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Cherished number plate transfer Bill moves to third reading

A Bill that could simplify the process of buying and keeping a cherished number plate for a vehicle could soon move to the House of Lords, bringing it closer to becoming law.

The Vehicle Registration Marks Bill has passed through the important committee stage, and is now scheduled for its Third Reading in the House of Commons tomorrow. If it passes this, the Bill will move to the House of Lords to be heard.

The Bill is backed by the RMI Cherished Number Dealers Association (CNDA), a part of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF), as well as the Government, and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Richard Ottaway MP (Croydon South), who presented the Bill, said: ‘The Bill is now one reading away from completing its passage in the Commons. It is very exciting.’

A spokesman for the CNDA said: “When the Bill becomes law, consumers and cherished number dealers will get a process that provides more choice and flexibility.”

Both the Government and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) support the Bill.

Under the current rules, a cherished number can be held on a retention certificate for 12 months pending its assignment to another vehicle. However, the number remains the property of the registered keeper, even after the purchaser has paid for it.

Ownership only passes to the purchaser when the number is assigned to a vehicle. If after 12 months have passed the purchaser has not yet assigned the number, and the registered keeper will not grant an extension, or cannot be contacted, ownership reverts to the keeper.

The Bill proposes a new regime where the keeper can grant retention rights directly to the purchaser.

“For most transactions this will make the process simpler. It will also prevent consumers from being deliberately conned. The current regime makes it possible for bogus sales to take place, where the seller takes the buyer’s money but never provides the plate, or the documentation to renew the retention certificate,” said the CNDA.

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