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Is Your Private Number Plate Legal, or Could You be Faced With a £1,000 Fine?

Is Your Private Number Plate Legal, or Could You be Faced With a £1,000 Fine?

Is your personalised number plate legal or will it soon land you in quite a bit of trouble? United Kingdom motorists are being urged to check if their private number plates are legal. With a few seemingly minor errors, your cherished personalised number plate could be deemed “illegal” and result in a £1,000 and a failed MOT.

Everyone knows that number plates, whether personalised or custom, must meet a variety of standards. These standards are largely implemented to ensure that the plate is clearly visible and legible. But there’s more to it than that.

There have been over 15,000 incorrectly registered number plates recorded in the UK over the last 3-year period. Personal number plates registered in Norfolk and London seem to have been the biggest culprits although you are likely to see them in every town and village.

How your number plate and car registration has been made and displayed could have bearing on its legality. In fact, there are five ways that a personalised number plate can be seen as an “illegal registration”. And here they are:

1. The wrong font has been used on the number plate

Personal plates are bound by the formatting rules of standard UK number plates. This means that only the standard “Charles Wright” font is allowed on any and all number plates in the UK. Number plates that you see with fancy writing and italic style lettering is totally illegal and whilst a very small proportion of drivers like this style, most think its tacky. You may also find that your car insurance may be void if the car becomes stolen and the plates are not instantly recognisable due to the unclear font than may not be picked up on speed cameras and the RNPS cameras.

2. The number plate includes the incorrect flag

Only the following flags are allowed on number plates in the UK: GB, Union Jack, The St George Cross, The Scottish Saltire, and The Red Dragon of Wales. Logos and images such as Betty Boop, The Playboy Bunny and even BMW and Mercedes Benz are all trademarked images that cannot be used on number plates either. They are sometimes used on showplates where the car is in a show but are strictly illegal on the road.

3. The incorrect number plate colour has been used

Even a personal number plate must follow the colour rules set out by the Department of Transport. On the front, the plate must be white with black font. On the rear, the plate must be yellow with black font. This law was introduced in 1973 to determine the front and rear of a vehicle. Yellow was determined as the biggest contrast to white even though some countries actually use them the other way round like in France where they use the yellow registration plates on the front and white on the rear. Vehicles registered before 1st January 1973 can still use the black and silver style numberplates that were standard at that time but can also use the yellow and white ones if preferred. It also worth noting that even if a registration number was issued before 1973 it is the year of manufacture of the vehicle that determines whether black and silver numberplates can be used.

4. The number plate background is incorrect

The details on the number plate must be clearly visible so there cannot be any stickers on it. A non-standard background, even if it’s just a pattern, is unacceptable. The yellow and white backgrounds must be a reflective material to satisfy MOT standards. All acrylic number plates supplied by The Private Plate Company are made to BSau 145e which is a road traffic law introduced by parliament. This small line of code MUST be present on the bottom right hand corner of the front and rear number plates to comply with MOT rules.

5. The spacing of the lettering on the plate is incorrect

Incorrect letter spacing can result in a fine. This is the most abused rule when it comes to number plates. Misrepresenting numberplates may not only invalidate your insurance if your car is stolen, it will almost certainly fail an MOT test and can result in a fine of £1000 and the loss of your number plate. This is particularly important to consider if you have paid a lot of money for it. A proper private number plate will require no changes such as moving letters and numbers or nuts and bolts to make read the word it was intended to look like.

The Private Plate Company sells private number plates that meet all UK legal requirements.

If you are looking for private number plates that are designed, manufactured, and registered according to the DVLA number plate laws and regulations in the UK, you have come to the right place. Avoid failing MOT regulations and the hefty potential £1,000 fine by ordering your personalised plates from The Private Plate Company.