HomeMotoring UKCheck rules before displaying your numberplates Jayne Henry December 19, 2013 Motoring UK, Personalised Number Plates Don’t display your plates without checking the rules The DVLA and DVA have strict requirements for number plates that you must adhere to. Obviously you must legally display a number plate on both the front and back of your vehicle. The back plate should always have black letters on a yellow background and the front plate should have black letters on a white background. If your vehicle was manufactured prior to 1973 then you are allowed to have a traditional style plate. There are legal 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. It can be tempting to use a font that makes your registration look more like letters, such as a font that makes 12 look more like an R however it is illegal to do this and doing so may result in you losing your registration. 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. You cannot legally display your plates until you have received authorisation from the DVA/DVLA this means that you will have received you new V5C, tax disc and MOT certificate back from the DVLA with an authorisation letter. Many people are tempted to display their plates before authorisation has been given especially if it is a Christmas gift and you are getting impatient. Why not get a set of plates made up instead if you are running out of time in fact Speedy Reg are currently giving away free plates over the festive period to blog readers.