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Car Number Plates

From 1st September 2001 a new style and format for car number plates was introduced. At the same time as the new format for car number plates was being introduced, new regulations regarding the design, display and manufacture of car number plates was also brought in to effect.

The new regulations for car number plates has ended the use of multiple stroke, italic, and other fonts and character types that are considered hard to read. This has been facilitated by the introduction of a standardised typeface for all car number plates and any other road going vehicles such as motorbikes, motorised tricycles, Lorries, trucks and vans. There is a DVLA booklet (INF46 “Registration numbers and you”) which outlines in detail the requirements as defined in the new regulations relating to, and governing the design, manufacture and display of car number plates. The letters “I” and “Q” are not used in the new format for car number plates, although “Q” plates will continue to be issued as a special case.

Whilst it is not mandatory to replace old style car number plates and vehicle number plates as a matter of course, it is necessary to replace them if they have been customised with letters and numbers using italic or non standard fonts. The fonts of old style car number plates must be close to, and substantially the same as the new standardised font used on post 1st September 2001 car number plates and vehicle number plates. Additionally car number plates must be replaced if the fixing bolts or fixing attachments change the appearance of any of the letters or numbers making up the registration mark for the car number plates of the vehicle.

Since the introduction of the new car number plates format and vehicle number plate format in general there has been optional provision made for the display of the euro-plate. This style of number plate incorporates the European Union logo which is a circle of 12 stars on a blue background. For these road legal car number plates the identification letters of the member state is located below the European Union logo. For vehicles displaying the Euro-plate, the requirement for displaying the oval shaped national identifier sticker (i.e. GB) on a vehicle when travelling within the European Union is no longer required.

Since 28th December 2001 the UK government announced the intention to allow the display of national flags and symbols on car number plates, this provides for the inclusion and display of the Union flag, Red Dragon, Scottish Saltire, and Cross of St George.

The inclusion of football team crests, personal motifs, and individualised graphics are not allowed for road legal car number plates.