Number Plate Font and Spacing

With the modern invention of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) there has since been a need for all number plates to have specific sizing and style in order to make all registrations easier to identify and read. As many motorists opt to strategically place screws and use illegal spacing, fonts and sizes of plates the DVLA has now opted to regulate number plates in a variety of areas to make it as simplified as they can.

A summary of the DVLA's rules are:

  • A number plate must be present both on the front and the rear of the vehicle.
  • A number plate must be easy and clear to read.
  • The front number plate must be white and the corresponding rear number plate yellow with both featuring black lettering.
  • A number plate must be reflective.
  • A number plate pre 1973 are exempt from being reflective.
  • A number plates lettering must conform to a set size, shape and style.
  • All number plates are required to be displayed in the Charles Wright Font.
  • Vehicles built pre 01/01/1973 are entitled to display their registration on a black and silver, non-reflective plate.
  • Vehicles built pre 01/01/1973 may display their plates in a font other than the official Charles Wright Font
  • Foreign number plated may be displayed in differing dimensions as the DVLA recognises that imported vehicles may have smaller recess on their grilles or bumpers.
  • Motorbikes built before 01/09/2001 may display a three line number plate.
  • Motorbikes built post 01/09/2001 may display a two line number plate.
  • Motorbikes displaying a one line number plate are considered illegal.

Penalties for breaking DVLA rules:

  • A fine up to £1000
  • The withdrawal of the registration
  • Failure of the vehicles MOT
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