As long as both vehicles have MOT certificates, you can transfer a number plate from a motorbike to a car, or vice versa. It’s relatively straightforward to reassign your private number plate and usually costs a flat fee of £80.
The scheme is called the DVLA Cherished Transfer Scheme. The only exceptions are vehicles that don't need an MOT – these are usually either classic cars, specialist agricultural vehicles like tractors, or small electric units such as milk floats.
How do I make the transfer?
The DVLA website offers a very clear and easy-to-follow guide to the process and you can complete the transfer online or by post. Below is an outline of what you need to do via post. It sounds rather complicated, but all of the documents referred to are ones you'll either already have or are easily downloaded. Make sure you check the details on the DVLA website so you know the order in which you need to complete each step.
- First, you'll need to fill in a V317 form, which is required to transfer a registration number between vehicles. Guidance is available on the DVLA website. The form allows you to transfer the number plate from your motorcycle to your car, whether you already own the car or wish to transfer the number plate to someone else's car (in which case both of the registered keepers would need to fill in the application).
- In addition to the form, you must include a V5C for both vehicles, known as the log book, and the £80 transfer fee.
- If either of the vehicles require taxing, you'll also need a form V10, which is your application for vehicle tax and relevant taxation fee.
How long does it take for the transfer?
It normally takes between three and five weeks from receipt of the correct documentation for the transfer to go through. You'll need to allow time for this and be patient.
How will I know when I can make the transfer?
Once you have successfully applied to remove your number plate from your motorcycle, you will receive a new V5C for both vehicles, one showing the replacement number for your motorcycle and one showing the private number plate for your car. You can then put your new number plate on the vehicle. Don't forget to let your insurance company know your new registration number.
Are there any rules that restrict personalised number plates?
Yes, there are. One thing you’re not allowed to do is to make a car look newer than it actually is by assigning a number plate that is deliberately misleading. An example might be putting an '18' number on a car that was actually registered in 2008.
You also cannot transfer a number plate that starts with Q or NIQ. These letters are used for very old classic cars, which predate current MOT and registration restrictions, and so aren't expected to follow the same rules as all newer vehicles.