Number Plate Rules and Regulations | Primo Registrations

At Primo Registrations we sell every style of registrations that you could possibly want. However, what are the rules regarding displaying your new Primo Registrations number plate? Find out below:

What is classed as a legal UK number plate?

In the UK registration there are very stringent rules regarding what is classed as legal when it comes to number plates. Here, we will guide you through the DVLA’s (previously known as DVLC) rules for legal number plates, including some common faults.                   

Legally displaying your number plates

Legally, the number plates attached to your car need to be made by a manufacturer who is registered on the DVLA's Register of Number Plate Suppliers (RNPS). Primo Registrations are a registered supplier (number 43997) so you know that when buying through us you’re guaranteed legal number plates.

The rules regarding the creation of number plates are very specific:

  • Number plates must fit with the British Standard
  • Use the standard typeface
  • Be of certain size
  • Be printed using the correct colouring

There are alternatives for motorcycles, tricycles and traditional (black and white / silver) number plates.

All reputable number plate manufacturers will be aware and stick to the DVLA’s regulations. This is very important as vehicle registration marks must be displayed in accordance with The Road Vehicles Regulations 2001, see http://www.opsi.gov.uk/.

 The rules for legal display of number plates are:

  • You must display a number plate on the front and back of your vehicle
  • The front plate should feature black letters on a white background
  • Rear plate should feature black letters on a yellow plate
  • The background should be reflex-reflecting, but not the letters
  • Number plates should meet the British Standard
  • Character dimensions can differ slightly depending on whether your number plates were fitted before or after 1st September 2001. Details can be found below.
  • Character dimensions also differ for traditional 'black and white' plates, which may only be fitted on vehicles manufactured before 1st January 1973. See traditional number plates for more information.

Dimensions for number plates fitted after 1st September 2001

Character Height

79 mm

Character Width (except the figure 1 or letter I)      

50 mm

Character stroke

14 mm

Space between characters

11 mm

Space between groups

33 mm

Space between vertical lines

19 mm

 Dimensions for number plates fitted before 1st September 2001

 

Group 1    

Group 2

Character height

89 mm

 79 mm

Character width (except the figure 1 or letter I)      

64 mm

57 mm

Character stroke

16 mm

14 mm

Space between characters

3 mm

11 mm

Space between groups

38 mm

33 mm

Top, bottom and side margins (minimum)

13 mm

11 mm

Space between vertical lines

19 mm

9 mm

Dimensions for traditional number plates for vehicles manufactured before 1st January 1973

 

Group 1     

Group 2

Character height

89 mm

79 mm

Character width (except the figure 1 or letter I)     

64 mm

57 mm

Character stroke

16 mm

14 mm

Space between characters

13 mm

11 mm

Space between groups

38 mm

33 mm

Top and bottom margins

13 mm

11 mm

Side margin

25 mm

11 mm

 DVLA rules for motorcycle and tricycle number plates

All motorcycles and tricycles must display a number plate at the rear of the vehicle, if registered before 1st September 2001 it is allowed but not required by law to display a plate at the front.  

Two or three wheeled motorcycles or tricycles that have a car-type body must display a number plate at the front and back of the vehicle.

Motorcycles registered on or after 1st September 2001 must display a two-line number plate, vehicles registered before 1st September 2001 may display a three-line number plate. One-line number plates are illegal, regardless of the date of registration.

Motorcycle number plate character sizes:

Character Height

64 mm

Character Width (except the figure 1 or letter I)     

44 mm

Character stroke

10 mm

Space between characters

10 mm

Space between groups

30 mm

Top, bottom, and side margins (minimum)

11 mm

Space between vertical lines

13 mm

 Euro (and other flags) on number plates

Since 1st September 2001 you have been able to choose to display a Euro flag, for vehicles registered in the UK. The Euro-plate is a number plate that has the symbol of the European Union on the far left-hand side of the number plate.

Vehicles displaying this Euro symbol on the number plate don’t need to use a national identifier (GB) sticker when travelling within the European Union. All vehicles registered in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have the distinguishing sign GB.

On 28 December 2001, the Government announced the intention to permit the display of national flags and national identifiers on number plates. This allows for the voluntary display of the Union flag, Scottish Saltire, Cross of St George and Red Dragon.

It is illegal to display other symbols in this place, such as football team crests etc.

Number plate font

All number plates made after 31st August 2001 must display the mandatory font and any number plates made prior to this must be similar.

Number plate font should look like the below example:

Description: http://www.primoregistrations.co.uk/media/files/images/NBfont.png

Stylised letters or fixing bolts or sticky tape which alter the appearance of the letters are not illegal and can result in a fine.

Illegal displays of number plates include

By law it is illegal to alter, rearrange or misrepresent the letters or numbers. Additionally, characters cannot be moved from one group to the other, for example, A242 ABC must not be displayed as A242A BC.

That means:

  • No stylised letters or numbers
  • Don't move the spaces around, or change the size of the space
  • Don't misrepresent letters / numbers using screws. fixings, tape, etc
  • Don't misrepresent letters / numbers using squashed or distorted letters
  • No images other than the approved flags
  • Don't put on 'background' images (behind the number plate)

Full details of the requirements are included in The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001.

Remember, if your number plate is not legally displayed you risk a fine, and could even have the registration number confiscated.

 What's the British Standard for number plates?

The British Standard is the set of rules that lays out the physical characteristics required of a number plate. This standard includes the visibility, strength and reflectivity of the plate. The British Standard also requires each number plate to be permanently and legibly marked with the following information:

  • The British Standard number (currently BS AU 145d)
  • The name, trademark or other means of identification of the manufacturer or component supplier (the company that made the plate)
  • Name and postcode of the supplying outlet.
  • Other number options
  • A non-reflective border
  • Euro-symbol with national identification letters

If you have any additional questions regarding the legality of number plates or are looking for more information surrounding your purchase with Primo Registrations, then get in touch today on 01252 49 1111.