, efficiently, and cost-effectively. Now is the time to celebrate! So grab the keys and head down the road. Your car is literally in your name.


While there are several steps to take in order to get your own personalized number plate, they are simple ones. In the end, it is well worth the time, especially if you have a great idea for a personalized plate. What matters most is ensuring the eligibility of your vehicle and the numbers that you wish to have on your personalized plate.