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Prefix Number PlatesNumber plates that have the year letter at the beginning of the registration, for example B21 VAN.
Current Number PlatesCurrent style number plates were introduced in September 2001 and they follow the 2 digit year identifier, 3 letters format, for example XX10 VEU (Kiss Kiss Love You).
- Letters First
- Numbers First
Dateless Number PlatesRegistrations which can be transferred to any age of vehicle, for example 70 NNX.
Personalised Number Plates
Personalised Number Plates are a special type of vehicle registration plate on an automobile or other vehicle. The owner of the vehicle will have paid extra money to have his or her own choice of numbers or letters, usually forming a recognisable phrase, slogan, or initialism on their plate. Sales of personalised number plates are often a significant source of revenue for the DVLA.
In the United Kingdom, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) issue number plates. They do not approve personalised registrations if they contain words, which are offensive in any widely used language. UK plates have to match certain very strict letter/number combinations, including the following:
For ordinary registrations, many of the letters are fixed; for example, in the first four above, the second and third letters (and in the fifth the first two letters) have to correspond to the original registration district of the car, and not all combinations have ever been used. In the first four, the numbers can be one, two, or three digits.
Registrations can be sold, or transferred from one vehicle to another, with some restrictions. Originally the only personalised number plates allowed to be transferred were ordinary registrations that had been transferred, but in the 1990s the DVLA began selling personalised registrations unrelated to the registration districts.
There is some additional flexibility available by using numbers that resemble letters (e.g., S for 5), or by using large black-headed screws to fix the plate to the car to fill in a gap. However, the font style, size, and spacing is mandated by law, making the practice illegal.
Some plates only acquire significance because of particular owners. For example, "COM 1C" was formerly owned by the comedian Jimmy Tarbuck, magician Paul Daniels had "MAG1C", the 1967 plate "BEL 12E" is owned by the Belize High Commission, and "CHN 1" is owned by the Chinese embassy.
In the UK, there are a large number of private dealers who act as agents selling DVLA registrations, as well as their own stock - often purchased at auction or from private sellers.
VIP 1" was advertised "as one of the most important and impressive number plates ever issued". It is a registration issued in the Republic of Ireland for the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1984. The plate was used on his "Popemobile".
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