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Where Can I Get Number Plates Made?

A new registration

If you’ve just treated yourself or someone else to a custom number plate, then you’ll probably be very keen to get this showing on the relevant car or van as soon as possible. You might also wish to replace your current plate because it is worn, faded, or damaged.
If so, this guide will help to answer the question of “where can I get number plates made?”

A word of caution

To really put your individual stamp on your new plates, you might be tempted to ask for different fonts, italics and styles of numbers and letters. As long as the number plate is clearly visible, then that’s all that matters, right?

Well actually no. In fact, it’s illegal to drive a vehicle showing number plates that do not conform to the exacting standards laid out by the DVLA. If you do not comply, you risk a fine of up to £1,000, and your car would fail its MOT too.

What kind of number plates are legal?

There are only two types of plates that are legal in the UK. The first applies only to cars that were first registered before 1973. Historic vehicles like this are permitted to display a different kind of plate from others, in keeping with their age and appearance. Apart from this exception, vehicles have to display the exact format as laid out by the DVLA - and the criteria regarding font, size, spacing and colour are very precise indeed.

Pre-1973 plates

Black plates are permissible only for vehicles over a certain age. If the car or van was first registered in the UK before 1st January 1973, black plates may be used. The lettering on these must be white, grey or silver, and the font, sizing and spacing must match the DVLA rules.

Post-1973 plates

Pre-1973 cars are rarely seen on the roads today, so the majority of vehicles display the modern type of plates. This means a white plate for the front and a yellow plate for the rear, with the size and spacing of the characters and even the font matching exactly what the DVLA says they must be. You must not space the letters differently or use italics, either.

A registered number plate supplier

To ensure you comply with all the above, as well as the law, you must get your number plates made up only by an approved supplier. The DVLA publishes a list of these, which you can search to find one close to you.

Before they even begin to start making up your number plates, the supplier is obliged to make a couple of checks. You should therefore take some form of photographic identification with you, so they can see you are who you claim to be. The second check relates to your right to use that number plate on that specified vehicle, so you should also take along the V5C, otherwise known as your car’s log book.

Who are these suppliers?

Some of the registered suppliers are companies who sell private plates, so you can order them at the same time as paying for your new registration. Otherwise, there are a range of outlets that make number plates. The best way to find one is to use the DVLA’s own search tool to locate an approved supplier in a convenient place for you. This specialist will make up the plates you need to show in order to conform to UK law.

Other related FAQs

Looking for more related content to this? We’ve picked a selection of related topics that you may find helpful

It’s widely believed that you cannot add a personalised number plate to a leased car, but as long as you liaise with the lease company and take a few simple steps, you are able to change the number plates.

You can discover certain information about the vehicle that a number plate is on fairly simply, but to find out who it actually belongs to is a little more tricky. Your best port of call is the DVLA.

Much like a personalised or cherished number plate in any other part of the UK, all personalised number plates in Northern Ireland must be registered with the DVLA in Swansea. This system has been in place since 2014.

Creating your own personalised number plate is relatively simple, and many websites are designed to make this process easier. However, there are some rules about what you can and can’t choose for your registration number.

Personalised number plates can be a good investment as they nearly always retain their value and often increase in price. Investing in these plates is not risk free though, so it shouldn’t be undertaken without careful research.

A number plate’s value varies according to how desirable and unusual it is. A number plate featuring a name, word or initials that a lot of people want is likely to fetch a higher price.

Usually, but there are a few exceptions. A private number plate can’t be transferred to a Q-registered vehicle, put on a car to make it look newer, or used on a vehicle that doesn’t require an HGV or MOT certificate.

You must inform the DVLA if you wish to remove your personalised number plate and replace it with the car’s original plate. It costs £80 to remove personalised plates and this can be done online or by post.

UK number plates change every March and September, on the first of the month. This is when the year identifier changes, for example from 19 to 69 in 2019/20. The former applies from March, and the latter from September.

It is fairly simple to fit a replacement number plate to your car in just a few steps. You can either use screws to fix it in place, or opt for double-sided pads to secure it.