Simple Living

Is it illegal to have no front number plate?

front number plate: Blue BMW with no front plate.

There are several rules when it comes to registration plates in the UK, and where they are placed on a vehicle is one of them. Since October 1st, 1938, The Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) have made it a legal requirement to display a front and rear number plate on every vehicle. However, in recent years, drivers of Supercars such as Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s have opted to take the front number plate of their vehicles to keep them looking slick and stylish. 

Number plate regulations 

Display

All vehicles in the UK must display a front and rear number plate, with the front plate using a white background and the rear a yellow reflective background. On top of this, both must use black, readable characters so the plate is easily read and there can be no other background or pattern. 

The only symbols valid on a UK number plate are flags of national identifiers. These include: 

-Union Flag 

-Cross of St George 

-Cross of St Andrew 

-Red Dragon of Wales 

It is also possible to have the Euro symbol placed on your vehicle, however there are specific measurements you must follow: 

-Width between 40mm and 50mm 

-Minimum height of 98mm 

-Reflective blue background with 12 yellow reflective stars at the top. 

-Display the GB identifier in white or yellow. 

This means that you are not permitted to display any other flags or badges such as a football club, famous brand logos or even the logo of the make of your vehicle. 

Characters

There are also very specific rules for the characters of a number plate. First of all, new plates created after September 2001 should use the ‘Charles Wright’ font or its 3D counterpart. Any plate made in a different font or style (such as italics) after this date is classed as illegal. 

Furthermore, the current number plate system has a very set layout, the first two letters mark where the plate was created, followed by the next two numbers that state the year the vehicle was registered and then three random letters. There must be a gap between the first four and last three letters and the format of the plate cannot be changed. This means there is less leeway for new number plates to be designed specifically. Additionally, it is illegal to display a newer number plate on an older vehicle to make it look younger.

Supercars removing front number plates 

Although clearly stated in the DVLA number plate regulations, many drivers of supercars have taken the law into their own hands and decided to remove the front plates from their vehicles in order to make them look better. Some drivers display the plate in their front window instead, however this is still an illegal practise. 

However, it seems as though a blind eye has been turned to some of these drivers as they are being allowed to park their cars around affluent areas without a remark being made about the issue. Front plates are crucial as without them police and speed cameras are not able to recognise the vehicle if it has been speeding or involved in an accident. Therefore, if you are not displaying a both a front and rear plate then you could face fines of up to £1000.