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Showing Documents When Buying Number Plates

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    Number plates are a regulated product, and as such there are some rules that must be followed when buying and selling them.

    The Vehicles Crime (Registration of Registration Plate Suppliers) Regulations 2008 requires registration plate suppliers like SurePlates to carry out an ID check on the buyer, and see a document proving they are entitled to display the registration mark. When buying new number plates, (including 4D plates) the buyer must provide:

    1. A form of identification such as a driver’s license, passport, national identity card, etc.
    2. A document proving entitlement to display the registration mark such as a V750 Certificate of Entitlement or V778 Certificate of Retention, etc.

    We must record the serial numbers of your documents, your name & address, and your registration mark. These records must be kept for at least 3-years and made available to the appropriate authorities on request.

    What documents are required?

    The above regulations recognise any one of the following documents as valid identification:

    • A driving licence, with or without a photo (whether or not it was issued in the United Kingdom)
    • A bill from an electricity, gas or water supplier, a landline phone bill, a council tax bill or rates bill in Northern Ireland (issued within the last six months)
    • A bank or building society statement (issued within the last six months)
    • A passport (whether or not it was issued in the United Kingdom)
    • A national identity card issued by the government of a state or of a territory (other than the United Kingdom)
    • A debit card or credit card (issued by a bank or building society)
    • A police warrant card
    • An armed forces identity card

    Any one of the following documents are valid for proving entitlement to display the registration mark:

    • Registration certificate (V5C)
    • The New keeper slip (green slip)
    • A certificate of entitlement (V750)
    • A retention document (V778)
    • Reminder to get vehicle tax or make a SORN (V11)
    • A temporary registration certificate (V379)
    • A ‘number plate authorisation certificate’ (V948 or eV948) or a ‘trailer number plate authorisation certificate’ (eV948/2) with a DVLA stamp
    • A letter of authorisation from a lease or hire company, including a fleet operator. The letter must quote the document reference number from the V5C
    • Record of the insurer’s name, reference and policy numbers (for repairs approved by an insurance company)
    • A PDF of the vehicle details from the View Vehicle Record (VVR) service from a lease or hire company, including fleet operators, which must quote the V5C document reference number when the original V5C has been suppressed
    • A trailer registration certificate (VTRC)

    Can I buy number plates for someone else?

    Yes you can. There are no regulations that require the person making the purchase to also own the registration mark.

    When buying number plates for someone else, you must have access to one of the above proof of entitlement documents. You should acquire this from the keeper of the vehicle / owner of the registration mark prior to making your purchase.

    The identity document should belong to you the buyer. You should not try to acquire the identity document of the registered keeper / owner of the registration mark.

    How do I provide my documentation?

    You can send them to us via post (snail mail) to our registered office address, or you can send them to us by e-mail. You will receive instructions in your order e-mail confirmation on how to do this and where to send them.

    If sending via post, we strongly recommend using a fully tracked and signed for service to protect against potential losses. When sending documents by post, your number plates will not be manufactured and dispatched until those documents have been checked and recorded. This can delay your order significantly. We advise against using this method of document checking.

    How long after I send my documents does it take to get my plates?

    Provided you send your documents immediately, there should be no delay to your order. Our usual manufacturing time of approx. ½ a day applies. Orders are always dispatched the same day when they are placed before 3pm.

    Your estimated delivery time is displayed on the basket and checkout pages. We normally offer 3 shipping methods: Tracked 48, Tracked 24, and Special Delivery guaranteed by 1pm the next working day.

    Further information

    You can read more information about number plates and registration plate suppliers by following the links below.

    GOV UK Displaying number plates





    4D Number Plates

    Short Plates & Custom Sized Plates


    The requirement to show documentation was introduced in 2008 as a means to prevent and reduce vehicle cloning. Prior to 2008, registration plate suppliers did not need to check ID or see proof of entitlement, making it easy for criminals to acquire plates illegally.

    You can send us your documents online via e-mail safely and securely, with no delay to your order. Full instructions will be included in your order confirmation e-mail and a copy of the above lists of documents will be provided.

    Remember you do not need to own the vehicle or registration mark to buy number plates. As long as you have access to the document proving entitlement, you can use it to purchase number plates.

    We (SurePlates) are required by law to keep a record of the sale. This record includes your document serial numbers, your registration mark, and your name & address. These records are maintained securely for 3-years and are accessible only on request by the police, DVLA, DVSA, and trading standards.