Mar '1716

Could You Lose Your Private Plates?


A private plate number means different things to different people. To some people, it can be a symbol of pride. To some, it can be a way for them to flaunt and impress others with their wealth. But some investors see it as a smart way of making money by buying private plates at a low price and selling them at a premium price in future.

But do you know that according to the current law, those letters and digits that you spent a little fortune on aren’t actually yours! So, if you are not the owner of the private number plates, then what did you spend all that money on? The answer is simple. What you are actually paying for is the right to display the private number plates on your vehicle. And if this right is abused, you could lose that right altogether. That is something not every private plate owner is aware of.

According to an article published in the Plymouth Herald, three drivers have been stopped every week in the last 12 months because of illegal plates in the last twelve months  And with the way the current law stands, that figure might increase in the coming years if people are not aware of the information surrounding owning a private plate number. To avoid being caught unawares, here are things you should know about:

What Makes A Plate Illegal?

Obviously, not every plate on the road will be confiscated. However, if your plate has the following feature, then it is illegal:

Misspaced numbers or letters: If the numbers or characters on your plate are deliberately misspaced, you have an illegal plate. For instance, if your plate was originally C343 CBA and you changed it to C343C BA, you have broken the law

What Are The Penalties For Owners Of Illegal Plates?

Owners of illegal plates are viewed as law-breakers. And as we all know, breaking the law has consequences.

So, let us assume that you have been stopped because your number plate is illegal. First, the police will contact the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) about your plate number. If the DVLA tells them that you have been reported before, your plate will be removed from your car. After that, you could also pay a fine of up to £1,000. And your car will automatically fail its MOT test.

How To Avoid Losing Your Private Plate

To be on the safe side, here are the DVLA rules you should know:

If your vehicle plates were fitted from September 1, 2001, then its registration numbers cannot be written over three lines. But if your vehicle was made before January 1, 1973 or 1976, then you are exempt from this rule. Also, if your vehicle is a part of the historic tax class and exempted from vehicle tax, the rule above is not applicable to it.

However, if your plate was bought since September 1, 2001, then you should ensure that it meets the standards given as follows:

- The characters on the plates must be 79mm tall.

- Each character must be 50mm wide. This rule excludes the letter I and the number 1.

- The black print or character stroke must be 14mm thick.

- There must be 11mm spacing between the characters.

- There must be a 33mm space between the random letters and age identifier.

- The margins located at the top, bottom, and side of the plate must be kept at 11mm.

- A vertical gap of 19mm must exist between the random numbers and age identifier.

You can now see that losing your private plate can be as easy as snapping your fingers. According to the law, even though you own your car, you do not own your private number plate. In fact, you are merely given the right to place it on your vehicle. And this right can be taken from you anytime you break the law.

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