Personalised number plates are highly sought after, all over the world. It is rare to find a car enthusiast who wouldn’t love the idea of personalising their vehicle with a slick, unique number plate.
As a leading supplier of custom number plates, one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is this: is it free to assign a private plate?
In this article, we will outline the key legal requirements for owning a private plate.
What is meant by ‘assigning’ a private number plate?
By UK law, you must apply to assign a private plate to your vehicle. You can apply online via the Gov.UK website, or by post.
To make the application, you will have to complete a V317 form.
You will need your vehicle log book (your V5C form), which proves that you are the registered keeper of the vehicle.
If you already have a private number on your vehicle, and you wish to put a new plate on, then you first need to apply to take off the existing plate. If you don’t do this, you could lose the right to use your new plate.
Is it free to assign a private plate?
So, is it free to assign a private plate?
Yes, it is free to apply for the process of assigning a private number plate to your vehicle.
Assigning a Private Plate: eligibility criteria
If you want to assign a private plate to your vehicle, you must meet the eligibility criteria.
- assign a number starting with ‘Q’ or ‘NIQ’.
- put a private number on a ‘Q’ registered vehicle.
- use a private number that makes a vehicle look newer than it is – for example, an ‘07’ registration number on a 2003 registered vehicle.
Your vehicle must:
- be registered with DVLA in the UK.
- be able to move under its own power.
- be of a type that needs an MOT or heavy goods vehicle (HGV) test certificate.
- be available for inspection, if the DVLA requires.
- have been taxed or had a SORN in place continuously for the past 5 years.
- be taxed currently or have a SORN in place – if it’s had a SORN in place for more than 5 years, it must be taxed and have an MOT certificate.
If you have a historic (classic) vehicle, you will also need a current MOT certificate, even if your vehicle is usually exempt from MOTs.
What are the legal requirements for private number plates?
By UK law, your private number plate must:
- be made from a reflective material – for the purpose of road safety
- black display characters on a white background (front plate)
- black display characters on a yellow background (rear plate)
- not have a background pattern – so as not to distort the readability of your plate
- be marked to show who supplied the number plate – to assist with thefts and sourcing queries
- 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 personalised 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
What if I have illegal number plates?
Should your plate not be deemed legal, you will be subject to a £1000 fine and your vehicle will fail its MOT test, making your car not road-worthy.
If you are a first-time offender, police will issue you with a ‘vehicle defect rectification notice’, giving you 14 days to get the plate made legal and get the form stamped by an official supplier, which then gets handed in at your local police station.
It is important to keep your private plate clean. If it gets cloned by criminals, you could receive speeding tickets or parking fines that do not belong to you. If this happens, return the tickets and fines to the issuing authority, and explain what happened, providing any evidence to prove this. You should also contact the DVLA and the police if your private plate gets cloned, so they can help you.
Where can I buy a personalised number plate for my vehicle?
You can buy a personalised number plate from us at Bespoke Plates!
We are a trusted supplier of number plates, offering options for your car, van, motorbike, or lorry. We also sell number plates for electric cars.
There’s no need to worry about running into legal trouble, because all of our custom number plates are 100% legal for use on the road.
Looking for a decorative, promotional number plate instead? Well, our number plates are available in show form, so this is for you!
How to buy a Custom Number Plate from Bespoke Plates
At Bespoke Plates, our process is very straightforward:
- Head to our website, and choose between 3D or 4D plates under the ‘build your plate’ tab.
- Enter your registration for a preview of the plate.
- Specify whether this will be a legal plate or a show plate.
- Choose your style.
- Select whether your plate will be for the front and back of your car or just one of them.
- Select your size.
- Select additional customizable options.
- Have it delivered to your home.
What is the difference between 3D number plates and 4D number plates?
Here are the differences between 3D and 4D number plates:
- Characters placed by hand
- Acrylic plate – polyurethane letters
- Rounded, raised characters with a wet, gel-like look
- Characters placed by hand.
- Characters are thicker and more rectangular.
- Acrylic plate – acrylic letters are laser cut and made from acrylic sheets.
- Rectangular and deep raised characters.
- You can also get 4D plates which have a ‘wet’ look, which are made in the same way as 3D letters, but with a thicker profile.
- 4D number plates are more expensive than 3D plates.
At Bespoke Plates, each order can be made entirely customised to your requirements, with different finishes and depths available to choose from.
When designing your 4D plate, you can choose aspects of your 4D number plate, such as:
- Style– Select from 4D 3mm, 5mm, or gel letters. All are applied using a high-strength adhesive. Check out our product gallery to see how our 4D number plates look.
- Legal or Show Plate– Either a legal or a show plate. Show plates are not legal to use for daily driving, because they are for decorative or promotional purposes only.
- Plate Type– Choose if you require both sets of plates, front & rear, or one side only.
- Tinted– Add a tinted look to your plate by selecting this extra.
- Border– Choose whether or not you would like a bordered design.
- Side Badges– Choose if you would like a Union Jack or Scotland side badge.
Read more articles like this
To learn more about number plate legality, click here to read our blog articles and helpful pages on:
- Private Plate Rules and Regulations
- Are Custom Number Plates Legal?
- Do Personalised Number Plates Affect Insurance?
- Does a Personalised Number Plate Increase Insurance?
- How To Retain Private Plates
- Can You Clone a Number Plate?
- Can I Drill My Number Plate?
- How Much Is The Fine For Illegal Number Plate?
- Can You Create Your Own Number Plate DVLA?
About Bespoke Plates
As one of the established number plate makers in the UK, we at Bespoke Plates have all the options you can ask for. From 3D plates, 4D plates, standard number plates, and gel plates, we offer outstanding craftsmanship with every plate we produce.
So, what are you waiting for? Browse our options today to get the plate that speaks to you, and speaks for you, with Bespoke Plates.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 0333 006 7878
- Visit us in-store: 36A Broughton Street, Manchester, England, M8 8NN.
We hope this article has answered the question, ‘is it free to assign a private plate?’
Want to read more about all things custom number plates? Check out our blog here.