Number-plate clarity on black and silvers

Posted on April 8th, 2016 by Rob Marshall


Regulations on replacement number-plates are fairly strict for several reasons, all of which are covered clearly under the latest British Standard, BS AU 45d.

Yet, with the number of cars that are driving on the roads with football logos, badly-spaced letters that are supposed to spell-out a word, strange fonts being employed, and even screws being placed strategically to change the appearance of a plate, it is clear that enforcement from both MoT inspectors and Road Traffic Officers is not working.

Apart from not confirming to the regulations, ANPR cameras can struggle to identify the car. While this can be useful for the criminal fraternity, it may cause car owners a problem, if their beloved vehicle is stolen, and the illegal lettering thwarts police attempts to identify its whereabouts, with number-plate recognition cameras.

Another issue rests with black and silver number-plates (pictured) and recent GEM research uncovered a discrepancy between the DVLA and the DVSA, which has now been clarified by both authorities. Under previous regulations, number-plates possessing a black background and silver letters were only accepted on cars registered before 1973. Now, they are accepted on all cars that are in the Historic Tax Class. So, if your vehicle is over forty years-old, you can apply to the DVLA to have its tax class changed to Historic. Not only can it then wear black and silver number-plates legally but no longer will you have to pay for your road tax.