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Car registration years

Car registrations are used by the DVLA to identify a vehicle.


From 1963 onwards, government-issued car registrations included an age identifier. Between February 1963 and July 1982, the DVLA decided to make the age identifier the last character of the car registration (the suffix). Then in August 1983, the first character of the car registration (the prefix) was the age identifier.

Nowadays, the age identifier is a number rather than a letter and appears in the middle of the car registration. We refer to these number plates as either "current style” or "new style” plates, which have been in circulation since September 2001.

It is important to note that vehicles cannot use a registration plate that suggests that it is newer than it actually is.

Vehicle number plates issued before 1963 did not contain an age identifier and are referred to as "dateless" plates. These dateless number plates can be used on any vehicle regardless of the vehicle's age.

Number plate years by style

Below you can find the car registration styles with all of the different year identifiers. This could help you better understand the age of the vehicle using the number plate, unless the vehicle is displaying a dateless plate, or the owner has bought a personal number plate showing a different (older) year identifier.

Dateless number plates 1903 - 1962

This format was used from 1904 to 1962

The first of the plate formats, dateless number plates do not have any age identifier. Instead, they are made up of a district code and sequential number(s). For example, an ‘AG’ in a number plate represents the Ayr County Council district.

Suffix number plates February 1963 - July 1983

The Suffix format was used from 1963 to 1982

Suffix number plates are the successor to dateless number plates and were introduced by the DVLA in 1963. The age identifier is the final character of the plate. For example, D indicates that the vehicle registration plate was issued in 1966.

YEAR OF ISSUE SUFFIX CHARACTER
Feb 1963 - Dec 1963 A
Jan 1964 - Dec 1964 B
Jan 1965 - Dec 1965 C
Jan 1966 - Dec 1966 D
Jan 1967 - Jul 1967 E
Aug 1967 - Jul 1968 F
Aug 1968 - Jul 1969 G
Aug 1969 - Jul 1970 H
Aug 1970 - Jul 1971 J
Aug 1971 - Jul 1972 K
Aug 1972 - Jul 1973 L
Aug 1973 - Jul 1974 M
Aug 1974 - Jul 1975 N
Aug 1975 - Jul 1976 P
Aug 1976 - Jul 1977 R
Aug 1977 - Jul 1978 S
Aug 1978 - Jul 1979 T
Aug 1979 - Jul 1980 V
Aug 1980 - Jul 1981 W
Aug 1981 - Jul 1982 X
Aug 1982 - Jul 1983 Y

Prefix number plates August 1983 - August 2001

The Prefix format was used from 1982 to 2001

By the beginning of 1983 the DVLA had used all possible combinations of the Suffix style number plate format and needed to come up with something new. They decided to switch the format of the number plate around so that the age identifier was the first character of the number plate instead of the last. This new number plate format was called the Prefix style number plate.

In the example above, the “A” means that the plate was released in 1983.

What letters are not used on UK number plates?

You may notice the absence of ‘I’ and ‘Z’ as age identifiers on UK number plates. This is because they are used as characters in Irish Number Plates. Also, ‘Q’ can only be used for vehicles, whose age or identity can not be identified. The letters ‘O’ and ‘U’ are also not used as age identifiers on number plates.

YEAR OF ISSUE PREFIX CHARACTER
Aug 1983 - Jul 1984 A
Aug 1984 - Jul 1985 B
Aug 1985 - Jul 1986 C
Aug 1986 - Jul 1987 D
Aug 1987 - Jul 1988 E
Aug 1988 - Jul 1989 F
Aug 1989 - Jul 1990 G
Aug 1990 - Jul 1991 H
Aug 1991 - Jul 1992 J
Aug 1992 - Jul 1993 K
Aug 1993 - Jul 1994 L
Aug 1994 - Jul 1995 M
Aug 1995 - Jul 1996 N
Aug 1996 - Jul 1997 P
Aug 1997 - Jul 1998 R
Aug 1998 - Feb 1999 S
Mar 1999 - July 1999 T
Aug 1999 - Feb 2000 V
Mar 2000 - Jul 2000 W
Aug 2000 - Feb 2001 X
Mar 2001 - Aug 2001 Y

Current style number plates September 2001 - present

The Infix format is currently in use

At the beginning of 2001, demand for registrations continued to grow as the number of vehicles on UK roads increased and eventually led to all possible prefix style combinations being used. Therefore, the DVLA elected to introduce the current style plates, which should remain operable until 2049.

Although, regional identifiers have been present in all of the different registration number formats and is known as a memory tag in the current style. It can be found in the beginning of the registration plate and is used to show where a vehicle was registered. This is followed by an age identifier and 3 random letters. In the example above, ‘GF,’ states that the number plate is from Maidstone and the ‘57’ shows that the vehicle was first registered in September 2007.

