Personalised number plate GLOSSARY

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Are you puzzled by personalised number plate terminology?

Here at Finishing Touch Registrations, we appreciate that not everybody is fluent with their phonetics in the world of personalised number plates, especially if you are a first time buyer.

That’s why we have compiled an easy to understand ‘Glossary’ of terms and phrases that the number plate industry uses on a daily basis, so, don’t worry if you don’t know your suffix from your prefix our guide below in plain English will help you to get through.


Acrylic Plates
This is another phrase for the number plates. The number plates are the oblong pieces of acrylic that your registration mark is displayed upon usually at the front and rear of the vehicle. In the case of a motorcycle there would just be one at the rear.

Assign
To move a registration mark from a retention certificate onto a vehicle.

Certificate Of Entitlement
This is the piece of paper officially known as a V750. A personalised registration mark can be purchased and held on a V750 and then transferred to a vehicle of choice at a later date.

Cheap
Cheap personalised number plates, although they do carry less personalisation they can effectively and economically disguise the true age of a vehicle.

Cherished
Cherished numbers are just another phrase for personalised registrations, which can also be referred to as personalised plates, private plates, private numbers or personalised number plates, they are all the same thing.

Cherished Transfer
This is another term used for a transfer of a vehicle registration mark.

Current Style
Current style registration marks such as AB51 CDE, which are also referred to as ‘New Style Registrations’.

Dateless
Dateless registrations are such as 32 TB, these types of personalised number plates usually fall into the higher price bands.

DOT Fee
The Department of Transport charge of £80 to transfer a registration mark from a donor to a recipient vehicle is usually called a DOT fee. There is also a different Department of Transport charge of £105 to place a registration mark onto a retention certificate. The £105 is also payable to receive a registration mark that is currently stored on a retention certificate.

Documentation
This is the collective term for the vehicle documentation that is required to complete a transfer. These will generally consist of the vehicle’s MOT certificate, the V5C (log book) and a photocopy of the road tax disc.

Donor vehicle
The vehicle that a registration mark is being transferred from.

Double Transfer
This is when two registration marks are transferred at the same time. You may for example, already have a personalised number on your vehicle and require us to retain that for you at the same time as assigning your new personalised number.

DVLA / DVLA Swansea
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, based in Swansea Wales, the DVLA is the governing body which handles the registration of vehicles, drivers and vehicle registration marks.

DVLC
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre, this is what the DVLA used to be known as many years ago.

DVLNI
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Northern Ireland, based in Coleraine which is the Northern Ireland equivalent of the DVLA.

Entitlement Period
The amount of time a registration mark can be held upon a retention certificate for, which is a maximum of 12 months. The entitlement period can be extended for a further 12 months at a cost of £25 per year and there is no limit to the amount of years you can extend it.

Font
This is the ‘digit style’ that is used on vehicle number plates. The standard font can be of different styles such as 3D or Hi Line for example, which are perfectly legal to use on UK number plates. All of the different styles are based on the original Charles Wright font.

Governing Body
The governing bodies monitor dealers who trade in the sale and transfer of personalised registration numbers. Possibly the most well known one is M.I.R.A.D which requires their members to adhere to a strict code of conduct. As established personalised number plate dealers we are of course M.I.R.A.D members and have been for many years.

Grantee
This is the name which appears at the top left of a V778 retention certificate and is the same as the registered keepers name on the V5C of the vehicle that the registration mark came from. Only the grantee is entitled to sign a V778 certificate when changes need to be actioned.

Inspection
An inspection takes place when the local DVLA Vehicle Registration Office need to check that the donor vehicle is using a registration legally, by checking the vehicle chassis number matches with the V5C. Inspections are usually just carried out on vehicles that are old and have been sitting around untaxed for long periods of time, although the DVLA can actually call any vehicle in for inspection that is taking part in a cherished transfer.

Irish Plates
These are registration marks that were first issued in Nothern Ireland such as DBZ 3489.

Local Office
This is another term for a DVLA local Vehicle Registration Office. These are the offices which must be used to process a transfer of retention of a vehicle registration mark.

Log Book
This is another term used for a V5C or V5C/2, which is the official DVLA document issued to an individual to show vehicle and keeper details.

Make Your Own Plate
This is a term our company uses for our lower priced style of registration marks. The make your own style personalised number plates will generally give you the flexibility to find something with your initials and then various options in front of them, for example John David Young would have options such as H9 JDY from around £199. Our make your own style search system is found at the top of our homepage on ftreg.com or on the right hand column if you are browsing our blog.

