Registration FAQ - Answers
To transfer a registration number form one vehicle to another you will need to complete form V317 that is available from a DVLA Local Office. This form will explain what you need to do before the number can be transferred. If you require further information, please contact your nearest DVLA Local Office.
To place a vehicle registration number on hold you will need to complete form V778/1 that is available from a DVLA Local Office. The form will explain what you need to do before the number can be retained. If you require further information please contact your nearest DVLA Local Office.
These are a very useful consumer protection aid.
A ‘Q’ number is a clear indicator to a prospective purchaser that the age or identity of a vehicle is unknown. The vehicle may be rebuilt from parts, some or all of which may not be new. This also applies to vehicles imported without supporting evidence to identify the vehicles age.
Registration marks are needed so that a vehicle can be easily identified. Number plates must be easy to read for many reasons but it is most important for the police. The police often rely on witnesses to remember the number plate if they are to solve a crime. This ranges from motoring offences to some very serious crimes where a vehicle has been involved. Solving these crimes can depend on someone remembering a registering mark or even part of it.
New Number Plate and Registration Mark Format
A consultation exercise in 1997 invited the public and interested organisations to give their views. The system that has been developed meets the needs of the vast majority of respondents in providing local memory tags and age identifiers. These will be easy to remember and require no significant changes in materials or overall number plate size.
An extensive public consultation exercise took place in 1999 before the allocation of the local memory tags. They have been allocated so that, where possible, there is some regional significance. Where this is not possible a neutral letter has been allocated.
The age identifier changes twice a year, in March and September. To distinguish between these two six monthly changes they have been allocated different number sequences. The following table shows how this will be achieved:
The use of the figure 5 to precede the year, for September registrations, will maximise the registration mark combinations and offer a long-lasting system. The 5 will change to 6 in 2010 and to 7 in 2020 and so on until 2050 when the format may be reversed to extend the format another 50 years.
No, registration marks cannot be transferred onto any vehicle if it may appear to make the vehicle look younger. No vehicle first registered before 1 September 2001 will be able to have a new style mark.
Yes. The letters 'HW' will be used for vehicles registered by Isle or Wight residents
No, there is no longer be a unique mark for the Scilly Isles.
No, the systems will continue as at present in Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man may choose to adopt the system later and a series of marks has been reserved.
Number plates must be easy to read - by people who may witness accidents or serious crime involving motor vehicles and by roadside cameras. The police rely on clear recall of registration numbers in order to trace vehicle keepers.
An increasing number of motorists use number plates that are difficult to read. The introduction of cameras for enforcement purposes means that it is more important than ever for number plates to be legible. The new regulations will ensure that there is clarity of numbers and letters through the use of a standardised mandatory font. Click here for further information.
The vast majority of motorists will not be directly affected by the regulations. However those motorists who have number plates that are not substantially the same as the new mandatory font should change them for plates that comply with new regulations. Once the new font becomes compulsory existing number plates using any typeface that is not substantially the same as that specified in the regulations will be illegal. Click here for further information.
Providing their number plate(s) currently meets the legal requirements the new mandatory font will not affect them.
Currently you should display a black on yellow rear and black on white front number plates that comply with the Current British Standard. From 1 September you may choose to display an old style number plate like those appropriate to vehicles registered before 1 January 1973.
It is for the courts to interpret the law but the current regulations do not provide for the display of the Euro-symbol. In most cases, the size and spacing of the characters would have to be reduced, and the plate would then be illegal.
No, it is optional. The provision is being introduced because the European Council issued a regulation in November 1998 requiring Member States to recognise the Euro-symbol on number plates in place of the traditional oval shaped national identifier sticker for travel within the European Union. It is for individual motorists to decide if they wish to use the new Euro-plate.
UK vehicles travelling in the European Union may still display the traditional oval "GB" sticker. Alternatively number plates incorporating the Euro-symbol may be used instead of the oval sticker. The oval national identifier sticker would still be required for vehicles on journeys outside the European Union.
The Government announced on 28 December 2001 the intention to permit the display of national flags and symbols on vehicle number plates. The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001 are in the process of being amended and should be in place by the end of 2002. They will provide for the voluntary display of the Union flag, Scottish Saltire, Cross of St George and Red Dragon. Football team crests etc are not allowed.
If the number plate is damaged in such a way that it makes the registration mark difficult to read it does need to be replaced.
No, you only need to replace the damaged number plate.
Yes, 3D characters are permitted providing they meet all the other requirements.
No, overprinting including honeycomb or other background designs are not allowed.
No, number plates must meet the British Standard requirements and we are not aware of any self-adhesive number plates that are able to meet these requirements.
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