Can I transfer a number plate to a motorbike?

(Contributed post for our UK readers)

Whether you want to transfer your private number plate from car to car, motorbike to another motorbike or in-between the two, all of these options are possible and the same rules apply for each.

As long as the vehicle is subject to an annual test there are no restrictions to transferring your number plate from one vehicle to another, whether it be a car, bike, van or anything in-between.

There are however, exceptions to this rule. Vehicles that do not take part in an MOT are not able to be part of the DVLA Cherished Transfer Scheme, meaning that their number plates cannot be transferred. Examples of these vehicles are tractors, milk floats and other specialist vehicles.

Transfer fee

The usual price to transfer a private number plate is £80, however the DVLA will charge you differently depending on whether your transfer is on a certificate or from one vehicle to another.

How to transfer a private number plate to a motorbike

If the number plate that you want to transfer is already on a vehicle then you will have to complete a V317 form and submit it to the DVLA, along with documents for both vehicles that are involved in the transfer. You will also have to ensure that both vehicles are taxed and have a valid MOT so that the vehicles can be moved to be inspected by the DVLA if necessary. Along with this, you will have to make sure you pay the correct fees in order for the transfer to take place.

If the private number plate is not already on a vehicle and instead on a V778 Retention Document or V750 Certificate of Entitlement, you can then transfer the plate directly to your vehicle. When checking the certificate, if it is not in your name or you are not a named ‘nominee’ then you will have to change the nominee name, which is free of charge. You can check the costs and instructions for the transfer process on both certificates.

How to transfer a private number plate from a motorbike

If you’re wanting to transfer a private number plate from a motorbike to another vehicle then the same rules apply. You will have to process your application through the DVLA to remove the registration from your motorbike and onto a different vehicle. But, if you don’t have another vehicle to transfer the plate over to, whether that be because you’re saving it for a new vehicle or wanting to sell the plate at a later date then this is also possible. You will have to put your number plate on retention using a V778 Retention Document which lasts up to 10 years and can be renewed at no extra cost if you continue to keep your plate on retention.

If you want to sell the plate on the same rules apply. You can do so through auction sites, the DVLA or private selling sites such as Both parties will have to have the relevant documents available to send off to the DVLA in order to meet the legal requirements for the transfer.

How long does the transfer take?

The process of a number plate transfer can take anything between 2-5 weeks from when you submit the documents to the DVLA. In order to ensure that there are no delays or set-backs to the process, read through everything carefully to make sure that there are no mistakes in your application. Once the application has been approved and the plate transfer has taken place, you are free to enjoy your new private number plate.


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