Drivers warned of lesser-known DVLA number plate rules that could result in £1,000 fine

There are some number plate rules to be aware of
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


Drivers are being urged to brush up on car registration plate rules or risk a fine of up to £1,000.

Jon Kirkbright, sales director at Platehunter, specialises in buying and selling private number plates. He told the Liverpool Echo that some people choose to rearrange the letters and numbers on their plates in order to make desirable words. However, he has warned motorists that this could result in a hefty fine.

Government guidelines state: "Number plates (also known as licence plates) must show your registration number correctly. You cannot rearrange letters or numbers, or alter them so that they’re hard to read. You could be fined up to £1,000 and your vehicle will fail its MOT test if you drive with incorrectly displayed number plates."

Rearranging the letters and numbers on your plate is not the only issue that could see drivers hit with fines. There are other rules that must be followed, including the colour of the writing.

According to guidelines, the number plates on your vehicle must:

  • be made from a reflective material

  • display black characters on a white background (front plate)

  • display black characters on a yellow background (rear plate)

  • not have a background pattern

  • be marked to show who supplied the number plate

  • be marked with a British Standard number - this is ‘BS AU 145e’ for plates fitted after 1 September 2021

In addition, the characters must not be removable or reflective. If your number plates were fitted after September 1, 2021, they must also be a single shade of black. Your number plates can also:

  • have 3D (raised) characters

  • display certain flags, symbols and identifiers

  • display a green flash, if you have a zero-emission vehicle

Jon has advised drivers to only buy their number plates from a reputable dealer. He said: "All drivers should ensure that they are buying number plates from a reputable seller who has been approved by the DVLA.

"There are strict rules around the font, colour, spacing and size of the characters on a number plate that must be adhered to. We offer the service for just £25 including delivery and they can be dispatched on the same day, depending on the time they are ordered. This gives our customers peace of mind that the plates they are installing on their vehicle are legal and comply with the law."