DVLA is short for Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in the UK, which is a British database of drivers for the entire United Kingdom. They are also responsible for the driving licenses and personalized registrations sale.
You don't have to be a rich and famous celebrity to get a personalized number plate for your vehicle. If you want to get a registration plate by your choice you will have to pay a little more than for the regular plate, but this step will make your car unique and recognizable between all the other vehicles. DVLA owns a great catalog of unique and unissued registrations, but you can also customize it by yourself, following the UK legal polices.
In order to get a plate from the Agency, you need to know that you can't ask for different patterns or fonts, because they are standardized by the laws. Here are some of the rules that DVLA follows for the plates:
- The background can be white or yellow, but the characters (letters and numbers) must be black
- Background patterns are not allowed
- The private and personalized plates should be made of reflective material
- You can't change the font that is standardized by the UK laws
- Characters' thickness must be exactly 14mm
- The spacing between the numbers and letters is exactly 11mm
- The margins above and beyond the characters and on the sides also should be at least 11mm
- The space between the legal part and personalized part should be 33mm
- Every character should be 79mm in height and 55mm in width, except for the letter I and the number 1
- The current font is standardized since 2001
All of these rules make the plates easy to read and to see in the dark. Everything that doesn't fit in these rules is equal to crime and can cause law problems.
According to the DVLA, people in the UK spend more than £100 million every year to get their personal license plate. They started this practice 30 years ago, in 1989, and since then, they sold over 5 million number plates by owner's choice, making their part in the GDP with more than £2.5 billion.
How can I register a personal number plate?
You have a few options to do that. You can buy them directly from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, or you can order them online from trusted web services that are DVLA approved. Also, you can go through the process with a broker or mediator who will do the job for you and get the plate you want.
The Agency and the websites are the cheapest options. They offer you an option to type the personalized part so you can see if it's free and available. They offer you search engine tools so you can browse the plates they have. Also, DVLA organizes auctions and you can buy a specific plate that way.
If you choose a broker, you can ask her or him for a specific plate and they will see what they can do. That also means that you can close a deal with someone who happens to have the combination you want, but you should be ready to pay more for this type of service. Sometimes, some people sell these plates through adverts in newspapers and magazines, and you can buy the registration privately and register the number with the Agency later.
Any way you choose, will cost you some amount of money, but we recommend to use the DVLA and its approved service websites, so you don't spend a lot of cash. But, if you want a specific combination of numbers and letters, and they don't have it, try the other ways. Something will eventually work and you will be able to have the plate you dream about.
Can I keep the plates if I decide to sell the car?
Yes, you can keep the registration plates if you decide to replace the old car with a new one. Also, you can keep them even if you don't have a vehicle, by paying a fee to DVLA, so they won't sell the same combination to someone. You need to pay that fee, which costs about £80, to keep the license number until you have a new vehicle to put on.
But, if you decide to sell your current vehicle, the personalized plates can increase the price. Or, you can buy new DVLA plates and sell your used car for a better price. Personalization will cost you at least £155, but that can make the car stand out in the crowd of all of the vehicles available for sale. You can browse your new DVLA number plate online and the services such as dvla number plate CarReg have best prices for new registrations.
Can I have two plates for one vehicle?
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency won't allow you to keep the old number plate if you decide to replace it with a personalized one. That's an illegal step from so many aspects. You can keep the old plates until your application for new ones is approved by DVLA.
Don't try to over smart the laws, because that can cost you at least £1000 and many other legal problems with the country.
Your old plates can be sold to another user and if you decide to bring them back later, that may not be possible, or it may cost you a lot of money. If you decide to give up on the personalized registration, the Agency will hand you the regular age-related plate. Also, you can apply for personal registration again, following the laws and policies in the UK.
These are the basic things you must know about license car plates. If you decide to personalize your vehicle, you should be ready to pay more and to follow the rules. Sometimes you may need to wait longer until you get your registrations, but according to those who have them, it's worth it.