DVLA Registrations

A short history

A 1 DVLA registrationWe all take those little plastic plates on our cars for granted, but how many people actually know the history behind DVLA registrations?

The car registrations system in Britain was first started in 1903, with these early DVLA registrations still being valid on vehicles today. Contrary to popular belief, the first DVLA registration was not A 1 (although it was the first registration issued in London).

Some codes were omitted from the original allocation of registrations, such as BF, standing for Bloody Fool, DD (a form of alcoholic deliria), DF (Damned Fool), DT (delirium tremens), and ER - the then royal cipher.

With the growth of the motor vehicle, DVLA registrations were expanded to include a third letter. Inevitably, more combinations were banned - such as GOD, JEW and SEX.

In 2001, the DVLA registrations system was changed and a new series of number plates was introduced. In the current system, the first two letters are a regional identifier and correspond to the authority which issued the registration. The two numbers that follow correspond to the year of issue - the first number is either a 0 (March) or 5 (September), and the last number corresponds to the year (2 for 2002, 5 for 2005). The last three letters are entirely random. So, a number plate reading MB05 RPT was issued in Manchester in 2005.

Sepia cart and horse picIf you browse through the comprehensive information section on this website, you can read more about regional identifiers and even find out where and when your number plate was issued.

Fast-forward to the present day, and private number plates are more popular than ever, with a whole range of people purchasing their own private DVLA registrations, which one can pick up from as little as £49. However, if the bug really bites, there are personalised registrations on the market for as much as £500,000!

Personalised DVLA number plates are now a part of British culture, signifying a person's hobbies and interests, or simply their name or initials. Don't forget, a personalised registration is yours for life, so why not find out what your ultimate number plate is?

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