Transferring ownership of a NSW number plate.
Some states make it very easy to transfer the ownership of a personalised or custom number plate to another person.
Unfortunately NSW is not one of those states!
Currently only the following number plates types can easily be transferred from one owner to another:
- Numeral-Only (commonly known as heritage plates)
- Personalised Plus
These plates can easily be transferred from one owner to another by completing a form and paying a fee.
Other custom plates can be transferred, but only between family members, employees or a deceased estate.
Selling a NSW custom plate
This does’t mean that it’s impossible to sell your custom number plates to another person however, as there are always ways around these things.
There are two common options worth considering:
Sell the plates on a car
Whilst you cannot sell your custom plates to another person, you can attach them to a vehicle and sell that vehicle to another person.
Once the buyer has taken ownership of the vehicle, he or she can then transfer the number plate to any other vehicle they own.
So let’s say you had a nice plate on your nice car. Once you had found a buyer and agreed on a price, you could go out and buy a $500 ‘bomb’ and transfer the plates onto that car, then sell that car (along with the newly attached plates) to the buyer.
The buyer can then transfer the plates over to the car of their choice, then dispose of the old car however they choose.
Sure this is not an easy or cheap option, but if you’re selling a $10,000 number plate it is not a bad option at all, and most importantly it is all above board.
Buyer and seller visit RTA together
If you don’t like the idea of having to transfer your NSW number plate with a vehicle, there is another option.
Once you and a buyer have agreed on a price for your custom plates, you would both need to attend an RTA office together.
As the seller you would complete the form to cancel your plates, and you would need to surrender the physical plates.
The buyer would need to be there with you, along with the form to register the same plates.
The buyer could potentially take in their laptop or smart phone and register them online, however I am not sure how long it takes from the plate being cancelled at the RTA office to then being able to newly register it via the MyPlates website. You may want to check that with MyPlates.
There is a risk with this method, as there will be a gap of a few minutes between you cancelling the plate and the buyer registering the plate.
Another person could potentially buy the plate during this gap, however the chances of someone searching for that specific plate at that specific time would have to be very low.
If you’re not comfortable with this potential gap, the only other option is to sell the plates on a car as described above.
With regards to any money changing hands between you and the buyer, the RTA has no interest in this. Payment would occur between you and the buyer, and it is recommended that you provide the buyer with a receipt, even if it’s just a signed hand-written note.
We have provided the above information in good faith, and it is accurate to the best of our knowledge.
However we do not represent the RTA, RMS or MyPlates. We strongly recommend that you speak to someone from one of these departments before proceeding with your chosen method of transferring your NSW plates.
We take no responsibility if you attempt to transfer your plates and it does not go to plan. You need to do your own research and take on any risk.