Number plate styles

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Here's a little more information about the different styles of number plates.

This will help you decide which type of number plate would be perfect for you.
 
To help you further, weve listed all the car registration release dates, where applicable.
Use this information to help you to plan which personal registrations you can apply to your vehicle.
Remember: you cannot apply a number plate to a vehicle if it makes the vehicle appear newer than it is.
If you are unsure, then please contact us for advice. We will be happy to help.
 

New (Current) Style number plates
Prefix style number plates
Suffix Style number plates
Dateless number plates
Irish number plates

 

New (Current) Style number plates

The new (sometimes referred to as current) style number plate was introduced in September 2001. They follow the format AA51 AAA, i.e. 2 letters, then 2 digits, then 3 more letters.
The digits indicate the date the vehicle registration was released.
 
For example: MR55 JRS new style number plate
 
The 2 digits (in this case 55) indicate this registration was issued after 1st September 2005. The DVLA rules do not allow you to assign a registration number to a vehicle, which will make it look newer than it is. In this example, you could only assign this registration to a vehicle registered on or after 1st September 2005.
 
See vehicle registration release dates for a full list of the dates when all new style numberplates were released. Future registration number release dates are also listed.
 
See number plate regional identifiers for the 2 letters allocated to areas in the UK.
 
More about current style number plates
 
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Prefix style number plates

The prefix style number plates were introduced in August 1983, and ended in August 2001. They follow the format A123 AAA. The first letter identifies the dates the registrations were first issued.
 
For example: R13 NJM Prefix style number plate
 
In this example, the first letter indicates this registration number was issued between 1st August 1997 and 31st July 1998. The DVLA rules do not allow you to assign a registration number to a vehicle, which will make it look newer than it is. In this example, you could assign this registration to a vehicle registered on or after 1st August 1997.
 
See vehicle registration release dates for a full list of the dates when prefix style numberplates were released.
 
More about prefix style number plates
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Suffix style number plates

The suffix style number plates were introduced in 1963. They were issued between 1st February and 31st July 1983. They follow the format AAA 123A. The last letter indicates the dates they were released.
 
For example: NJM 13R Suffix style number plate
 
In this example, the first letter indicates this registration number was issued between 1st August 1976 and 31st and July 1977. The DVLA rules do not allow you to assign a registration number to a vehicle, which will make it look newer than it is. In this example, you could assign this registration to a vehicle registered on or after 31st August 1976.
 
See vehicle registration release dates for a full list of the dates when suffix style numberplates were released.
 
More about suffix number plates
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Dateless number plates

Dateless number plates are precisely that.dateless. They were issued before date related number plates were introduced in 1963.
 
Dateless registrations can have up to 3 letters followed by up to 4 digits, or vice versa.
 
For example: TOY 386 Dateless registration number 66 JAY Dateless number plate
 
As they do not have a year identifier, they can be applied to any age car.

More about dateless number plates

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Irish number plates

Irish number plates are also, essentially, dateless. They follow the format of 2 or 3 letters, followed by 1,2,3,or 4 digits. Or vice versa. The letters contain either an I or a Z.
 
For example: GIL 32 Irish registration number OUI 326 Irish registration number MAZ 345 Irish Registration
 
 
They can be applied to any age car.

Find out about the different number plate types:
Dateless number plates | Suffix number plates | Prefix number plates
Current style number plates | Irish number plates
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