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With the recent change of registration plate numbers, we decided to find out exactly what your registration plate should look like and what happens if it doesn't!
Bristol Street Motors

Number Plates and What You Need To Know

Number Plates and What You Need To Know


By law, every vehicle has to have a registration plate so your car can be identified by authorities if need be. Registration numbers stay with the vehicle throughout its life, unless the registered keeper transfers or retains the vehicle registration number before getting rid of the vehicle. To learn more about that, click here

Here is some important information about how your registration plate should look so that you don’t get caught out!


What is the current vehicle registration format?

2 letters that refer to the region in the country where your vehicle was first registered e.g. NT would refer to Stockton as ‘N’ is for North and ‘T’ corresponds to the DVLA office, which in this case would be Stockton.

2 numbers refer to the year the registration was issued. These change twice a year in March and September. For example, if the vehicle was registered between March and August 2018, the numbers would be ‘18’. If it was registered in September 2018, the numbers would be ‘68’.

3 letters chosen at random.


What happens if you don’t follow this format?

You could end up with a hefty fine of £1,000 plus your car will fail its MOT test if the above format is not followed. Ouch!

It is an offence to alter, rearrange, or misrepresent the numbers and letters on a registration plate to form words or names, or in a way that makes it difficult to read.


What else do you need to know?

There are a few more things to remember about number plates, should you get your own registration plate made. It should be:

-          Made from a reflective material

-          Display black characters on a white background for front plates

-          Display black characters on a yellow background for back plates

-          Not have a background pattern


There are more details for registration plates on other vehicles here 


You can get personalised registration plates made by DVLA which you can learn more about here