Can I put any personalised number plate on my car?

can I buy any personalised number plate for my car?


Can I put any personalised number plate on my car?

Not quite.

The one rule you need to know is this:

You cannot make a car appear to be newer than it is

That means you cannot put a registration number on your car if it was issued after your car was first registered. For example, if your vehicle was registered in (say) June 2006, you cannot put a personalised number plate on it that has 08 in the middle. Like DS08 DMS.

We've listed the car registration issue dates so you can check yours. If you’re unsure please check with us first. That's what we are here for.

If you're really keen on a registration number but your car is not new enough,  it's (usually) possible to buy the registration number. You may be able keep it on a Certificate, and use it up to 10 years later!. Please ask us and we will advise you.

You can put any dateless number plates or Irish number plates on your car as these can be transferred to vehicles of any age. Other styles of UK number plates have a year identifier so you will need to check the dates.

What difference does it make how old my car is?

It's a personalised number plate so why does it matter?

The DVLA do not allow registration numbers to be assigned to a vehicle if that would suggest that the vehicle is newer than it actually is. It doesn't matter if that's a personalised registration or a standard one. If you were to sell the car later, a potential buyer could be duped into thinking it was newer than it is. It may not be obvious to the buyer that the registration number is not the standard one that was first issued. So the DVLA applies a blanket rule.

Can I make up a number plate and ask for it?


In some other countries this is possible. But UK number plates don't work that way. Registration numbers are issued by the DVLA, and they must all fit within the defined formats and letter / number combinations that have been issued. You can't make one up.

Got more questions?

What's the DVLA fee for?

Can I put a private number plate on a motorbike?

I don't have a car yet. Can I still buy a private registration number?

Or you'll find answers to lots more questions in our FAQ's

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