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How to Change Number Plate?

Are you tired of your old, worn-out number plate? Maybe it’s time for a change! Whether you’re looking to personalize your vehicle or simply give it a fresh new look, changing your number plate is easier than you might think. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the step by step process of how to change number plate. So buckle up and get ready to discover how to change your number plate in no time!

What Do the Letters and Numbers Represent on the Number Plate?

What Do the Letters and Numbers Represent on the Number Plate?

In the UK, number plates consist of a combination of letters and numbers, which serve several purposes.

The first two letters on the number plate indicate the region where the vehicle was first registered. For example, “AB” might correspond to vehicles registered in Anglia, while “L” represents vehicles from London.

Following the regional identifier, there are two numbers indicating the year of registration. The first number represents the six-month period when the vehicle was registered, with “5” representing March to August, and “6” representing September to February. The second number indicates the specific year within that period. For instance, “21” would mean the vehicle was registered between March and August 2021.

After the year identifier, there are three randomly selected letters serving as a unique identifier for each vehicle. These letters are allocated sequentially, so older vehicles tend to have fewer letters.

The final letter on the number plate is known as the “suffix,” and it provides additional information about the vehicle. For example, “M” might represent a car, while “T” could indicate a taxi or private hire vehicle.

It is worth noting that the UK’s number plate system has evolved over time, with different formats used in the past. The current format has been in use since 2001 and is commonly referred to as the “XXYY XXX” style.

What Are the New Rules for Number Plates?

The new guidelines are intended to make number plates more durable and legible, with plates required to meet the new British Standard for Retroreflective Number Plates – BS AU 145e.

Some of these modifications apply to current plates, while others are for newly registered plates.

Solid Black Font

Previously, number plates could have a two-tone typeface with varied colours to create a 3D effect, but the new restrictions allow only solid black text. This makes Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems more effective at identifying vehicles.

Owners of automobiles with two-tone typefaces should update them to conform with the new standards.

Plate’s Durability

The new guidelines specify the material from which the plate is made. Plates must pass 10 toughness tests, including an abrasion test, to ensure they are more durable than the previous generation. Number plates must endure grit, road salt, and other debris being hurled at them, and these new plates are designed to remain readable and intact.

According to the new regulations, removing a BS AU 145e plate with steady force will take at least 160 hours if the adhesive pads are suitably installed!

How to Change Number Plate?

How to Change Number Plate?

To change your number plate in the UK, you’ll need to follow a few steps. Here’s a general overview of the process:

  1. Purchase a new number plate: You can obtain a new number plate from various sources, such as registered number plate suppliers, online retailers, or even through auctions.
  2. Notify your insurance company: Inform your insurance company about the upcoming change in your number plate. They will need to update their records accordingly.
  3. Retain or assign a new registration: If you wish to keep your current registration, you can apply to retain it through the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Alternatively, if you obtained a new registration, you can also assign it to your vehicle through the DVLA.
  4. Make necessary modifications: Ensure that the new number plate adheres to legal requirements, such as size, font, spacing, and materials. The specific regulations can be found on the DVLA website.
  5. Fit the new number plate: Replace the existing number plate with the new one. Pay attention to secure it properly and ensure it is clearly visible.
  6. Inform relevant authorities and institutions: Inform entities such as the DVLA, your local council, and any parking permit providers about the change in your number plate. This helps avoid unnecessary confusion or penalties.

It’s important to note that additional fees may be associated with changing your number plate, such as retaining or assigning a new registration. It’s recommended to consult the DVLA website or contact them directly for detailed information specific to your situation.

Can I Change My Number Plate Online?

