No, there is no need to remove your license plate (registration number) when you sell your car. In fact, if your car still has its original registration number you can’t remove it. However, it is possible to apply to have a personalised registration number removed if you wish to reuse it on a different vehicle in the future.
Applying to remove your registration number online
The easiest way to remove a personalised registration number for your car is to apply online. This service is available 7 days a week between 7 am and 7 pm and, in most cases, will cause your current registration number to be removed from the car instantly.
When this happens, the car will revert back to its original registration number, which means you can swap your personalised license plate for the original (for this reason, it’s a good idea to keep hold of the car’s license plate when you replace it).
Assuming your car has a full tax history and you are the registered owner according to the DVLA, you should have no issues getting the personalised plate removed with the online service.
If everything goes smoothly, you’ll be notified immediately. In rare circumstances, you may be required to take your vehicle to the DVLA for inspection but, again, you’ll receive due notice if this is the case.
Applying to remove your registration number by post
The DVLA’s online service has largely replaced the forms that used to be used for registration number changes, but it’s still possible to apply by post if you prefer. The form you need is a V317, which requires you to fill out your vehicle’s ID, your personal details and the details of the vehicle you’re putting the personalised number on (if any).
Along with the V317 form, you’ll also need to send your V5C and £80 (cheque, bankers draft or postal order). You’ll be informed if the application has been successful or if you need to take the car for an inspection by the DVLA.
Remember, this is only necessary if you have a personalised license plate that you want to keep. If your vehicle still has its original plate, you can’t keep it.