The Legal Requirements to a Personalised Registration

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The Legal Requirements for Changing Number Plates

If you're thinking about changing number plates to a personalised registration then there are certain rules you must follow. We take a look at the legal requirements to ensure your new personalised plate is all above board.

Do you know the legal requirements for changing number plates on your vehicle?

If you live in the UK, you're required to have a registration plate on a vehicle. This doesn't mean that any plate you have on hand will work - you need to follow the laws. Otherwise, you'll get stuck with a fine of up to £1,000, and your car won't pass the MOT.

When you decide to change to personalised plates, following the law gets a bit more difficult. What are the restrictions for changing number plates? Let's take a look at what you'll need to do to keep yourself and your vehicle legal when you get the plates you want.


Standard Number Plate Requirements

Even if you don't change to personalised number plates, there are legal requirements that you'll need to meet.

Vehicle registration plates must follow the standard formats. There are a number of formats dependent on when your vehicle was first registered - you can see these here.


Putting a Personalised Number Plate on a Car

If you want a different, personalised plate for your vehicle, make sure you meet the legal requirements so you don't get into trouble.

Any personalised number plate has to be made of a reflective material. It also needs to sport a white background with black characters for the front plate, and a yellow background with black characters for the rear plate. When changing number plates, you can never choose plates with a pattern in the background.


How to Get a Personalised Number Plate

There are quite a few retailers that will sell you the personalised number plate you're hoping for. Make sure to buy from a high-quality, reputable site like ourselves so that your plate will meet all the requirements. Registered number plate suppliers are the only place to get the personalised number plate you need.

When buying a personalised plate, make sure you have your vehicle registration document and formal ID ready. You'll need to prove that you own the registration before changing number plates. Visit this site to learn more about the requirements your car needs to meet to qualify for a personalised plate.


Cost of Personalised Number Plate

The price of changing number plates varies depending on the design format you get. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from a couple hundred pounds up to thousands of pounds.

Each year, UK drivers spend millions on private plates, so this is a big industry.


How to Choose the Personalised Plate Design

If you're considering changing number plates, you probably already have a personalised plate in mind. But how can you tell if the plate is available?

Search our online database to find out the availability and cost of your desired plate. Some popular choices are dates of birth, initials, or abbreviated names.

However, if you were hoping for a plate that could be seen as offensive, you won't be able to get it. The DVLA bans personalised plates that are considered rude or offensive.


Transferring Personalised Number Plates

If you want to transfer your personalised plates to a different vehicle, you can. You just have to be the registered vehicle owner. Make sure you don't sell your vehicle before moving the registration, otherwise you won't get to transfer it. And if you don't transfer your plates before selling the car, you'll lose them.


Changing Number Plates and Insurance

Each insurance supplier has different rules regarding changing number plates. Some charge an admin fee to amend your policy. However, not all of them follow this rule. Make sure to ask your insurance company what their policies are before you change your personalised plates.

If you don't update your insurance company on these changes, they might show your vehicle as being uninsured. Completing all the required paperwork and updates helps avoid trouble down the road.


Does My Vehicle Need a Number Plate?

Number plates apply to more than just cars. Before you invest in changing number plates, you should make sure of the rules that apply to your vehicle.



Motorbikes and motor tricycles must have number plates on the back, but they don't need front plates. The number also has to be displayed on two different lines.


When towing a trailer behind a vehicle, both the trailer and the vehicle need to sport the same registration number. The plate on the trailer has to be on the very back, so someone following you can easily see it.


Bicycles aren't motor vehicles, so they aren't legally required to have number plates. However, that law could change in the future. Some people have proposed requiring number plates for bicycles, claiming that it could make cyclers safer and more responsible.


Protecting a Number Plate From Theft

Fittings on the outside of a vehicle, including number plates, are more frequently stolen than any other item from a car. Thieves might use a personalised number plate to disguise a car so they can steal fuel or avoid insurance companies.

How can you keep your expensive personalised plates from getting stolen? Follow the basic anti-vehicle theft advice, such as avoiding parking in dark areas. If you're really concerned about theft, you can also spring for theft-resistant plates.

These plates are more expensive, but they are more resistant to theft, and will break if a thief attempts to force them off.


Ready to Try Changing Number Plates?

Changing number plates makes your car, or any vehicle, more unique and instantly recognizable. That's why so many people are opting for personalised number plates.

Want to learn more about changing number plates? This guide will answer some of your FAQs for you.