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
“Once you’ve bagged that number plate – if it’s a good one it adds value to it. Some are iconic and will be sought after. Some of the best are simple but exquisite.”
The biggest went for £180,000 in May last year – for KR15 HNA – which was a new British record for the most expensive current style personalised registration plate.
Today, plates with just one number and two letters cost an estimated £60,000, 20 times more than the early 1990s, when drivers could expect to pay somewhere between £3,000 to £5,000.
A DVLA spokesman said: “Many people enjoy displaying a personalised registration number and the general sale and auctions remain extremely popular with the public.
“Since we began selling personalised registrations we have raised around £2.3 billion and all the money raised is passed to the Treasury.”
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