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It probably doesn't occur to most people, but you don't necessarily have to keep the registration number that was assigned to your car when you purchased it. It really is quite a simple process to purchase a different registration and to transfer it to a vehicle. Equally, if your car bears a number plate that may appeal to someone else, it is possible to sell it, and to have a new number issued to replace it.
Some vehicle number plates, by design or by coincidence, may be seen as conveying something about their owners. These, especially the ones where the effect is deliberate, are known as personal number plates. They may resemble words or names, they may contain initials or birthdates… The possibilities are bounded only by the owners' imaginations, and by the UK's number plates display regulations.
You may hear alternative terms used: personalised number plates, private number plates, cherished plates, cherished registrations and so on, but these are just synonymous.
The UK vehicle registrations system does not permit more than three actual letters to appear consecutively without intervening numbers, so a little improvisation with numbers is necessary. The representation of names and words etc is mostly achieved by using numbers which resemble letters in combination with actual letters. Far from being a limitation, this is all part of the fun!
To illustrate the principle, consider the registration number H34 VEN. If one allows that the 3 looks like a reversed letter E, and that a 4 can look like an A, then a seemingly random string of characters becomes the word "HEAVEN" – an appropriate personalised number plate for a clergyman, perhaps. Similarly, consider B16 DAY. The number one is the same shape as the letter I, and with a little imagination one could easily allow the number 6 to represent the letter G. "BIG DAY" would, therefore, be a fine registration for a limousine hire company that specialised in wedding cars.
At Regtransfers, we call this language of personal registrations "Platespeak". The table below sets out some of the popular ways to represent letters by using numbers. Roman numerals are another very popular feature on registration numbers, so we have also provided a handy converter for changing your birthdate or other number into Roman numerals.
Use the converter below to convert your number into Roman Numerals
For more information about buying a new registration and changing your number plate, please see our Help with buying number plates page.