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Number plate news around the world: January 2024

Number plate news around the world, January 2024

Your concise roundup of world number plate news from near and far.

Royal number plates stay in the family.

We published a blog post in 2022 featuring some of the number plates owned by the royal family. One of the plates we listed in that article has recently appeared in press photographs.

It seems that the current Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Edward, has inherited his father's OXR 1 private number plate. His late father, Prince Philip, owned the registration for many years and displayed it on a procession of memorable cars. Initially, OXR 1 resided upon Prince Philip's custom built, 1954, 3-litre Lagonda coupe. After that, at the beginning of the 1960s, it was displayed on an Alvis TD1 which later went on display in the museum at Sandringham, still bearing OXR 1.

Prince Philip also acquired OXR 2 which was assigned to a Land Rover Discovery.

The current Duke, accompanied by the Duchess of Edinburgh and their daughter, Lady Louise, was snapped as he drove a Range Rover bearing OXR 1 to the royal family's private Christmas celebration.

DVLA announces changes to V750 Certificate of entitlement and V778 Retention document

Two important number plates documents will be issued in new formats from 15 January 2024.

The V750 Certificate of entitlement and the V778 Retention document have been redesigned and the Welsh versions (V750W and V778W) will be bilingual Welsh and English.

In a bulletin, DVLA said:

From January 15th, DVLA will start to issue redesigned V750 Certificate of entitlement and V778 Retention documents.

Key changes

  • Certificate/document reference number on the back of the form
  • Plain watermarked paper
  • Removal of signature
  • Bilingual versions now on A4
  • Updated guidance notes
  • Bulk delivery of certificates

All certificates issued prior to this date will still be accepted (normal rules apply).

Follow the link for the full version of the bulletin, including images of the new formats.

US license plate censorship revealed

We've reported several times on the censorship of potentially offensive number plates by the DVLA. This usually takes the form of withholding certain registrations from releases and auctions but, occasionally, it has also resulted in number plates being removed from circulation after they've been issued.

The UK isn't the only country to keep a close eye on which number plates are allowed on the roads. In the USA, the states of Texas and Missouri published figures showing how many private or 'vanity' license plate applications had been refused.

Texas Department of Motor Vehicles rejected more than 3000 license plate applications in 2023. Some are unsuitable for publication here, but the milder combinations refused included the following:

  • MOOV PLZ (Move please)
  • SLAAAAY (Slay)
  • SP3ED UP (Speed up)
  • RAAAGE (Rage)
  • F3LONY (Felony)
  • ICYUMAD (I see you mad)

Missouri refused a more modest 494 applications. The Midwestern state says that it doesn't allow plates that fit their description of "obscene, profane, patently offensive or contemptuous of a racial or ethnic group, offensive to good taste or decency, or would present an unreasonable danger to the health or safety of the applicant, or other users of streets and highways, or of the public in any location where the vehicle with such a license plate may be found."

Registrations banned by Missouri included:

  • DAHMER (Dahmer is the name of a notorious serial murderer)
  • H8TER (Hater)
  • IDGAF (A popular internet acronym meaning "I don't give a ----")

Scottish council's number plate still has no buyer

A year ago, we reported on East Renfrewshire Council's plans to sell their HS 0 number plate. At the time we contacted DVLA to ask for confirmation that the number would be eligible for sale and transfer, as we found sources that cast doubt on the eligibility status of some council-owned numbers. Unfortunately, DVLA didn't respond to the query.

Assuming the process were permitted (which seems most likely), the only remaining obstacle to the sale seems to be the fairly crucial absence of a buyer. In January 2023 we provided the media with an estimated selling price of up to £150,000. Despite the lack of people queuing up to purchase HS 0, East Renfrewshire Council is still confident that they will find a buyer who will pay £100,000 or more.

Serbia relaxes its ban on Kosovo number plates

Serbia has prohibited entry to vehicles displaying number plates from Kosovo since 2008, when Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. From the beginning of January 2024, vehicles from Kosovo will be permitted to enter Serbia and drive on Serbia's road network.

However, the Serbian government has gone to pains to make clear that the concession does not imply any recognition or acceptance of Kosovo's claim to independence.

Due to the independence dispute, which has turned violent on occasion, both Serbia and Kosovo refused entry to vehicles bearing each other's national symbols unless those symbols were obscured by stickers affixed for that purpose. The announcement from Serbia means that Kosovars will no longer have to use the stickers. However, Kosovo has not made an equivalent concession, insisting that it will only permit non-stickered Serbian plates across its border when its independence is accepted and respected by its neighbour.

Number plate news around the world

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The role of DVLA

Car registrations and number plates, including personalised number plates, in the UK, are the responsibility of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, usually known as the DVLA. It issues new registrations twice a year and also maintains the central database that records details of all vehicles licensed to drive on UK roads, along with their keeper and registration information.

Regtransfers works closely with DVLA to complete registration transfers as quickly and efficiently as possible. Regtransfers is a DVLA-registered supplier of personal car registrations and number plates and is listed on the DVLA Registrations website. All number plates supplied by Regtransfers comply with DVLA's prescribed standards and regulations.

DVLA administers all UK registration transfers and issues updated registration documents when the registration number of a car is changed, or when a registration is removed from a vehicle and placed on a retention document in accordance with the DVLA Retention Scheme.

DVLA is a registered trade mark of the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency. Regtransfers is not affiliated with the DVLA or DVLA Personalised Registrations. Regtransfers is a recognised reseller of unissued Government stock.

Number plate regulations

When a car is on the road, it is an offence to display number plates bearing any number other than the vehicle's officially recorded registration number. If you purchase a private registration, learn how to transfer private plates before displaying the new number.

All registration number plates displayed on UK vehicles must comply with the official number plate regulations. DVLA oversees enforcement of number plates display regulations and maintains a register of approved manufacturers and retailers of vehicle number plates.

Regtransfers is not part of, and is not formally affiliated with DVLA.

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