Private number plates are commonplace on UK roads, with many drivers choosing to get their initials or name on the yellow plaque. Few people realise that private number plates are more affordable than ever and readily available for anyone and everyone, regardless of employment or social status.
While it’s easier than ever before for drivers to get their hands on a personalised number plate, not every combination of letters and numbers is available.
As a rule, the DVLA prohibits any registration numbers that could be seen as “too rude” or “too offensive”.
The registrations are issued twice a year, in March and September, but before this happens, the DLVA team searches through thousands of letter and number combinations to determine which could cause offence, pulling them from the system.
In March 2022, the team removed 343 combinations, including YE22 WAR, B22T CHY and TU22 URD.
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If the plates do not meet specific requirements, the police can dish out fines of up to £1,000 to motorists and could even be seized.
Drivers will also fail their MOT test if their registration plates don’t meet the standards.
Michelle Rigler, Head of Portfolio at First Response Finance, said: “As industry veterans, we’ve seen a lot of mistakes made from people who personalise their registration plates, and the consequences can be dire.
“It’s a fun and quirky task for sure – but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously and via the legal routes. Failing to play by the rules could see you hit with a £1,000 fine.”
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This change was made to make it easier for Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to read the plate.
They also have to include the supplier’s business name and postcode, along with the name of the number plate manufacturer and the new standard.
There is no requirement for people to apply to the DVLA for a green number plate, as they can be obtained from a registered seller.
When obtaining a green plate, the vehicle keeper should provide documentation, such as a V5C to prove their entitlement to display the registration mark.
The new green plates were launched in 2020 as a marker to identify electric vehicles and are overseen by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles.