|Display of Registration Marks; Old Style (Vehicles pre Sept 2001)|
|VEHICLE REGISTRATION MARKS, must be displayed in accordance with Regulation 17 and Schedule 2 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 1971 (as amended).|
These Specify that the mark must conform with either one of the two groups of provisions:
GROUP 1:||Characters 31/2" high   Character width 21/2"(except figure 1)|
stroke width 5/8"
GROUP 2:||Characters 31/8" high   Character width 21/4"(except figure 1)|
stroke width 9/16"
|Number 1 Spacing on Embossed Plates.|
|GROUP 1: Where each letter or number is 31/2" high|
The space between the nearest parts of two adjoining figures '1' shall not be less than 1/2" nor more than 23/8", and the space between the nearest part of a figure '1'and the nearest part of any other figure shall not be less than 1/2" and not more than 17/16".
|GROUP 2:Where each letter or number is 31/8" high|
The space between the nearest parts of two adjoining figures '1' shall not be less than 7/16" nor more than 21/8", and the space between the nearest part of a figure '1'and the nearest part of any other figure shall not be less than 7/16" and not more than 19/32".
There are seperate provisions for motor bicycles.
It is an OFFENCE to alter, rearrange or misrepresent letters or numbers in order to form names or words.
Characters must not be moved from one block to the other e.g. A242 ABC must not be displayed as A242A BC.
OFFENDERS are liable to a maximum fine of £2000 or the loss of the registration (for serious and repeat offenders).
Plates must be fitted in a vertical position so that every character is cleary distinguishable.
Under the old rules, on vehicles first registered after 01/01/1973 the characters must be black, the background must be retro-reflecting material, using white at the front and yellow at the rear, whilst older vehicles could display black & silver number plates.
Under the new rules, all vehicles over 40 years old now qualify for free road tax and as such are now also entitled to display black & silver number plates for the first time. (Please note you still have to apply for road tax each year.)
The 40 year exemption date rolls forward automatically each year on 1 April.