Suffix Number Plates

The Motor Car Act of 1903 required UK drivers to register their vehicles and install number plates. Some of these early number plates have fetched millions of pounds at auction in recent years; their minimalist style (because fewer characters were used on number plates) complements today’s breathtaking vehicles.

 

Of course, from 1903 onward, the number of vehicle purchases increased considerably; consequently, so too did the number of in-use plates. To create additional number-letter combinations, an extended format was approved in 1932. And when these number plates began to run out, the suffix number plate was conceived.

 


Suffix Number Plates Replaced Dateless Number Plates in 1963

The Motor Car Act of 1903 required UK drivers to register their vehicles and install number plates. Some of these early number plates have fetched millions of pounds at auction in recent years; their minimalist style (because fewer characters were used on number plates) complements today’s breathtaking vehicles.

 

Of course, from 1903 onward, the number of vehicle purchases increased considerably; consequently, so too did the number of in-use plates. To create additional number-letter combinations, an extended format was approved in 1932. And when these number plates began to run out, the suffix number plate was conceived.

 

First distributed in February of 1963, the suffix number plate consists of seven characters: three letters, three numbers, and a final letter, which indicates the year that the number plate was issued. Plates assigned between 1 February and 31 December of 1963 are distinguished by an “A” suffix, plates assigned between 1 January and 31 December of 1964 are distinguished by a “B” suffix, and so on.

 

Importantly, the letters “I,” “O,” “U,” and “Z,” weren’t used as suffixes; “I” could be mistaken for one, “O” could be mistaken for zero, “U” could be mistaken for “V,” and “Z” could be mistaken for two.

 

To better illustrate the suffix number plate’s formatting, here’re a few example combinations (suffixes are emboldened): BTG 489D, MOL 791F, and CLA 234L.

 

Needless to say, many suffix number plates spell out words, phrases, names, and messages–another reason why they’re popular.

 


What're the Rules for Using Suffix Number Plates?

To use a suffix number plate on a vehicle, one must complete a few brief forms (or, for a small fee, SwiftReg experts will be happy to fill out and submit this paperwork). Suffix number plates that are bought but not installed can be maintained via a registration retention certificate, which is good for 10 years and is renewable.

 

The DVLA’s main rule for the secondary number plate industry is that number plates cannot be used to make older vehicles appear newer. Without this law, some sellers would undoubtedly register new number plates on existing vehicles, thereby causing cars to seem more modern than they really are.

 

Aside from this stipulation and the mentioned forms (which need only be filled out when a number plate is installed), there aren’t any major requirements to speak of.

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