Displaying Registration Plates

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Regulations on Displaying Registration Plates

Personalised plates have been the primary way for a vehicle owner to show originality and creativity whilst also expressing a sample of their identity to others. No matter what they say, custom registration plates are easy to identify and catch the eye in how they go against the standard structure of registration plate letters and numbers. However, with such plates, there are rules and regulations you need to follow to have a legal licence plate.

License plates are regulated by the DVLA, which uphold the standardised rules around driving and automotive in the UK. This includes custom licence plates and how to display them.

Displaying Number Plates

There are significant rules around the regulation of displaying active licence plates on insured vehicles, both standardised and custom. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) issues regulations to ensure consistency in the number plate system, allowing easier monitoring for insurance purposes. This regulation makes it safer for the police and emergency services and helps against vehicle-related crimes like car theft.

The DVLA states that UK number plates should:

  • Be made from a reflective material
  • Display black characters on a white background (front plate)
  • Display black characters on a yellow background (rear plate)
  • Not have a background pattern
  • So long as your plate follows these rules, then it will be legal.

The Format of Number Plates

Standard registration plates must follow the same display format in line with DVLA regulations. The structure is two letters, two numbers, a space and three letters after this. However, custom licence plates do not follow this same rule. The first two letters are the DVLA memory tag which is specific to locations such as cities. The two numbers are the age of the vehicle, which is the part of a registration plate most people are most familiar with.

Obtaining a Private Number Plate

When choosing a custom licence plate, you must ensure to stay within the rules of the DVLA standardised regulations for all licence plates. After brushing up on the laws, you must ensure you only get a custom registration plate from a registered number plate supplier. The supplier will need to see proof of ID and proof that you are entitled to use the registration plate, then you can have the number transferred to your current vehicle.

You can use the following to confirm your name and address:

  • Driving licence
  • Utility, council tax or rates bill from the last six months
  • Bank or building society statement from the previous six months
  • National identity card