Numberplate spacing- why does it matter?
With the advent of automatic number plate recognition - the need for all number plates to conform to a certain size and style has become very important as it makes the task of reading number plates far easier.
With so many motorists using illegal spacing, different sizes and styles of fonts and plates- the DVLA regulate number plates into as many simplified areas as they can.
Broadly the DVLA stipulate the following rules:
Number plate font
In line with regulating the size of the number plate itself; it makes sense that the number plate font itself is uniform.
All new number plates are required to use the "Charles Wright Font" - pictured below.
Anything other than this is deemed illegal- there is only one number plate font.
Number plates for vehicles constructed before 1st January 1973
Vehicles built before 1st January 1973 are entitled to bear black and silver non reflective number plates.
The font must be easy to read but need not be the official Charles Wright font as prescribed for later number plates.
Some vehicles built after 1st January 1973 carry black and silver number plates - this is a breach of the DVLA regulations and is punishable.
Imported vehicle number plate sizes
Certain imported vehicles have smaller space on the grille or bumper for a plate and the DVLA recognise this by allowing imported vehicles to carry number plates of different dimensions to that of the main regulation.
Motorbike number plates
Clearly motorbikes have different sizes of number plates to cars or lorries; motorbikes built before 1st Sept 2001 can have a 3 line number plate, otherwise all other bikes must have a 2 line number plate.
Motorbikes with one line number plates are illegal.
Penalties for breaking number plate regulations
All of this information can be found in the DVLA’s guide to how to display numberplates.
Baffled by Jargon? Try our number plate glossary
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