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Last Updated: 1 December 17

Prefix Letters

In Great Britain there is a system of dating registration plates by using 'year letters'. The dating of registration numbers began in January 1963 by having the year letter 'A' as a suffix to all number plates until December 1963, i.e 'BCD 123A'.

The year letters of I, O, Q and Z were omitted because they were confused with 1, 0, O and 2 respectively.

From August 1982 to July 1983, number plates were given the suffix 'Y'. Following that, from August 1983 onwards, plates were given prefix year letters.

For the first time since 1967, the year letter is now being changed every 6 months. Therefore the current letter, 'V', runs from September 1999 to February 2000 and 'W' registrations will appear on cars registered from 1st March 2000.Special Plates: Although Q was never used as a year letter, it is used as a prefix for 'Query Plates'. These represent vehicles that are either kit cars, have unknown original years of manufacture or have been written off.



Period Suffix

Then Year Letters became Prefix Letters e.g. A123 BCD

Period Prefix


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