Ensuring your number plate is legal


The DVLA have strict requirements for number plates that you must adhere to. Of course you must legally have a number plate on both the front and back of your vehicle. The front plate should have black letters on a white background and the back plate should have black letters on a yellow background. However if your vehicle was manufactured prior to 1973 then you are allowed to have a traditional style plate; that is white, silver or grey characters on a black background. The surface of the plate should be reflex-reflecting, but the text should not.


There are very specific rules for the characters on the number plate. Each character must be 79mm high and 50mm high except for 1 or I. There must be an 11mm gap between characters and a 33mm gap between groups of characters. If the plate is spread over two lines then there must be a 19mm gap between the lines.


There is a specific font that must be used for all number plates. It can be tempting to use a font that makes your personal plate look more like letters, such as font that makes 13 look more like a B, but you must not, it is illegal. You cannot use a different font nor can you use italics. You can’t move the characters around and you can’t change where the spacing is between groups of characters on your plate. You also cannot have any images on your number plate other than certain approved national flags. If you choose to have the EU flag on your car, you don’t need to add a GB sticker when you drive within the European Union.