Number plate changes hit the UK this week – drivers urged to be aware

Number plate changes hit the UK this week – drivers urged to be aware


New DVLA rules and driving laws coming in 2022

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New licence plates arrive in the UK on March 1 and while many drivers will be looking forward to sporting ‘22’ plates on a brand new car, others may be concerned about the changes made to the design. While the material used for number plates are now more durable, the plates are also easier to surveil.

The new plates will incorporate previous changes made in 2021 which dictated that number plates had to adhere to new rules.

They will be “BS AU 145e” standard plates which meet the new British Standard for Retroreflective Number Plates.

The plates are made from a tougher material which makes them more resistant to abrasion and other damage, and started to be used in September last year.

Number plates can also now only display solid black lettering as two tone plates that used different shades to create a 3D or 4D effect have been banned.

The lettering can still be Perspex or acrylic lettering, provided it meets all other requirements.

This change was made to make it easier for Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to read the plate.

The new number plates will also have to include the supplier’s business name and postcode, along with the name of the number plate manufacturer and the new standard.

Those changes have prompted fears of cars being tracked without permission.

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One change that has pleased most drivers however is the switch from the old EU logo to a Union Jack flag.

The flag will now be shown on the new plates with ‘UK’ underneath it, where previously it read ‘GB’.

Those changes are due to Britain no longer being part of the EU after Brexit.

But failing to display number plates correctly can result in a hefty fine.

The DVLA states that: “Number plates (also known as licence plates) must show your registration number correctly.

“You cannot rearrange letters or numbers, or alter them so that they’re hard to read.

“You could be fined up to £1,000 and your vehicle will fail its MOT test if you drive with incorrectly displayed number plates.”

New car registrations are released every six months, so September will see ‘72’ plates.

The current number plate system has been in place since 2001.

The first two letters of a number plate identifies the location where the vehicle was registered. For example, LA – LY covers London and MA – MY covers Manchester and Merseyside.

The third and fourth digits signify the year in which the car was made and is known as the ‘age identifier.’

The system is able to run up until February 2051, with the last age-identifier being ’00’. At this time the DVLA is likely to review and update the number plate registration system.

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