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DVLA Private Number Plate Guidelines

DVLA Guidelines


DVLA Number Plates

DVLA is the body responsible for enforcing UK private number plates and car registrations regulations. Their head office is based in Swansea and All UK private registration plates need to conform to DVLA regulations. Platehunter is a member of the CNDA (Cherished Numbers Dealers Association). We adhere to all regulations regarding the display of car registration numbers of DVLA registrations. Platehunter highly recommend that you only deal with car registration companies who follow these car number plate standards and regulations. Contravening the DVLA registration plate guidelines can result in a substantial fine and the risk of having entitlement of your cherished number plate permanently withdrawn without compensation. Platehunter vehicle registration number plates are only fully legal and in-line with the below DVLA car registration plate regulations.

Private registration plates can only be assigned to a vehicle which is registered, or about to be registered in mainland Britain  and which is an appropriate age to receive the registration number. At the time of assignment the vehicle must be licensed, of a testable type and have a test certificate in force, if applicable. Once you have assigned your number it may be transferred to another vehicle subject to the DVLA's transfer rules. It is an offence to mis-represent the registration in any way. You can make your car seem older than it actually is but you are not allowed to make it look newer. For example you cannot put an 11 number plate on a 07 plate car. Fancy or decorative fonts are also not allowed on car registration plates. You are allowed to put a UK or EU flag on the side of the car registration plate, but other symbols such as logo or football teams emblems are not permitted. Standard font and a 3D variation are the only fonts allowed to be displayed on a legal car registration plate. The correct size and spacing of characters on car registration plates is also very important, guideline on this can be found on registration plates section of this website. This can also ensure that you are not pulled over by the police for incorrect/illegal displaying of your car registration number plate.

DVLA Private number plates guidelines:

Vehicle registration numbers must be correctly displayed on your vehicle number plate. It is an offence to rearrange them to make them look like names or words or to alter them in any manner that makes the vehicle registration number difficult to read or identify.

The Registration Number Format

Vehicle registration numbers are a way of identifying vehicles. The current vehicle registration number format was introduced on 1 September 2001 for all new vehicles being registered.
The format consists of two letters, two numbers, a space and three further letters.
The first two letters (the local memory tag) tell you the office where the vehicle registration number was first issued, the two numbers are the age identifier, and the last three letters are random.
The age identifier changes every six months, once in March and once in September.
Replacing your number plate
When replacing your number plate you should make sure that the correct material has been used to manufacture the plate. It should be made from a reflective material. Front number plates must display black characters on a white background and rear number plate must display black characters on a yellow background.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is not aware of any self-adhesive number plates that meet the British Standard requirements.
Characters on a number plate can be 3D, providing they meet all the other requirements, but honeycomb or other background patterns are not allowed.
Also, the characters on a number plate need to be a standard height and width.
Your number plate should show the correct:
•    character height - 79 millimetres
•    character width - 50 millimetres (except the figure 1 or letter I)
•    character stroke - 14 millimetres
•    space between characters - 11 millimetres
•    space between groups - 33 millimetres
•    top, bottom and side margins - minimum 11 millimetres
•    space between vertical lines - 19 millimetres
Motorcycles and tricycles
Motorcycles registered from 1 September 2001 must only display a number plate at the rear of the vehicle.
Motorcycles registered before 1 September 2001 can display a number plate at the front, but do not have to. The number plate must be a 'two-line' number plate.
Motorcycle number plates should have a:
•    character height - 64 millimetres
•    character width - 44 millimetres (except the figure 1 or letter I)
•    character stroke - 10 millimetres
•    space between characters - 10 millimetres
•    space between groups - 30 millimetres
•    top, bottom and side margins - 11 millimetres (minimum)
•    vertical space between groups - 13 millimetres
Tricycles made from motorcycles must meet the number plate requirements for motorcycles.
Tricycles made from four-wheeled vehicles, such as saloon cars and quad bikes must meet the same number plate requirements as all other vehicles.
How to get a number plate made up
To have a number plate made for your vehicle, you’ll need to go to a registered number plate supplier (RNPS). The registered supplier will need proof of your identity, as well as proof that the registration number belongs to you.
•    How to get a number plate made up
What could happen if you display incorrect number plates
The police can issue fixed penalty fines for illegally displayed personalised  number plates. Offenders could face a maximum fine of £1,000 and in some cases the number plate may be withdrawn.
Vehicles with illegally displayed number plates may fail the MOT test.
•    The MOT test for your vehicle
National flags and identifiers
Motorists in England, Scotland and Wales have the option to display the Union Flag, Cross of St George, Cross of St Andrew (also known as the Saltire) or Red Dragon of Wales together with one of the following identifiers: GREAT BRITAIN, Great Britain, GB, UNITED KINGDOM, United Kingdom, UK, CYMRU, Cymru, CYM, Cym, ENGLAND, England, ENG, Eng, SCOTLAND, Scotland, SCO, Sco, WALES or Wales. This must be displayed on the left hand side of the number plate. No other symbols or flags can be displayed on number plates.
The flag must be positioned above the identifier and neither must be more than 50 millimetres wide or on the number plate margin.
Motorists displaying national flags and identifiers will still be required to display the standard GB sticker when travelling in Europe.
The Euro symbol
If you display the Euro symbol and Great Britain (GB) national identifier on your number plate, then you won't need a separate GB sticker when travelling within the European Union.
The symbol must meet the required standards. They are:
•    minimum height of 98 millimetres
•    minimum width of 40 millimetres to a maximum of 50 millimetres
•    reflective blue background with 12 reflecting yellow stars at the top
•    sign of the member state (GB) in reflecting white or yellow