The new system
In 2001, a reformation of the DVLA plates system took place. As the old prefix system was fast running out of registration numbers, a consultation took place in 1997 which invited the public to give their views on a possible new structure for car registrations. A further consultation on the issue of new DVLA plates took place in 1999.
With the age identifier changing twice a year, in March and September, number plates began with the year identifier of 51 in September 2001. The last digit is the year identifier, whilst the 5 refers to September (0 would signify March). When this series is complete, the system will be reversed to give many more years of happy motoring under the revised system.
New style DVLA plates cannot be transferred onto older cars, as DVLA rules do not allow cars to be made to appear newer than they are. However, you can transfer an older plate onto a new car, or use a plate from the same year as the registration year of your vehicle. A standard font and spacing is also enforced to ensure that number plates can be easily read by motorists and ANPR systems.
In fact, if you do not confirm to the regulations for the legal display of DVLA plates, you will be handed a hefty fine and could risk having your plates taken off you and your entitlement rescinded. After you've splashed out your hard-earned money on your ultimate plates, it would probably be a good idea to make sure you keep them!
If you have any questions or queries, or are unsure about current DVLA plates legislation, why not head over to our forum? We have literally thousands of members who are willing to answer any question you may have, and with our in-house experts on hand, you can rest assured that Numberplates.com is the UK's largest personalised number plates resource.
If you require any more information on the issue and supply of DVLA number plates, please read through the information pages on this website or contact us with any questions you may have.