Transferring a number plate: step by step guide in France, UK, Belgium and Luxembourg
How to transfer a number plate in France, if possible? How does it work? What about the ownership transfer of a license plate in Belgium, Luxembourg or the UK (DVLA)? Eplaque, a leading online vehicle registration platform in France, presents you this guide on transferring a license plate in France and in other neighbouring countries.
Transferring a number plate in France, is it possible?
No. In any case, it is not possible to transfer a license plate from one vehicle to another in France. And this is true whether the second vehicle belongs to the same owner or not. As a reminder, since the SIV introduced in 2009, a unique vehicle license plate is assigned for life. In case of a change of ownership, we are obliged to transfer the French license plate number to the purchaser. But it is not possible to keep your number plate for your new vehicle.
In other words, if you have an old car and you register a new vehicle, you will not be able to keep your number. A new registration number will be assigned to the new car, while the old number will follow the vehicle in case of sale, or will be cancelled in case of scrapping.
How to transfer a number plate in case of sale?
If you sell a used vehicle, the buyer will keep the French license plate. To make the transfer, you must complete a “certificat de cession” (sale registration) form with the purchaser. The seller must then register the sale online. The purpose of this process is to make sure that the authorities are aware of the ownership transfer in the event that the buyer does not issue the new log book on his/her name.
In principle, it is the second stage of a vehicle sale in France, which finalizes the operation. But some buyers don’t do it. In that case, if the registration of the sale is not made by the seller, he will receive the electronic tickets of his old vehicle. Hence the importance of registering the sale. By law, the former owner has 2 weeks to do so.
Transferring a number plate in Belgium
In Belgium, the system is different. A Belgian license plate is attached to a person, not to a vehicle. You can therefore keep the same number for life. All you have to do is transfer the number plate to your new vehicle. Transferring a license plate to another person is also possible, but only in certain specific cases.
How to transfer a Belgian license plate to another person?
Belgian law allows the transfer of a number plate to a third party, but only when there is a certain family link. Here are the 4 scenarios that authorize the transfer of a number plate from Belgium:
- Plate transfer between spouses
- License transfer between legal cohabitants
- Plate transfer to a child
- In case of inheritance of the vehicle
To complete this procedure, you will need 3 documents:
- A vehicle registration application form pre-filled by the insurance company
- The owner’s written authorization
- Evidence of the family link
This last proof will depend on the context of the transfer of the Belgian license plate:
- Married couple: marriage certificate not older than 15 days or household composition certificate not older than 15 days
- Legal cohabitants: certificate of legal cohabitation not older than 15 days
- Transfer of the Belgian number plate to a child: birth certificate or copy of the adoption certificate or certificate of household composition not older than 15 days if the child is living with the parent
- Heritage: notary’s certificate
License plate transfer in Luxembourg
Luxembourg’s vehicle registration system is very flexible. It facilitates the transfer of a license plate from one vehicle to another belonging either to the same person, or to a third party. In particular, this allows transferring a personalized Luxembourg number plate.
If the owner of a personalized license plate passes away, the heirs can keep the said number. After transfer to a third party of a personalized Luxembourg license plate, it must be assigned to a vehicle within 36 months, otherwise it becomes available again.
How to transfer a Luxembourg number plate to another person?
In the Grand Duchy, this procedure facilitating the transfer of a license plate is called “transfer of a registration number”. The procedure is done using the standardized form F-IMM-02 v 1.8 (not available in English). It can be used for a « normal » or personalized number (unless it is a 4-digit number).
Transferring Luxembourg number plate involves having:
- A duly filled « Transfer of a registration number » form
- A copy of the holder’s proof of identity
- Last, a proof of identity of the purchaser
Everything should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transferring a number plate in UK
The UK offers the same flexibility as Luxembourg when it comes to license plate transfer. Which makes sense, since this country also offers private number plates. Without the ability of transferring them, their appeal would be very limited.
It is therefore possible to transfer a normal or personalised number plate to another vehicle which belongs to the holder, or to another person. In the event of the sale of a vehicle, the registration number is automatically transferred to the purchaser via the V5C log book. However, the owner can decide to first transfer the UK number plate to another vehicle he owns. To do this, he must submit a V317 form together with the car registration certificate (V5C) which will benefit from the transfer of the UK registration plate.
You can also assign a personalised number without selling a vehicle. To do this, simply complete and send to the DVLA:
- A V778 form if the license plate is used by another car
- A V750 form if the personalised registration number has never been assigned to a vehicle
The transfer form and the log book of the vehicle that will use the acquired registration number must be sent via the DVLA online procedure or by post to the following address:
DVLA Personalized Registrations
DVLA: transfer a number plate, the steps
Transferring a number plate in the UK can be done online or by mail. It is done is 4 easy steps:
- A few checks: first, make sure that you’re eligible to transfer the number plate. Both vehicles must meet certain criteria. For example, both vehicles must be registered with the DVLA, have valid MOT and must be taxed.
- Gather the paperwork: you’ll need the V5C (logbook) for both vehicles involved in the transfer. If you’re not the registered keeper of either vehicle, you might need to provide additional documents.
- Apply online or by mail: both options are possible. However, DVLA online applications are generally quicker and more convenient. This way you’ll complete the V317 form online. Otherwise, you’ll have to print and fill it, then send it along with the V5C documents of both vehicles to the address mentioned above. To transfer a private number plate, you’ll need a V778 or V750 form
- Pay the transfer fee: there is a fee associated with transferring a number plate. It costs £80 if you transfer a vanity number plate, for example
Once your application is approved, new V5C documents will be sent out. The vehicle that is transferring the number plate will be assigned a new registration number, which will also be mentioned on the new V5C log book. Fit the number plate, inform your insurance company and you are good to go!