The two numbers are an age identifier, which tells you in which 6-month period the car was first registered. The numbers change every 6 months, in March and September.
The March codes are easy to remember as they follow the year of registration (so a car registered in March – August 2016 has the number 16, a car registered from March – August 2005 has the number 05, etc.).
A Retention Certificate will then be sent out to the designated nominee within 10 working days of the purchase.
A cherished number can be transferred from one vehicle to another by re-registering the first vehicle with another number (which might be a standard £23.00 next in line number or another cherished registration number).
The format and additional information relating to the style of number plates can be viewed in the document below entitled 'number plate information'.
Choose a new cherished number plate by going online at
Passenger vehicles can only remain unlicensed for 12 months, or 24 months if currently owned by a vehicle trader.
The vehicle may have been in an accident and written off by an insurance company, or the vehicle's registration may have expired because the licence was not kept current.
The owner at the time may have asked that the licence and registration be cancelled because the vehicle would not be used for some time (for example while overseas).
Try to contact the person who owned the vehicle just prior to the date of de-registration, for more information.
The renewal can be done at your local post office or online at
” Asked by many people, many times, over many years…