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What does car registration retention mean?

A retention allows a registration number to be removed from a car and held on a document.
You can retain a registration number for 10 years.
Only the registered keeper of a car can apply to retain a registration number and choose to become
the grantee or give the details of someone else.
The grantee has the right to the registration number. The grantee has the right to assign (put on) the registration number to a car registered in someone else’s name. This person is known as a nominee.
The DVLA will issue a ‘retention document’ (V778) to the grantee. This will include details of:
• the registration number
• the nominee (if one is given in the application)
• the date the registration number should be assigned by.
The nominee has no right to the registration number until it is assigned to their car.
Once the grantee has assigned the registration number to their or their nominee’s car, the right to the registration number goes to the registered keeper of that car.
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