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DVLA Number Plate Changes – September 2021
From September 2021 a revised technical standard for all new number plates comes into force. The old BS AU 145d standard will be replaced with BS AU 145e to meet the new British Standard for Retroreflective Number Plates. The new plates are more durable, they are made from tougher material and need to pass 10 tests. This includes the newly added abrasion test, which checks if the number plates can withstand debris like road salt and dirt.
Two-tone number plates
The new number plate standard limits the display to solid black lettering. This makes the plates more readable for the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras. However, that means that two-tone number plates using different shades to create a 3D or 4D effect, alongside acrylic or Perspex lettering to highlight the digits are banned under the new standard.
The new number plates will also have to include the supplier’s business name and postcode, along with the name of the number plate manufacturer and the new standard, BS AU 145e.
DVLA Number Plate Changes – March 2021
Some of the changes implemented since March 2021 are:
Green Number Plates
Green number plates were first introduced in December 2020 and are fitted as a standard on all zero-emission cars, vans, buses and motorcycles registered from 8 December 2020 onwards. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles aren’t eligible for green plates. Zero-emission drivers could get certain incentives such as cheaper parking than a petrol and diesel car and free entry in clean air zones.
Black and Silver Number Plate Changes
From 1 January 2021 onwards all vehicles manufactured on or after 1 January 1980 are banned from displaying the historic black and silver number plates, reducing options to the modern white/yellow reflective plates only.
Only vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1980 and those registered with the ‘historic vehicles’ tax class can use the black and silver plates. Vehicles older than 40 years are eligible to be classed under the ‘historic vehicles’ tax group, which enables them to stop paying vehicle tax and getting an MOT for the car.
GB Flag Changed to UK Flag
Prior to Brexit, the British number plates featured a circle of EU stars with the letters ‘GB’ underneath it. This could be used to travel and drive abroad.
On 31 January 2021, a year after Brexit, transport secretary Grant Shapps unveiled the redesigned number plates which displayed ‘GB’ for Great Britain under a Union flag on the left-hand side of the number plates to be able to drive in the continent.
Shortly after, the UN announced another re-design – replacing the ‘GB’ designation which has been in use for the past 111-years, with the letters ‘UK’ – to include Northern Ireland. The new reg plates design comes in effect from 28 September onwards, after which drivers can be fined for not displaying ‘UK’ on their number plates. The new ‘UK’ sticker or magnet can be easily purchased online, in post offices and in garages, or you could apply for new UK number plates to comply with the latest changes.