Number plates or licence plates are required on all UK vehicles, and the appearance and material which can be used by number plate makers is strictly regulated. The same rules apply whether you are looking to have a damaged number plate repaired or replaced, or have private number plates.
There are many good reasons to use number plate makers: You can replace your original number plates with theft resistant number plates, have additional number plates created to allow for towing or carrying of awkward loads such as bicycles which obscure your rear plate, or have private number plates made up to place on your vehicle.
Private number plates are special or unusual licence plates, with the right to display these being sold or auctioned off by the DVLA. They often form words or include common acronyms, and are reserved to be sold at a premium rather than being issued to new cars. Anyone can purchase private number plates from the DVLA or licensed reseller to display on their vehicle, with the only requirements that the plates be made to legal specifications by the number plate makers, and that the plate doesn’t make the car appear younger than it actually is. Licensed resellers will usually also be number plate makers and supply a physical plate, the DVLA only supplies the documentation and the right to use the private number plates, you will need to contact number plate makers to have the physical plate made up.
When towing you should display plates matching the vehicle which is towing, and which are the same specification as the rear plates on the vehicle. You should have plates made up by professional number plate makers to match the towing vehicle, and where the trailer is towed by multiple vehicles ensure that there is a plate to match every vehicle, and you can change the plates easily.
You must ensure that your number plates are not obscured, and that there is no damage which could lead to possible confusion. Inspect them regularly for mud or dirt which could obscure the registration mark and clean them regularly. If the plate is cracked then you should replace it at the earliest opportunity.
Only registered number plate makers can make up new number plates, and they will need proof of identity for yourself and proof of eligibility to use the registration mark before they can give you the new plates. You need proof of name and address, ideally your UK driving licence although other documents can be used. For proof of eligibility one of: the vehicle registration certificate (V5C), new keeper supplement (V5C/2), certificate of entitlement (V750) to the number, retention document (V778), a renewal reminder for the tax disc or SORN (V11), temporary registration certificate (V379), a number plate authorisation certificate (V948) with an official stamp from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) or Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) or a letter of authorisation from a fleet operator (including lease or hire company) quoting the document reference number from the registration certificate.
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