What do the characters on a license plate mean? – The Irish sun

Do you ever get bored in traffic staring at different license plates and wondering what the signs mean?

Well, here’s a breakdown of what each character on a license plate means.

The DVLA follows a thorough procedure to issue a new license plate


The DVLA follows a thorough procedure to issue a new license plate

What do the letters on a license plate mean?

If the DVLA issue a license plate, they follow their own system.

The first section of a license plate is the local storage tag – the first two letters of the license plate indicate where the vehicle was registered.

For example, the initial represents the region, E represents Essex while L represents London.

The second letter of the plate then identifies with which DVLA office in that area the registration took place – multiple letters can denote the same DVLA office.

The letters I, Q, and Z are not used as local office identifiers, while Z can only be used as a random letter.


A – Anglia


C – Cymru

D – Deeside

E Essex

F – forest and bogs

G – Garden of England

H – Hampshire and Dorset

K – No official region


M – Manchester and Merseyside

N – north

O Oxford


R – read

S – Scotland

V – Severn Valley

W – West of England

X – Denotes personal export


How can you tell how old your car is based on your license plate number?

The two numbers in the middle of your license plate tell you how old the car is.

The DVLA issues two lots of license plate combinations on March 1st and September 1st each year.

All plates issued between March 1st and the end of August use the same two numbers as the year they were registered.

For example, a car registered from March to August 2021 would have “21”.

For cars registered between September 2021 and the end of February 2022, it will be the year – 21 – plus 50, which would make 71.

The new system started in 2001 with registrations 01 and 51.

Is one of the license plates random?

The last three letters of the license plate are usually a random combination that makes the registration unique.

However, it is not uncommon for cars with adjacent sequences of letters to come from the same manufacturer, as the DVLA assigns new registrations to dealers in batches.

The letters “Q” and “I” are excluded from the random sequence, along with any eligible phrases offensive.

Using the current scheme, there will be enough combinations to last until the end of February 2051.

What about registrations before September 2001?

From 1983 to September 2001, license plates used a leading letter to represent the year of registration.

The letter “A” was used on the face of the shield in 1983, going through the alphabet and ending with “Y” in late August 2001.

There were hundreds of region codes that used a combination of an initial and a second to identify where the car came from.

Prior to 1983, the same system was used, but with the year letters at the end of the record rather than the beginning. What do the characters on a license plate mean? – The Irish sun

Fry Electronics Team

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