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DVLA clamp down on number plates that may read “Islam”10-Apr-2015

Bosses at the DVLA have said that personal number plates which include 15LAM combinations could be banned from being sold in a bid not to affect religious sensitivities. 

The agency doesn’t currently list private number plates reading MY15 LAM (My Islam) as being on sale, and further combinations of the letters and number are also prohibited, it has been revealed. 

An ex-policeman from Fife came across this after a Muslim friend attempted to buy it. The ex-officer said: “My friend tried out a number of different combinations but kept getting the same message. I had a go when I went on the site as well, and it quickly became obvious that it just wasn’t possible to order any personal number plates which had 15 LAM as part of their make-up.” 

Such measures may seem extreme to some. But a spokesman for the DVLA says: “As society changes, we regularly assess the appropriateness of personal number plates. We withhold some options if they are likely to cause embarrassment or offence.” 

The spokesman added that they can also be withheld on religious, racial and political grounds. The Muslim Council of Britain reported that it hadn’t previously been made aware of this decision. 

It’s something that clearly divides opinion. On the website of one national newspaper, two fifths thought the DVLA was right to ban the “Islam” number plates, while 59% disagreed with the decision. 

You shouldn’t worry if your heart was set on something specific that you can’t buy, however. There is a huge variety of private registration plates for sale, so even if you can’t get your first choice, you're sure to find something you like.

People buy private reg plates for all sorts of reasons, and the DVLA has raised over £2 billion since plates first went on sale over 25 years ago, ultimately leading to over four million separate registrations. 

These days, private plates are more popular than ever, and there’s more choice than ever before, which is perfect if you want your car to stand out from the crowd.