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Just as ID numbers are for identifying each and every individual, a vehicle registration mark is the ID of a vehicle.

All vehicles must be registered and licensed before they are driven or used on the road.  Basically, we only need to register each vehicle once with the Transport Department (TD) and will receive a Vehicle Registration Mark from TD after completing the registration.  This is the plate number of the vehicle.  It is common for car dealers to apply for vehicle registration and licensing for customers.  Many people, however, prefer to have a vehicle registration mark of special significance.  What are the procedures in “changing the identity” of your beloved car?  Can the vehicle registration mark of your old car be assigned to your new car?

Changing the vehicle registration mark usually involves two procedures: retention of the vehicle registration mark and assignment of the retained vehicle registration mark.
 

Mark Retention

By retaining a currently in-use vehicle registration mark, vehicle owners can reassign the retained marks to any other vehicle under their own name within 12 months from the beginning of retention.  The fee payable for each retained vehicle registration mark is $560.

Click here for retention procedure details.

Mark Assignment

Assigning a vehicle registration mark to any vehicle under the owner is free of charge.  However, owners assigning vehicle registration marks acquired from an auction or at a special fee have to pay a mark registration fee of $100.

Click here for assignment of retained mark procedure details.


 

Sale of vehicle registration mark is restricted
Transfer of special vehicle registration mark is forbidden

Vehicle registration marks cannot be transferred directly to other owners, and can only be reassigned from one vehicle to another under the same owner or transferred from an owner to another person together with the vehicle.  However, it is forbidden to transfer the special vehicle registration mark under any circumstances, or else the special vehicle registration mark would be taken back by TD.  If owners wish to have the special vehicle registration mark disclaimed, they can only return it to TD.
 

Know your procedures
If you need to make a series of application for retention, assignment or transfer of vehicle registration mark, you should pay particular attention to the procedural order of applications and the requirements.  Otherwise, you might waste your time and money without getting what you want, and may even lose the mark which is so special to you.
 

Where does the vehicle registration mark that you intend to assign come from?


Assignment of a retained vehicle registration mark from the same owner

Assignment of an old retained vehicle registration mark to a new car

Procedures:

Mark RetentionnextMark Assignment
(1) Retain a currently in-use vehicle registration mark for reassignment within 12 months (2) Assign a retained vehicle registration mark to a new vehicle

If the old car is still in use, TD will allocate an ordinary vehicle registration mark to this car when retaining the vehicle registration mark.

If the old vehicle has been disposed of, then the vehicle owner should indicate it in the TD129 form and submit the required documents for vehicle de-registration when apply for retaining the vehicle registration mark of a disposed vehicle.

Fee Required: $560 (for retention)

Exchanging the vehicle registration marks of vehicles A & B under the same owner

Procedures:

Mark RetentionplusMark Retention
(1) Apply for retaining the vehicle registration marks of both vehicles A & B
 nextSimultaneously
Mark AssignmentplusMark Assignment
(2) Assign the retained vehicle registration marks A & B to vehicle B & A respectively

Fee Required: $560 (for retention) x 2 = $1,120

 

 

Assignment of a vehicle registration mark obtained from an auction (or acquired at a special fee)

Assignment of a registration mark obtained in an auction to a currently in-use vehicle (possessing its own registration mark) without the need to retain the original registration mark

Procedures:

Mark Assignment
Assign an auctioned vehicle registration mark to a vehicle currently in-use

Notice: TD will take back the original registration mark.

Fee Required: $100 (For mark registration fee)

Assignment of a registration mark obtained in an auction to a currently in-use vehicle (possessing its own registration mark) while retaining the original registration mark at the same time

Procedures:

Mark RetentionnextMark Assignment
(1) Apply for retaining the original registration mark for reassignment within 12 months (2) Assign a vehicle registration mark to the vehicle currently in use

Fee Required: $560 (for retention) + $100 (formark registration fee) = $660

Assignment of a registration mark obtained in an auction to a vehicle that is currently unregistered and without a registration mark

Procedures:

Vehicle Registration and LicensingplusMark Assignment
Owner should bring along with him the Memorandum of Sale and the receipt for payment of the auction price of the registration mark when applying for vehicle registration and licensing

Fee Required: $100 (Formark registration fee, not includingvehicle registration and licensing.)

 

 

Assigning a vehicle registration mark transferred from another owner
Since assignment of vehicle registration marks can only be done on vehicles under the same owner, the vehicles concerned must first be transferred to the same owner before assignment.

Exchange of vehicle registration marks of vehicles A & B respectively between two owners

In the following example, vehicle owner A acts as the core of the transaction, and the transfer will be from vehicle B to A.  Procedures will be as follows:

Transfer of Ownership
(1) Transfer vehicle B to owner A
 next 
Mark RetentionplusMark Retention
(2) Owner A applies for retaining the registration marks of both vehicles
 nextSimultaneously 
Mark AssignmentplusMark Assignment
(3) Owner A then assigns registration marks A & B respectively to vehicle B and A
 next 
Transfer of Ownership
(4) Owner A transfers vehicle B which is now fitted with registration mark A to owner B

Fee Required: $1,000 (for transfer) x 2 + $560 (for retention) x 2 = $3,120

Owner B transfers the vehicle registration mark B (non-Special vehicle registration mark) to owner A so that it can be assigned to vehicle A.  Vehicle B would then be disposed of

Procedures:

Transfer of Ownership
(1) Transfer vehicle B to owner A
next
Mark RetentionnextMark Assignment
(2) Owner A retains the registration mark of vehicle B (3) Assign the retrained registration mark to vehicle A

Owner A needs to state in form TD129 that vehicle B is disposed of and applies for retention along with the documents needed for de-registration if vehicle B has already been disposed of.

Fee Required:$1,000 (for transfer) + $560 (for retention) = $1,560

 

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Last update: 9 Sep 2019
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