MOT
This is the computer printed piece of paper issued by the Ministry Of Transport every year to vehicles which are over 3 years old to prove their roadworthiness. You can confirm the authenticity of your MOT by visiting the official VOSA website here.

Motorbikes
Personalised registration numbers can now be transferred from cars to motorbikes and vice versa. Many years ago there were restrictions in place which prohibited the transfer of a registration mark from a motorbike to a car.

New Style
New style registration marks such as AB51 CDE, which are also referred to as ‘Current Style Registrations’.

Nominee
This is the person or company name which appears on a V778 or a V750 certificate. The nominee is entitled to use the registration mark on their vehicle. The nominee name can only be changed or added by the Grantee or Purchaser applying through the DVLA in Swansea along with their £25 nominee change fee.

Number Plate
A number plate is the oblong piece of plastic/acrylic on a vehicle which is used to display a vehicle registration mark. Over the years though the term number plate has become a much more widespead way of describing a personalised registration mark, with personalised registrations now being known as: ‘personalised plates’ or ‘private plates’ or ‘cherished plates’ and even ‘vanity plates’.

Personalised
A term used for a registration that has been purchased to match the vehicle owners name or initials.

Phonetic Alphabet
This is the alphabet we use throughout the industry to avoid the confusion of certain letters being mistaken for others.

Prefix
Prefix registrations were introduced back in 1983. They are called prefix because the year identifying letter precedes any digits or letter sequences, suck as M425 KEL.

Private Registrations
Another term for a personalised registration mark.

Purchaser
This is the name that appears at the top of a V750 Certificate Of Entitlement.

Q Plate
A ‘Q registration’ is issued to identify a vehicle where the age or origin are unknown. You cannot transfer a different registration mark onto a Q registered vehicle, likewise you cannot buy Q prefix or suffix registrations.

Recipient
This is the vehicle receiving a registration mark in a cherished transfer application.

Registered Keeper
This is the name of the person or company showing on a V5C (log book).

Registration
This is the sequence of letters and numbers on a number plate which every vehicle on the road is identified by.

Registration Document
This is the log book for a vehicle, officially know as a V5C (Vehicle Registration Certificate)

Retain
This is when a registration mark is transferred from a vehicle to a retention certificate.

Retention Certificate
This is the piece of paper officially known as a V778 which is proof of a registration mark having been retained from a vehicle, pending assignment.

Scrapped
A vehicle which has been scrapped must be declared as such with the DVLA. You cannot transfer a registration off a vehicle which has been scrapped.

Show Plate
Show Plates is a phrase used for acrylic number plates that are used for show or off-road purposes only. They usually comprise of non-standard spacing, fonts and badges.

SORN
An abbreviation for Statutory Off Road Notification. If you do not renew your vehicle excise licence (known as a tax disc) then you must declare that the vehicle is off the road with the DVLA, which is now a legal requirement.

Stock
Finishing Touch Registraions own many different types of personalised number plates which are known as stock. We generally purchase our stock from auctions or from members of the public. Stock registrations are conveniently stored upon retention certificates or certificates of entitlement.

Suffix
Suffix registrations are the old style registration marks such as LOU 3R.

Tax
Vehicle tax is also known as vehicle excise licence. To be able to receive a prsonalised registration mark your vehicle must be taxed.

Toolbar
This is what you can download from our site for FREE.

Transfer
This is when a registration mark is moved from one vehicle to another.

Unissued
This refers to vehicle registrations that have never been issued by the DVLA in Swansea. Sometimes these are entire series of registrations, such as U prefix registrations. Unissued registrations are also letter combinations that may be considered offensive by the DVLA such as: SEX, ARS, GOD, BNP etc.

V317
This is the official DVLA form used to carry out a transfer of a registration mark from a donor vehicle to a recipient vehicle.

V750
This is the piece of paper officially known as a Certificate Of Entitlement. A peronalised registration mark can be purchased and held on a V750 and then transferred to a vehicle of choice at a later date.

V778
This is the piece of paper officially known as a Retention Certificate which is proof of a registration mark having been retained from a vehicle, pending assignment.

V5C
This is the official term used for a vehicle registration certificate, which is the official DVLA document issued to an individual to show vehicle and keeper details.

VAT
All registrations marks we offer for sale are subject to VAT. Some registration marks though are VAT free as we also sell number plates on behalf of clients, like an estate agent.

Vehicle Registration Office
This is another term for a DVLA Local Transfer Office. These are the offices which must be used to process a transfer of retention of a vehicle registration mark.

VIN
This stands for Vehicle Identification Number (also known as a chassis number) which is usually stamped on the chassis of a vehicle to identify it from other vehicle.

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