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Legalities on private number plate transfer


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Hi all

I read on the Gov's website that assigning a private plate has the caveat sentence which states. . . 

 # The vehicle must have been taxed or had a SORN in place continuously for the past 5 years

How would you know if the car has a 100% history for 5 years before you bought it, a lot of our kind of 4x4's / pick-ups etc have spent some of their life only on private land untaxed / without MOT's?

The reason I ask is if I were to check a car registration number online it would tell me if it is taxed / Untaxed but it wouldn't tell me if the tax or SORN has been in place 'continuously'

Thanks in advance

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Hi shearwater, I was reading the details on private registrations a few days ago as I’ve just purchased my first and will be needing to put it into the my new car over the next couple of months, I also saw the sentence you’re referring to and took it the same way, that is until I read all the bullet points again. Providing one of the bullet points is relevant then the no issues with transfer. 
 

as for the example you gave about it being on private land not mot’d/taxed etc....it is a legal requirement for a vehicle to be taxed , declared sorn or notified scrapped irrelevant of where it is kept and or used. Obviously people neglect these things so I can understand how the situation would arise. I think the best option would be to speak to Dvla to get a definitive answer, just bare in mind that not taxing declaring sorn etc comes with fines so it could be a rather large can of worms to open.  

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4 hours ago, Spr1985 said:

Hi shearwater, I was reading the details on private registrations a few days ago as I’ve just purchased my first and will be needing to put it into the my new car over the next couple of months, I also saw the sentence you’re referring to and took it the same way, that is until I read all the bullet points again. Providing one of the bullet points is relevant then the no issues with transfer. 
 

as for the example you gave about it being on private land not mot’d/taxed etc....it is a legal requirement for a vehicle to be taxed , declared sorn or notified scrapped irrelevant of where it is kept and or used. Obviously people neglect these things so I can understand how the situation would arise. I think the best option would be to speak to Dvla to get a definitive answer, just bare in mind that not taxing declaring sorn etc comes with fines so it could be a rather large can of worms to open.  

Thanks for your comments and it seems you read it better than I did, I lost a private plate years for being younger and trusting. DVLA to answer the phone, now there is a confusing statement at the moment. I'll strive onwards to find out more and really appreciate your input

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A friend recently bought  the "remains" of a mini purely for the number plate. On trying to transfer the number DVLA informed him the car had previously been declared scrapped and the number was no longer valid and available for transfer. This is what he told me.

Checking the DVLA website for current tax or SORN status shoould eliminate this possibilty I would think.

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13 hours ago, Brodie said:

A friend recently bought  the "remains" of a mini purely for the number plate. On trying to transfer the number DVLA informed him the car had previously been declared scrapped and the number was no longer valid and available for transfer. This is what he told me.

Checking the DVLA website for current tax or SORN status shoould eliminate this possibilty I would think.

It does, but then again it doesn't. . . read on

Below are 2 Gov websites.

You can read on the 1st one that assigning a private plate has the caveat sentence which states. . .

# A vehicle must have been taxed or had a SORN in place continuously for the past 5 years

How would you know if the car has been taxed 100% before you bought it, a lot of cars have been bought and sold privately and may have been sitting in a garage or on private land untaxed?

The reason I ask is if I were to check any car reg number on the 2nd site it would tell me if it is taxed / Untaxed but it wouldn't tell me if the tax has been in place 'continuously'
 

https://www.gov.uk/personalised-vehicle-registration-numbers/keep-or-assign

https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax

 

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My friend died a couple of years ago and an old British bike he had sitting in his garage was sold, The new owner couldn't register the bike without a load of hassle even though they had the log book, old MOTs etc.

There seems to be a policy of non co-operation at Swansea these days

14 hours ago, Brodie said:

A friend recently bought  the "remains" of a mini purely for the number plate. On trying to transfer the number DVLA informed him the car had previously been declared scrapped and the number was no longer valid and available for transfer. This is what he told me.

Checking the DVLA website for current tax or SORN status shoould eliminate this possibilty I would think.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 03/02/2021 at 08:45, Vince Green said:

My friend died a couple of years ago and an old British bike he had sitting in his garage was sold, The new owner couldn't register the bike without a load of hassle even though they had the log book, old MOTs etc.

There seems to be a policy of non co-operation at Swansea these days

 

I think you'll find that the motorbike in question hadn't been on the road, MOT'd, or SORN'ed for a decade or most likely considerably longer. If there hasn't been any record of it existing, then sooner or later it's going to fall off databases and be assumed to be scrapped. So it's not surprising if things need to be checked out before they will 'bring back to life' an old vehicle of some sort.

DVLA have, in my experience over the last decade, been brilliantly helpful whenever I've had a question or reason to call them to check something

To the OP : the 'rule' for continuous tax / SORN is to protect people from dodgy numberplates being brought out from long=rusted heaps. Whilst DVLA might enforce the rule, they also state that they reserve the right to demand to inspect the donor vehicle to ensure that it exists - I've only known that to happen on one occasion, where a car had been exported and then imported, and they wanted to ensure it was the same car.

Basically, I'd suggest dropping DVLA an email and asking the question - though bear in mind that if you're asking if a vehicle that you're looking at buying has been taxed / SORN for the last 5 years, then they won't tell you (the thin end of data protection)

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