DVLA Rules For Number Plates And Their Spacing
Drivers have been warned that they can be stripped of their car’s number plate if they break the law.
Devon and Cornwall Police revealed the circumstances in which plates can be seized as they revealed how many motorists had been stopped for having dodgy plates.
The force said three drivers a week were stopped, on average, in the last 12 months for having illegal plates.
So-called “non conforming” number plates include those that have been mis-spaced and those with italics.
In response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act, a Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: “The force will also contact DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) in cases where the number plate has been mis-spaced.
“Purchasers of the registration mark do not own the plate, they own the right to place it on their vehicle, subject to conditions. Mis-spacing is one of them.
“On receipt of two reports of the same mark being mis-spaced they will remove it from the owner, who may have paid several thousand pounds for it. Often the illegal number plates are purchased on the internet and specified not for road use.”
On its website the DVLA also warned that you could be fined up to £1,000, and that your car “will fail its MOT test if you drive with incorrectly displayed number plates”.
THESE ARE THE DVLA’S RULES
For vehicles with new or replacement number plates fitted from 1 September 2001, registration numbers can no longer be shown over three lines (unless the vehicle was first registered before 1 January 1973) or if a vehicle is constructed before 1 January 1976 and is registered in the historic tax class and is exempt from vehicle tax.
Also, the letters and numbers (characters) on number plates bought since 1 September 2001 will need to meet the following standards.
Characters must be 79mm tall
Characters (except the number 1 or letter I) must be 50mm wide
The character stroke (the thickness of the black print) must be 14mm
The space between characters must be 11mm
The space between the age identifier and the random letters must be 33mm
The margins at the top, bottom and side of the plate must be 11mm
Vertical space between the age identifier and the random numbers must be 19mm
How close a series of letters or numbers are to a real name of word: if the match quality is high (and the numbers and letters are very convincing in making a popular word), the value of the registration plate will be higher. This means that a match like 5IMON, for the name Simon, will be worth a lot more than a more obscure set of letters and numbers that are not as convincing a match, such as S17 MMM for the name Sam.
The style of the plate: this means establishing if it is a new-style plate, an older-style format or if it is dateless or Irish, for instance. Other options are that it is a prefix-style plate or a suffix-style plate. New-style number plates, which have been produced since 2001, tend to be the least valuable because they are a bit less appealing to some collectors, plus the rule about not having plates that are newer than your car can also come into play, putting people off from buying a newer-style plate for their older car. Prefix-style number plates, which were in production between 1983 and 2001 can be more popular as more vehicles are entitled to have those licence numbers, and they may have fewer characters in total. Suffix-style plates, issued from 1963 to 1983 are relatively rare, which means they can attract higher prices than prefix-style plates and newer designs. Dateless number plates, also known as cherished number plates, were produced between 1903 and 1963 and are nearly always the most valuable number plate configurations; they have fewer digits and their dateless nature means that people can hide the age of their car. Irish number plates are similar to dateless number plates, especially because they don’t have a year identifier. They also tend to be cheaper than other types of vehicle registration plates.
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