Number plate news

Number Plate Changes September 2021

The number plate changes from September 2021 will assist the DVSA in catching offenders quicker than before.

UK Authorities have presented a new guideline for number plates, swapping the currently used 'BS145d' standard with 'BS145e.' The latter will be stronger, thus can endure more destruction, abrasion, shock and thermal variation.

Perhaps, the best utility of the new number plate standard is making detection of these plates easier for number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras.

To make it possible, the British government has banned the use of two-tone number plates with a 3D or 4D effect, as well as those employing acrylic or Perspex lettering to emphasise the numbers.

The changes also include the requirement to the supplier's business name and postcode in the lowest middle of the plate together with the name of the number plate manufacturer.

The new standard is also applicable on "green flash" number plates introduced in December 2020. Available for only zero-emission cars, vans, buses and motorcycles, these plates aid in recognising electric vehicles.


The EV modifications came to promote electric vehicles, urge local administrations to provide rewards like lower parking fees and make it easier for EV owners to get these advantages.

A survey conducted by Auto Trader shows that about 62 per cent of vehicle purchasers do not know much about the green flash plates. Around 50 per cent of them wanted to get the green plate if they happen to buy an electric car.

Another 61 per cent wished to use green number plates once they know about their utility.

With predictions pointing towards a 59 per cent increase in EV registrations this year, we might see a large number of green plates on the road after September.

While talking about the perks green flash plates will bring for EV owners, Auto Trader's Rory Reid stated, "Since green plates were launched in December 2020 as an easy identifier for zero-emission vehicles, pick up of these has started to grow, albeit slowly."

"As they are not yet compulsory, not all zero-emissions cars will have them, especially if they were on the roads before 2020."

"And if you're buying a brand-new electric car ready for the September plate change, then you can ask the dealership to supply one instead of a regular number plate."

The excellent news is EV owners do not have to request the DVLA for the green flash plates. They can order them from any registered supplier. However, they need to possess specific papers, including the V5C.

We have heard about some motorists ordering green flash plates for their petrol and diesel vehicles to enjoy the benefits. The Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles is supervising such activities and may penalise those involved in the illegal use of these green plates.

UK Authorities have already introduced some number plate changes this year, such as allowing vintage number plates just for pre-1980 vehicles. In January, we also witnessed the removal of the EU flag from the plates after Brexit concluded.

Now, car owners cannot order new number plates with the EU flag but select from the Union Jack, English, Scottish, or Welsh flag.