YEAR OF ISSUE AGE IDENTIFIER
Sep 2001 - Feb 2002 51
Mar 2002 - Aug 2002 02
Sep 2002 – Feb 2003 52
Mar 2003 – Aug 2003 03
Sep 2003 – Feb 2004 53
Mar 2004 – Aug 2004 04
Sep 2004 – Feb 2005 54
Mar 2005 – Aug 2005 05
Sep 2005 – Feb 2006 55
Mar 2006 – Aug 2006 06
Sep 2006 – Feb 2007 56
Mar 2007 – Aug 2007 07
Sep 2007 – Feb 2008 57
Mar 2008 – Aug 2008 08
Sep 2008 – Feb 2009 58
Mar 2009 – Aug 2009 09
Sep 2009 – Feb 2010 59
Mar 2010 – Aug 2010 10
Sep 2010 – Feb 2011 60
Mar 2011 – Aug 2011 11
Sep 2011 – Feb 2012 61
Mar 2012 – Aug 2012 12
Sep 2012 – Feb 2013 62
Mar 2013 – Aug 2013 13
Sep 2013 – Feb 2014 63
Mar 2014 – Aug 2014 14
Sep 2014 – Feb 2015 64
Mar 2015 – Aug 2015 15
Sep 2015 – Feb 2016 65
Mar 2016 – Aug 2016 16
Sep 2016 – Feb 2017 66
Mar 2017 – Aug 2017 17
Sep 2017 – Feb 2018 67
Mar 2018 – Aug 2018 18
Sep 2018 – Feb 2019 68
Mar 2019 – Aug 2019 19
Sep 2019 – Feb 2020 69
Mar 2020 – Aug 2020 20
Sept 2020 – Feb 2021 70
Mar 2021 – Aug 2021 21
Sep 2021 – Feb 2022 71
Mar 2022 – Aug 2022 22
Sep 2022 – Feb 2023 72
Mar 2023 – Aug 2023 23
Sep 2023 – Feb 2024 73
Mar 2024 – Aug 2024 24
Sep 2024 – Feb 2025 74
Mar 2025 – Aug 2025 25
Sep 2025– Feb 2026 75
Mar 2026 – Aug 2026 26
Sept 2026 – Feb 2027 76
Mar 2027 – Aug 2027 27
Sep 2027 – Feb 2028 77
Mar 2028 – Aug 2028 28
Sep 2028 – Feb 2029 78
Mar 2029 – Aug 2029 29
Sep 2029 – Feb 2030 79
Mar 2030 - Aug 2030 30
Sep 2030 - Feb 2030 80
Mar 2030 - Aug 2030 31
Sep 2030 - Feb 2031 81
Mar 2031 - Aug 2031 32
Sep 2031 - Feb 2032 82
First Letter   Postal area Memory tag identifier
A Anglia Peterborough AA AB AC AD AE AF AG AH AJ AK AL AM AN
A Norwich AO AP AR AS AT AU
A Ipswich AV AW AX AY
B Birmingham Birmingham BA – BY
C Cymru Cardiff CA CB CC CD CE CF CG CH CJ CK CL CM CN CO
C Swansea CP CR CS CT CU CV
C Bangor CW CX CY
D Deeside to
Shrewsbury
Chester DA DB DC DD DE DF DG DH DJ DK
D Shrewsbury DL DM DN DO DP DR DS DT DU DV DW DX DY
E Essex Chelmsford EA – EY
F Forest & Fens Nottingham FA FB FC FD FE FF FG FH FJ FK FL FM FN FP
F Lincoln FR FS FT FV FW FX FY
G Garden of England Maidstone GA GB GC GD GE GF GG GH GJ GK GL GM GN GO
G Brighton GP GR GS GT GU GV GW GX GY
H Hampshire & Dorset Bournemouth HA HB HC HD HE HF HG HH HJ
H Portsmouth HK HL HM HN HO HP HR HS HT HU HV HW HX HY
*(HW will be used exclusively for Isle of Wight residents)
K   Luton KA KB KC KD KE KF KG KH KJ KK KL
K Northampton KM KN KO KP KR KS KT KU KV KW KX KY
L London Wimbledon LA LB LC LD LE LF LG LH LJ
L Stanmore LK LL LM LN LO LP LR LS LT
L Sidcup LU LV LW LX LY
M Manchester & Merseyside Manchester MA – MY
*(MN + MAN Reserved for the Isle of Man)
N North Newcastle NA NB NC ND NE NG NH NJ NK NL NM NN NO
N Stockton NP NR NS NT NU NV NW NX NY
O Oxford Oxford OA – OY
P Preston Preston PA PB PC PD PE PF PG PH PJ PK PL PM PN PO PP PR PS PT
P Carlisle PU PV PW PX PY
R Reading Reading RA – RY
S Scotland Glasgow SA SB SC SD SE SF SG SH SJ
S Edinburgh SK SL SM SN SO
S Dundee SP SR SS ST
S Aberdeen SU SV SW
S Inverness SX SY
V Severn Valley Worcester VA – VY
W West of England Exeter WA WB WC WD WE WF WG WH WJ
W Truro WK WL
W Bristol WM WN WO WP WR WS WT WU WV WW WX WY
Y   Leeds YA YB YC YD YE YF YG YH YJ YK YL
Y   Sheffield YM YN YO YP YR YS YT YU YV
Y   Beverley YW YX YY

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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 to 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, you must complete the official transfer process 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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