LEGAL REGISTRATION NUMBER PLATES
It is all well and good having your own custom number plate printed, but you don’t want to get into trouble for doing so. There are several rules that you must follow in order to make sure that you are on the right side of the law when it comes to number plate printing. Even those purchased through specific companies must be displayed within in The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001 (obtainable from Her Majesty's Stationery Office).
Rules for the display of Number Plates are set out in law, briefly these are:
- A number plate displayed both at the front and the read of a vehicle (there are some exceptions)
- Your number plate should be easy to read and meet British Standards
- The front plate should be black font on a white plate
- The back plate should be black font on a yellow plate
- The font should not be reflex-reflecting but the background of your number plate should be
There are separate requirements for traditional number plates displayed on vehicles constructed before 1 January 1973
You should also make sure that your number plate is printed with the correct sized font and the correct spacing. There are different regulations that must be followed, depending on whether your number plates were fitted before or after 1st September 2001.
With regards to the layout of a number plate the law states:
You must not alter, rearrange or misrepresent the letters or numbers.
Characters must not be moved from one group to the other (e.g. A242 ABC must not be displayed as A242A BC).
Whilst it might seem tempting to just have a Number Plates printed anyway you want, you should bear in mind that there can be hefty consequences for doing so.
Offences may result in any or all of the following:
- A fine of up to £1,000
- The registration mark may be WITHDRAWN
- The vehicle may FAIL the MOT test
- Don’t worry if all of this sounds confusing because there are ways that you can get help and advice on this. In fact full details of the requirements are included in The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001
When you contact a number plate supplier to arrange your number plate, you will need to show several documents before they can go ahead with this registration for you.
You will need to show one of the following documents to confirm your identity:
Driving licence reference number, whether or not issued in the United Kingdom (UK).
A passport number, whether or not issued in the UK
A national identity card issued by the government of a state or territory other than the UK.
You must also show one of the following to show your entitlement to have a number plate::
- Vehicle registration certificate (V5C or V5CNI) - these are the preferred documents.
- The new keeper supplement (V5C/2 or V5C/2NI) of the registration certificate.
- Certificate of entitlement (V750).
- Retention document (V778) (not applicable in Northern Ireland).
- Vehicle licence renewal form (V11).
- Temporary registration certificate (V379) (not applicable in Northern Ireland).
- Authorisation certificate (V948) with an official stamp from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) or Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).
- A letter of authorisation from a fleet operator (including lease or hire company) (not applicable in Northern Ireland)
the letter must quote the document reference number from the registration certificate, not the vehicle identification number.
Legal Number Plates
Only outlets registered on the DVLA number plates R.N.P.S system can legally supply number plates.