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Why Do Some Cars Not Have Front License Plates UK

Transferring a private number plate to a car you are driving is a required process in order to legally use the private plate. But how is this process facilitated? And how long does the process actually take?

This blog will answer the question ‘How long to transfer my new private number plate to my car?’

Bespoke Plates is a renowned and legally certified registration platemaker and installer, with options of 3D Plates, 4D Plates, Show Plates, regular / Electric Vehicle Plates and more. We are the one-stop shop for all things registration plates!

Whether it’s a Private Plate, Gel Plate, Standard Registration Plate or plating accessories, we have you covered.

As a certified and experienced team of plate fitters and makers, our plates are installed to the specification of UK law, provided alongside the appropriate paperwork you require. (The only exception to this is show plates.)

Why does a private plate require a transfer to use on a vehicle?

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Every functioning vehicle is assigned a number plate in order to be legally compliant. This is essentially the vehicle’s identity for the rest of the vehicle’s life. The DVLA uses this identity in order to keep track of the vehicle’s history.

If no process existed to officially identify a vehicle with a private plate, it essentially opens the floodgates open for number plate theft to be more commonplace. By having an official process, it allows for authorities to quickly and efficiently find and deal with false number plates.

Which vehicles won’t have a private plate?

Private plates are generally available for any vehicle. However, in some cases, government vehicles, or vehicles specifically used for a certain line of work may not be eligible to use a private plate. This also includes other vehicles that are hired or leased, subject to the provider’s stipulations.

What’s the difference between a normal and a private plate?

UK number plates can be simple to read once you understand the format. The format is as follows…

  • The first two letters of a number plate tell the reader where the vehicle was first registered. In the UK, one region can have many regional identifiers. For example, a vehicle registered in London can have the following regional identifiers ‘LU, LV, LW, LX, LY.
  • The following two numbers identify the year in which the vehicle was assigned its plate. For example, a car that has a plate assigned from London in 2020, could have the following first four characters ‘LW20’.
  • The final three letters of a UK number plate are picked completely at random. This saves cars that are registered in the same place, and get their plate in the same year, from being completely the same.

With private plates, they do not have to follow these rules whatsoever, some may have 7 characters, whilst others may have two!

How long to transfer my new private number plate to my car?

What Happens to a Private Number After the Owner Dies

The length of time it takes for a transfer of a private plate to a vehicle varies depending on the method you choose to conduct the transfer. By conducting the process via post, it can take a number of weeks to be approved, subject to how much of a backlog the DVLA is dealing with.

However, by conducting the process online, the processing time can be reduced significantly, in some cases taking days or less. This is completely subject to whether your car requires an inspection or not. If not, this process can be completed immediately. This service is available online from 7AM–7PM.

Can I drive my car whilst the plate transfer is taking place?

Yes. As long as the plate you are driving with corresponds to what the DVLA system has. This means that under any circumstances, you should not drive with your new plate until the transfer has been officially confirmed.

The consequences of driving your vehicle without the right plate can include fines, towing of the vehicle, points on your licence, and much more.

Do I have to assign my private plate to a vehicle?

No. If you purchase a private plate, you do not have to assign it to a vehicle. However, you must renew your right to own it once every 10 years. If you fail to do this, your ownership will be relinquished, regardless of the amount you paid for the plate.

Do custom number plates need to be transferred?

Not exactly, although you would need to physically apply them to your vehicle, you don’t have to go through the same process as when you transfer a private plate.

However, if your vehicle is leased, you must confirm with the lease provider whether you can get and attach the custom plate. We would recommend seeking their permission first before committing to getting a custom 3D or 4D number plate.

What are the rules for a custom number plate?

Here are the legal requirements for number plates. As long as your custom plate complies with the following rules, it is completely legal. As per the legal guidance, the ruling on number plates is as follows…

The number plates on your vehicle must:

  • be made from a reflective material.
  • display black characters on a white background (front plate).
  • display black characters on a yellow background (rear plate).
  • not have a background pattern.
  • be marked to show who supplied the number plate.
  • be marked with a British Standard number — this is ‘BS AU 145e’ for plates fitted after 1 September 2021.

The characters must not be removable or reflective. If your number plates were fitted after 1 September 2021, they must also be a single shade of black.

Your number plates can also:

  • have 3D (raised) characters.
  • display certain flags, symbols, and identifiers.
  • display a green flash, if you have a zero-emission vehicle.

So now we know the legal parameters, how can we ensure that they are fulfilled when you get your plate customised? It starts by visiting a legitimate plate manufacturer.

Finding a custom number plate provider

Whether it is a private plate or a standard plate, getting your own bespoke custom number plate is relatively simple. In most cases, you can even do it from the comfort of your own home! If you opt to use Bespoke Plates, you can order a custom number plate directly from our website.

Let us walk you through the process of choosing your plate through us.

  1. Head to the Bespoke Plates website
  2. Select the plate style you want under the “Build Your Plate” tab. Alternatively, you can follow this link.
  3. Enter your registration (You can press ‘preview’ to see your registration with all the modification options you have selected.)
  4. When selecting your chosen plate, you can opt for 3D/4D options, a Hex plate, and whether you want a legal plate or a show plate.
  5. Select preferred optional accessories.
  6. Decide if you are collecting with installation, or if you want it to be delivered.
  7. Confirm your order!

Installing through Bespoke Plates ensures the best service & secure installation for your number plate, along with guidance for any questions you may have.

 Buy a private plate today

Buy a private plate today

In this blog, we have highlighted our plate options and the information you need to obtain our stylish customisation options for your vehicle. We aim to have confidently addressed the question ‘How long to transfer my new private number plate to my car?’

We hope that we have provided all the right answers and options for all of your plate modification needs.

Bespoke Plates has all the options you can ask for, as an approved registration vendor we can guarantee your modification abides by the DVLA rules whilst offering same-day collections and full fitting service.

To get in touch and discuss the full fitting service we offer with our plates, you can talk to one of the members of our team by:

Email info@bespoke-plates.co.uk

Phone 0333 006 7878

Visit in-store

36A Broughton Street,


M8 8NN

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