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Getting your physical licence plate done

We keep hearing about personalised licence plates or number plates and the chance to buy these. But is that really as easy as it sounds? Let’s take a deeper look in what you need to do to get your physical personalised plate and what documents you will need to get them finally attached to your vehicle.

Buying a personalised licence plate or buying a personalised registration number?

These nearly are the same thing and this makes the whole process of obtaining a personalised plate all the more complicated and very easy to misunderstand. Let’s help you see things clear.

When you are looking for a personalised or private licence plate number or code as its a combination of letters and numbers, then you are looking at all possibilities of previous combinations officially featured on number plates which were released before. Although some dealers offer a small chance to try to get a brand new, unused customised combination released, changes are very tiny for that and there is no way for you to get a new number plate made up for you if its format dates back before about 2001.

This all means, when you are looking for a personalised number plate online, you will be looking at combinations of registration numbers which were released and which were paired to one or more vehicles before.

To top it all off, dealers are keen to make you believe that by buying the personalised plate you actually purchase the physical item. This is not true however. You will either need to pay an additional fee for the dealer to manage the making of the one or two physical number plates for you or you will need to seek for a registered number plate supplier who will do it for you in return for the following documents:

  • Original proof of identity ( passport, ID, Security Number, passport)
  • Original proof of address ( driving licence, bank or other utility bills under your name)
  • A certificate which is stamped or otherwise verified by DVLA proving your right to hold and use the registration number, which is to be featured on the number plate- the certificate can be one or more of the following:
  • V5C – vehicle’s basic registration certificate
  • V750 – new keeper supplement
  • V778 – certificate of entitlement
  • V11 tax form or V11NI confirming the SORN status
  • V379 – temporary registration certificate
  • V948 – number plate authorisation certificate that’s stamped by DVLA
  • eV948 – electronic number plate authorisation certificate

After the presenting all documents the number plate supplier will make the number plates according to British standards ensuring the letters the size the background all match with the standards. On the DVLA homepage will provide you additional guidance on finding your nearest number plate supplier. After holding the ready-made number plate, you may take off your main number plate, which in lack of additional notification will become void. However, if you ever think to switch back and take the personalised plate off, you are free to do so and your old licence plate will be automatically featured on your car documentation again.