To change your number plate online in the UK, you can follow these steps:

  1. Visit the official website of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) at www.gov.uk/dvla and navigate to the section dedicated to vehicle registration.
  2. Look for the specific service related to changing your number plate, such as “Retain a Registration” or “Assign a New Registration.” Click on the relevant option.
  3. You’ll be guided through a series of online forms and prompts. Provide the required details, such as your vehicle registration number, personal information, and any documentation related to the new registration or retention process.
  4. Pay the necessary fees associated with the change. The amount will vary depending on the specific service you require.
  5. Review and submit your application. Ensure that all the information provided is accurate and complete.
  6. After submitting your application, you should receive an email confirmation or reference number. Keep this information safe for future reference.
  7. The DVLA will process your application, and if everything is in order, they will send you the updated documentation and assignment or retention certificate by mail. This may take a few weeks, so be patient.

Please note that the online services provided by the DVLA are designed to simplify the process, but there may be circumstances where you need to complete additional steps or provide supplementary documentation. If you have any questions or face any difficulties during the online process, it’s best to reach out to the DVLA directly for assistance.

How Much Does It Cost to Change a Number Plate?

How Much Does It Cost to Change a Number Plate?

The cost of changing a number plate in the UK can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the services you require. Here are some potential costs to consider:

  1. New Number Plate: If you’re purchasing a new number plate, the price can range from around £10 for a basic acrylic plate to several hundred pounds or more for premium or personalised plates. The cost will depend on factors such as plate material, design, customisation options, and the supplier you choose.
  2. Retaining a Registration: If you wish to retain your current registration number while changing your number plate, the fee is currently £80. This allows you to keep the registration for future use on another vehicle.
  3. Assigning a New Registration: If you’ve purchased a new registration number and want to assign it to your vehicle, the fee is currently £80. This applies to both personalised registrations and standard-issue registrations.
  4. Other Costs: Depending on your specific circumstances, there may be additional costs associated with administrative fees, postage and handling, or any necessary modifications to ensure compliance with legal requirements for the number plate.

How Long Does It Take to Change Number Plate?

The time it takes to change a number plate in the UK can vary depending on several factors, including the specific services you require and the efficiency of the processing system. Here are some general time frames to consider:

  1. Purchasing a new number plate: If you are simply purchasing a new number plate from a supplier, the process typically takes a few days to a couple of weeks. This includes the time for the supplier to produce and deliver the new plate to you.
  2. Retaining a registration: If you wish to retain your current registration number while changing your number plate, the process usually takes a few weeks. After submitting your application to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), they will need to process it and send you a retention certificate by mail.
  3. Assigning a new registration: If you have purchased a new registration number and want to assign it to your vehicle, the process generally takes a few weeks as well. The DVLA will require time to process your application, update their records, and send you the necessary documentation, such as a new V5C registration certificate.

How to Remove the Old Number Plates?

How to Remove the Old Number Plates?

To remove the old number plates from your vehicle, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Park your vehicle in a safe and well-lit area. Make sure you have enough space to move around the vehicle comfortably
  2. Locate the screws or fasteners holding the number plate in place. These are typically located on the corners of the plate, holding it securely to the vehicle.
  3. Use a suitable screwdriver or wrench to loosen and remove the screws or fasteners. Turn them anticlockwise to loosen them, and then remove them completely.
  4. Once the screws/fasteners are removed, gently pull the number plate away from the vehicle. Be careful not to scratch or damage the paintwork or any surrounding parts.
  5. If the number plate is stuck or difficult to remove, you can use a flat-headed screwdriver or a plastic trim removal tool to carefully pry it off. Apply gentle pressure and work your way around the plate until it comes free.
  6. Once the old number plate is removed, inspect the area for any residue or adhesive left behind. You can use a mild adhesive remover or soapy water to clean the surface if needed. Be sure to dry it thoroughly after cleaning.
  7. Dispose of the old number plates responsibly. Depending on local regulations, you may need to surrender them to the appropriate authorities or dispose of them at a designated recycling centre.


Changing your number plate may seem like a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and resources, it can be a simple and straightforward process. By following these steps and keeping in mind important factors such as regulations and personalisation options, you can successfully change your number plate without any hassle.

Whether it’s for practical reasons or to add some style to your vehicle, changing your number plate is an easy way to give your car a fresh new look. So why wait? Start planning for your new personalised number plate today!


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