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DVLA Registrations

About the DVLA

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), is the agency responsible for maintaining the database of drivers and vehicles in Mainland Britain. The DVLA, which is based in Swansea, is also the body responsible for issuing motor vehicle registrations and for setting out regulations governing their display on number plates.

You may still occasionally hear the obsolete term DVLC used but the DVLC became the DVLA in 1990 and is now properly known only by the latter title.

The vehicle registration system

Vehicles using UK roads are identified with the DVLA registrations system. Registrations issued under the system have varied in form since its inception at the beginning of the 20th Century, but the basic elements have become standard and most plates include codes denoting year and place of issue as well as random characters that render the number unique.

For more information on the various registration formats that have been used over the years, please see our car registrations overview page.

DVLA number plates

We are often asked by customers if number plates can feature custom spacing to make the number/letter combinations look more like words or names. Sadly, without exception, we have to explain that such customisation is not allowed. Not only will we not supply, or facilitate the supply, of illegal non-standard DVLA number plates, but we have to explain to the customer that if they do find a manufacturer who will provide such plates then they risk trouble with the police and the DVLA. Penalties for contravening the regulations specifying the correct format for DVLA number plates may include hefty fines, and even the loss of entitlement to the car registrations involved.

For more information about the correct, legal display of DVLA number plates and registrations please see our number plates information page.

Details of DVLA local offices (now closed)

PLEASE NOTE: The DVLA local offices listed on this page are now permanently closed. All paperwork pertaining to number plates and vehicle registrations should be addressed to the main DVLA offices in Swansea at the following address: DVLA, Swansea SA99 1DS .

The list on this page is being maintained solely for historical reference.

These offices were open, business hours were Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm except on the second Wednesday of each month when they opened at 9.30 am. All telephone enquiries are now directed through the DVLA’s Swansea call centre on 0300 790 6802 is not affiliated to the DVLA. This information is provided as a service to our customers.

The DVLA website may be found here.