DVLA issues urgent warning of fines for 'altering' number plates before March changes

DVLA issues urgent warning of fines for 'altering' number plates before March changes
Richard Holden hosts last number plate auction
Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 20/01/2024

- 08:00

Updated: 24/01/2024

- 16:02

Two new registration plate identifiers are set to launch this year

Drivers are being urged to ensure their number plates are valid and roadworthy or drivers could face a hefty £1,000 fine.

New number plates will be introduced at the start of March with the “24” marker and in September with the “74” registration identifier.

In the lead-up to the new plates, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is urging motorists to keep an eye on their number plates.

Motorists consistently encourage drivers to use legitimate services to ensure their plates meet legal standards and keep them on the road.

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Personalised number plate

Drivers could face a £1,000 fine if they 'alter, re-arrange or misrepresent' a number plate


Writing on social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, the DVLA stated: “Number plate lost, stolen or damaged?

“Registered number plate suppliers will ask for identity documents and proof you can use the registration number.”

If a driver wants to get a number plate made, they should ensure they are from a registered number plate supplier.

A full list of safe and accredited number plate specialists can be found on the DVLA website with drivers being shown a list of suppliers near their postcode.

Motorists will be asked for the original documents that prove their identity and show they are entitled to legally use the registration number.

This could be in the form of showing them a passport or driving licence, as well as the V5C vehicle registration certificate.

Drivers may also need to visit these suppliers if they have ordered a personalised number plate, which has gained popularity recently.

The DVLA offers a personalised number plate service and holds auctions almost every month to sell the unique plates.

In the most recent auction, which ran between January 10 and January 17, a total of 2,500 were listed with starting prices ranging from £70 to as much as £2,500.

Five number plates sold for more than £20,000 with one plate in particular – L1 BYA – selling for a staggering £80,000, despite having a starting price of £200.

The DVLA clarified that the number plate can only be used on a vehicle registered as new on or after August 1, 1993.

It is an offence to alter, re-arrange or misrepresent a registration and drivers could be hit with a maximum fine of £1,000 and the plate could be withdrawn without compensation.

The DVLA held its last in-person personalised number plate auction at the end of 2023, with all subsequent auctions taking place online.

Speaking at the time, Roads Minister Richard Holden, said the auctions represented a “fantastic opportunity” to add a personal touch to their vehicle.


Personalised number plates

Drivers should ensure their personalised number plates adhere to guidelines


The MP for North West Durham added: “With DVLA raising almost £15million in the past three auctions, I’m particularly excited to be on the podium for the last ever in-person auction to seal some of the bids and see people take home their perfect registration.”

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