At the end of last month, virtually all UK newspapers ran a story about the upcoming changes in number plate laws but, in case you missed it or didn’t see it on TV, here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know.

As is customary at this time of year, new license plates are always introduced based on the same format that’s been used by the DVLA every year since 2001. This year’s identifiers will be ’23’ and ’73’ respectively. Alongside this, there are also new numberplate rules and regs. that drivers should be aware of if they are to avoid facing a potential fine.

One of the main changes is the specific requirement for license plates to display solid black lettering. For example, two-tone number plates that use different shades to make them look 3D can still be seen on UK roads despite them being officially banned since September of 2021. This is to supposedly help ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras to more easily identify the vehicles they’re on. Based on this, it’s reasonable to assume that there will be a crackdown on drivers who still haven’t complied with the rules.

Misrepresented number plates

There’s also the issue of what’s known as “misrepresented” number plates. This is where the vehicle owner changes the spacing, height or shape of numbers and letters to try and make the plate more memorable to read e.g. to make a person’s name. Again, this has been illegal for some time so it’s safe to assume that this could land you in hot water if you have this type of plate on your car. Therefore, it’s important to note that the numbers/letters must display correctly and any attempt to rearrange or alter them is illegal. It can also lead to the failure of your vehicle’s MOT test.

It’s also worth pointing out that anything that makes the letters or numbers difficult to read or identify is illegal and could result in a fine of up to £1,000. In other words, this fine may apply if there are visible amounts of dirt on the plate, so make sure your license is kept clean and free from obstructions.

This year’s number plates will also have upgraded technical specs. including an abrasion test to ensure they can withstand debris such as road salt and dirt. As a result, these more durable plates are now made from tougher materials to make them more durable.

In summary

Here’s your quick takeaway summary of the key points:

  • The DVLA has introduced the new ’23’ age identifier.
  • Number plates must have solid black lettering, with two-tone ‘3D’ plates banned.
  • Altering license plate numbers and digits in any way can result in a fine of up to £1,000 and an MoT failure.
  • A crackdown on misrepresented number plates is probably on the cards

So there you have it, now is a good time to check your number plates are in order and don’t forget that even an overly dirty number plate can get you in trouble. If you’d like more specific information on number plates in general, the Government has produced a PDF document for you to download.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This