I bought a car with a private plate and the previous owner gave me the retention certificate. Do I need to apply for one in my name?

Three years ago I bought a car with a private plate after the previous owner died. Her husband gave me the retention certificate in his late wife's name, and I am registered as the current keeper of the car but do not have a retention certificate in my name. Should I apply for one?

Asked on 3 November 2023 by Carol Lorrayne

Answered by David Ross
If you are the current registered keeper of the car and the V5C document has your name on it and the private registration is shown, then the private registration is also yours. If the private plate was on retention, your vehicle would have been assigned a period-correct registration number when it was sold.

If the V5C does not show the private registration, then the husband of the previous owner needs to contact the DVLA and transfer the private plate to your car. They can do so by using the DVLA website here: www.gov.uk/personalised-vehicle-registration-numbe...s
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