Glossary of Terms
Certificate of Entitlement (V750). A certificate issued when you purchase a previously unassigned registration number. It displays the purchaser's details, the nominee name and the new registration number.
Retention Certificate (V778). A certificate issued by the DVLA when a registration number is transferred off a vehicle and held on retention. It can then be re-assigned, provided the recipient vehicle qualifies.
Nominee Name. This is a name specified on the V750/V778 when a registration number is purchased / held on retention. Essentially, it permits the nominee (or purchaser) to assign the personalised registration number to a vehicle. The nominee name must match the name specified in the vehicle registration document (v5) of the recipient vehicle.
Suffix Style Registration Plate. The style of number plate issued by the DVLA from 1963 to 1983. This is made up of three letters followed by a one, a two or a three digit number and finally a suffix letter indicating the year the number plate was released. An example would be ODS 1Y.
Prefix Style Registration Plate. The style of number plate issued by the DVLA from 1983 to 2001. This is made up of a prefix letter identifying the age, followed by a one, a two or a three digit number and finally three letters. This is the reverse format of the suffix style. Such an example would be K20 WED.
Current or New Style Registration Plate. Issued by the DVLA from 2001 onwards this style constitutes two letters followed by two numbers and ends with three letters. The numbers indicate the year of release and change every six months in March and September. Such an example would be AC52 FGD.
Transfer fee. The standard government charge for transferring a number plate to or from a vehicle.
Entitlement period. Indicated on a certificate of entitlement (v750) or a retention certificate (v778), it is the period of time permitting the assignment of a registration number to a vehicle. It is usually twelve months but for a nominal DVLA fee can be extended for a further twelve months close to the time of expiry.
VRO. The local DVLA offices. They are able to process your documents while you wait. So for example, you can take your certificate of entitlement (v750) together with your v5 registration document (logbook), MOT certificate and vehicle tax disc and have all these documents re-issued bearing your new cherished registration number. Alternatively, you can post your documents to your nearest VRO.
Vehicle Registration Document (or v5 logbook). The document assigned to every vehicle indicating the name and address of the registered keeper. It is often referred to as the logbook. It also displays the history of all previous keepers.
DVLA. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is a government body which holds registers on driver and vehicle information. All registration numbers from 1963 onwards were / will be first issued by the DVLA.