Do you have to have GB on your number plate?

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Do you have to have GB on your number plate?

The GB sticker stands for Great Britain and has been valid on cars for the past 111 years across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Up until recently, the rules stated that vehicles needed to display a GB magnet or sticker. 

With recent changes around Brexit, there have been a variety of changes. This may leave you wondering if you still have to display GB on your number plate. Read on to find out more. 


Is the GB number plate still mandatory? 

As of Tuesday 28th September 2021, new guidance from the government states that GB stickers must now be removed or covered up from vehicles because the GB number plate sticker is no longer valid abroad. These changes also include Northern Ireland, due to the changes that arose as a result of Brexit, being excluded from Great Britain.

Instead, drivers should now follow new guidance which states that a United Kingdom (UK) sticker or identifier should be placed on their vehicle registration plate. 


What are the rules when Brits travel abroad with their vehicle? 

If your number plates have no identifiers, or any of the following, the new rules issued by the government state that the GB sticker should be replaced with the UK one. 

- GB



This sticker or magnet should be clear and visible on the rear number plate. 

If your number plate has a UK sticker with a Union flag, then you do not need to take any action and will be able to continue travelling abroad with no trouble. 

It is important to note that a UK sticker is not required to drive in Ireland. 


What should you do with your old-style GB number plate identifiers? 

If you have GB stickers on your vehicle, then these can simply be removed. If you have identifiers, including the registration plates that have GB and a blue band, will need to be covered up. 


How do you cover up the old GB identifiers?

Old GB identifiers can be covered with new UK stickers, which can be purchased from a variety of local or car stores, for example, car garages, the Post Office and Halfords. UK stickers for your number plate are not very expensive and typically cost a few pounds.  


What happens if you don’t remove or cover up the GB sticker on your number plate?

If you do not cover or remove the GB sticker, there could be penalties issued for not complying, and in some cases, you may be refused entry into some countries. 


Why have the rules changed?

The rules have changed due to Brexit. The government said this change was necessary and intentional, to symbolise the nation's unity and continue to spread the UK signifier amongst the government. 

You must make the necessary changes to your vehicle, by removing or covering up any GB stickers or identifiers before you travel abroad, to ensure you can travel with ease. You can review the official government guidelines if you need more information.