All numberplates added to new vehicles or bought from the DVLA must be displayed in accordance with Regulations 17-22 inclusive and Schedule 2 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 1971 (as amended)
The Regulations specify that marks must conform with either one of two groups of provisions (provisions for embossed/pressed plates in section EMBOSSED PLATES below)
Group 1: Characters 89mm high Character width 64mm (except the number 1)
Group 2: Characters 79mm high Character width 57mm (except the number 1)
It is an offence to alter, rearrange or misrepresent letters or number in order to form names or word.
Characters must not be moved from one block to the other e.g. SU54 URS must not be displayed as SU5 4U RS
Offenders are liable to a MAXIMUN FINE of up to £1000 and under the new '3 strikes & out' policy the VRM may be withdrawn by the DVLA. Vehicles with illegally displayed numberplates will fail the MoT test.
For vehicles first registered on or after 01.01.1973, characters must be black, the background must be a reflex-reflecting material, white at the front and yellow at the rear.
Each numberplate will be permanently and legibly marked, with the following information which MUST be visible when the plate is attached to the vehicle
• The name, trade mark or other means of identification of the manufacturer
• The BSi number
With the new ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) system now being used with SPECS, police will crack down as the system is unable to automatically read and check mis-represented VRM's meaning they have to passed to a human for processing. At this time the police will have the option to prosecute (and probably will).