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Illegal Number Plates

December, 22 2015


How To Spot Illegal Number Plates

If you’ve been supplied with a set of number plates that you suspect to be illegal or if you’re currently driving on number plates you are not sure on then you need to do something about it. Fines these days for illegal number plates are huge and might result in an MOT failure on the spot.

We have covered in detail previously the rules and regulations of displaying number plates, and have included below the most tell-tale signs that you are looking at illegal number plates.

No Name, Postcode and British Standard Mark

Every number plate that has been made to DVLA standards has information on the bottom. These are the name, trade mark or other means of identification of the manufacturer or component supplier and the name and postcode of the supplying outlet (e.g. National Numbers Ltd TS23 1LG), and the British Standard Mark (“BS AU 145d”).

If the number plate is missing this information the chances are it has not been made by an approved number plate supplier. This is dangerous as they cannot be held accountable for displaying illegal number plates.

The Spacing Is Different When Compared To The Registration on the V5C

Miss-spacing number plates is one of the easiest ways to be caught out, but people try their luck nonetheless. It is easy to miss this if you are not fully aware of the legal format for British registration numbers.

British registration marks should be the same on a number plate as they are on the V5C; altering the order of the digits or changing spacing will render a number plate illegal.

Unusual Marks and Designs

The DVLA do allow a variety of extras to be added to number plate, usually flags, borders, and 4D characters that protrude from the plate.  Anything that falls outside of these allowances are illegal. This includes any other form of lettering other than the standard and 4D styles.

A complete list of what is allowed is available for reference to check your plates are legal.

The Plate Is Made of Different Material

DVLA number plate suppliers can only use one material to make their number plates (not counting aluminium pressed plates for classic cars). It is a form of acrylic that is naturally reflective. As per DVLA’s guidelines, the material must have this quality.

Plates must also pass a “bend test”; if it is bent it should spring back to its original shape.

If both qualities are not met then they are illegal number plate.

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