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New Style Number Plates

A new number plate format is to be introduced from 1 September 2001.

At the same time new regulations take effect governing design, manufacture and display of number plates. The regulations introduce a standardised typeface, making it easier for number plates to be read. The change will apply to the plates of vehicles registered from 1 September 2001 and to all replacement plates issued from that date. The regulation will end using the use of italic, 3D, multiple stroke and other lettering on number plates.

The Mandatory Typeface

An example of the new character typeface is shown below:

Q is not used in the new format. It appears on some old format number plates, these "Q marks" will continue to be issued. See booklet INF46 "Registration numbers and you" for information.

Z will only be used in the random element of the new format.

A New Format

A new registration mark system will also commence when the current system expires. From this date new vehicles will be allocated registration marks in the following format:

The new format will comprise seven characters and include local and age identifiers , as shown above. The local memory tag is linked to the DVLA local office where the vehicle was first registered and is intended to help witnesses recall details of the number plate.

The age identifier will change every six months in march and September. in the example above BD signifies Birmingham, 51 represents september2001 and SMR is the random element. Lists of local age identifiers are shown here. DVLA local office identifiers may on occasion be subject to change.

Personalised Registration Numbers

The agency's sale of marks scheme will continue to sell Personalised registration numbers under the current and new formats.

If you already have a Personalised registration then it will still be valid after the introduction of the new format. You will be able to assign or transfer it to vehicles first registered on or after 1 September 2001 provided you comply with the cherished transfer rules that pertain at the same time.

There will also be provision on a voluntary basis, for the display of the euro symbol and GB national identifier on the plate. this will enable motorists to dispense with a separate GB sticker when traveling within the EU. Motorists may continue to show their national or regional identity through the use of stickers or badges, provided they are not displayed on the number plate.

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