New 69 Plates Are Out! How Do Car Regs Work?

September sees the release of the new 69-plate registration, but do you know why we get two new number plates each year?

New 69 Plates Are Out! How Do Car Regs Work?

Car registration numbers explained

Ever since the implementation of the Motor Car Act in 1904, it has been a legal requirement for all vehicles to be issued with a unique registration number visible on a number plate, but have you ever wondered what the 7-digit code above your bumper actually means? The image below shows an example of the UK number plate format. Take a look below to learn all the relevant registration prefixes and how to read registration plates:

The Local Memory Tag registration prefix will tell you where the vehicle was registered. (See full list of local tags here.) Similarly, the Age Identifier registration prefix will provide you with the registration plate’s age. It will tell you when the vehicle was registered, allowing you to calculate just how old or new it is.

In other words, any vehicle built and registered between 1st March 2019 and 31st August 2019 will have an Age Identifier of 19.

With that knowledge, we can now decipher the number plate in the image above to be for a vehicle which was made:

1) in 2019

3) and registered in Stockton

Take a look at our Number Plate Year chart below:

What about private number plates?

Good question. Private number plates are a very popular addition to any vehicle and can add an immediate touch of personalisation. If you or a friend are looking to purchase private number plates, here are a few things you need to know:

1. Personalised number plates cannot be used on vehicles newer than its original year of registration.

Take the following private number plate for example: GE07 RGE

This number plate would only be allowed on vehicles registered in 2007 or later. Bearing that in mind, if George was to use this plate on a vehicle registered before 1st March 2007, he would be breaking the law. In essence, you are not allowed to present a car to look newer than it is.

2. Don’t over-personalise!

It can be easy to get carried away when customising your number plates, but anything from fancy fonts to unusual spacing would have you breaking the law. Other restrictions include character alteration, size of character, additions of religious symbols, sports logos and insignia as well as background customisation. Stick to the Charles Wright 2001 font (also available in 3D effect) and you’ll be good to go.

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