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Car Reg Transfer

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:15 pm
by james couper
I am right in thinking that if a car that is 40 + year old and has been class as Historic on the cars V5 then the cars reg number can not be transferred on
to another car.
However if a 40 + year old, but has not been classed as Historic i.e. someone is still paying road tax can then the number can be transferred
onto a more modern car.
Or is it once a car is over 40 years then you can not transfer the car's reg, whether it has been changed to Historic or not.
Just that someone was trying to sell me a car reg from a 50 year old car that is on Sorn and still has its original number, i.e. it has never been transferred.

Car Reg Transfer

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:34 pm
by TrevorG
As far as I'm aware, the only proviso that DVLA has is that the vehicle that the number is being transferred from has to have a current mot regardless of being newish or historic. You can also sell a number if it is on retention, regardless of the vehicle it originally came off.

Car Reg Transfer

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:40 pm
by TrevorG
Just checked another DVLA expert and he says that the wording from DVLA is vague as it states both tax and mot need to be paid on vehicle that number is being transferred from. Now, we are not sure if tax exemption, ie historic, means the same thing. Think you are going to have to ask DVLA themselves.

Car Reg Transfer

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:54 pm
by philhoward
Taxed as in "not SORN or untaxed", probably - likewise "not lapsed" in terms of MoT, I'd guess.

If it's something that's been pulled out of a barn where it's been for 40 years, expect there to be further investigations though before the transfer is granted..

Car Reg Transfer

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:08 pm
by drcdb15
Before you delve into the world of registration transfers, you need first to understand that DVLA allocates numbers to vehicles, and the only thing that is traded is the right to use any given number on any given vehicle. The original registration is recorded by DVLA as being allocated to the first owner of that vehicle. But although that person owns (ie legal has title in) the vehicle itself, he does not "own" the registration, he merely is licensed to use it by DVLA. If the number is later "sold" to another person, in law the first licensee is called the Transferor of the number and the person "buying" it is called the Transferee. In law, the Transferor is transferring his right to use the number to a third party (DVLA is 1st party, Tranferor is 2nd, subsequent "buyer" is 3rd). Furthermore, when a"buyer" transfers a new number to his vehicle, the original number allocated by DVLA still remains allocated by DVLA to that vehicle, but the vehicle owner loses the right to use that original number.

I could go on, but you get the gist I've no doubt. Full procedures are on the dot gov web site here: ... mber-plate so you need to read through that to see what applies in your particular circumstances.

IN ESSENCE the transfer of a registration from one person to another is a SEPARATE process from the buying and selling of cars (even though in the millions of car sales that go through every year typically they occur simultaneously). When you buy/sell a car legal title in the car passes from seller to buyer. With the transfer of registrations, the right to use the registration passes from Transferor to Transferee. Whether or not the Transferee can legally use that registration on any particular vehicle is a quite separate issue, and depends (among other things) on the roadworthiness of that vehicle. If the vehicle you want to use the number on does not currently meet the DVLA requirements, there is nothing to stop you keeping the right to use the number "on retention" (renewable every 10 years) until the vehicle is compliant. And of course during that time if you change your mind you are free to do so, so you can transfer the number on, use it on another vehicle or whatever.

I did write a piece for the Middlebridge folks about this, which Will Anderson was kind (or daft!!) enough to publish in one of the MESSage Newsletters which you can find on the MESS site here: ... 202018.pdf

Car Reg Transfer

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:28 pm
by scimjim
Originally, a vehicle simply had to have a current MOT and tax to be eligible to lose its registration. More recently DVLA allowed numbers to be transferred from vehicles that had recently been placed on SORN. I’m not sure that DVLA have published the details surrounding transferring plates from MOT exempt vehicles but Reg transfers (one of many selling sites) said when the 60 year exemption came in, that vehicles must have a voluntary MOT. National numbers (another selling page picked at random) says the same applies for the 40 year exemption.

Car Reg Transfer

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:31 pm
by Geraint SabreGTCse5
to retain a registration number from a vehicle a v317 needs completing

from the DVLA website

Eligibility of donor 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 ..............(does not say actually needs one to be in force at time of transfer)
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.

from the above "registered" and "taxed or sorned" will mean the donor will have a current V5c... it is my understanding that a number plate from a historic vehicle can be removed and the "historic taxation classification" stays with the vehicle not the registration number. The vehicle receiving the number retains their taxation class. Inspection of the vehicle isn't an idle threat esp if the number is valuable or it hasn't an MOT. the inspector will want to see a complete driving vehicle not a log book bought off ebay :roll: or a chicken coop :D .

Best to call the DVLA directly for an absolute answer I have found them extremely helpful with transfers in the past.

Car Reg Transfer

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:51 pm
by Alan SS1
Geraint SabreGTCse5 wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:31 pm

. . . .. . the inspector will want to see a complete driving vehicle not a log book bought off ebay :roll: or a chicken coop :D .
spoil sports :wink: