Buying a car has never been easier. But you have to keep all the legal and regulatory formalities in mind when buying your first car. One of the most important items you need for a new vehicle, is a registration number or a license number plate for the vehicle. The license number is also known as the number plate, and the department of transport in the country issues it to the vehicle. The vehicle number provides the vehicle with a unique identity, and it has a specific purpose in making the vehicle traceable. In recent times, private registration plates are popular, and many vehicle owners are keen to personalize their vehicle with one, rather than accepting a random number from the issuing authority.
What exactly is a private registration plate?
Private registration plates are just like standard number plates in that they follow a format defined by the issuing authority. However, there are multiple formats available and selecting a unique personalized registration for your vehicle has never been easier. In order to buy entitlement to a personalized registration you will spend more money than would be the case for a standard registration. You have the option of buying an un-issued registration or an already issued registration and have these assigned to the new vehicle at first registration. Personalised number plates have been available for several decades, and in the earlier years of trade in these exclusive numbers, only people with high status were assigning them to their vehicles. In recent years and since the 1990’s they have become more accessible to the general public and they are increasingly fashionable across all social classes. The cost of a personalised number varies depending on the format of the registration and the intrinsic attractiveness of the number. You can research the formats and their pricing by contacting a registration broker or by researching the results of online auctions.
What are the legal requirements?
The legal requirements relating to the use of private registrations varies depending on location. For example, in the UK, once you buy private registration plates, the DVLA will send you a certificate that allows you to assign the registration to the vehicle by paying a fee. Once assigned to the vehicle a registration has to be displayed on the vehicle by attaching regulatory compliant number plates to the car. In order to have the number plates manufactured it is necessary to provide proof of entitlement to a Registered Number Plate Supplier. You also have to provide proof of identity in the form of your driving license or passport. You will then need to attach the number plates mechanically to the vehicle and you can do this yourself or by hiring the services of a mechanic. There are rules and regulations that have to be followed when displaying a personalised number plate on a vehicle.
Here are the main rules that have to be adhered with for the display of number plates:
● The number plate has to be made from BSAU145e compliant reflective materials.
● The display of the letters and numbers has to be provided in a single tone black color. The letters and numbers have to be in a Charles Wright font with a specific font size and font spacing.
● The front plate has to have a white background color and the rear has to have a yellow background color.
● You should not have any discreet patterns within the background color
● You must not use attachment studs or screws to alter the letters or numbers in any way.
● The materials should be weather resistant and either Acrylic or ABS materials are preferred
● National flags have to be to an approved design and the UK emblem is the only identifier that allows the vehicle to be driven overseas. GB can be used as an identifier but this will not allow the vehicle to be used overseas without an additional UK identifier.
If you don’t follow these rules, then you may have to pay a financial penalty and receive endorsements on your license. Ensure to know the full guidelines and regulatory requirements before buying and displaying private registration plates.
How can you buy a personalised number plate?
There are different procedures for buying custom registration plates in different countries. The process of buying a customised number plate in the UK is a good example to demonstrate how to purchase a unique personalized number for your vehicle. In the UK, the quickest and easiest way to get a private number plate is by purchasing from a registration broker. The broker will assign the new registration to your vehicle whilst also supplying you with the physical number plates for your vehicle. However, there are several options and these are described below:
DVLA or The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency has the authority to issue private registration plates to vehicles. Buying directly from the DVLA, will reduce the cost for un-issued registrations but you will need to assign the registration to your vehicle yourself. The DVLA has an online portal for allowing you to purchase a personalized registration although there is an absence of a fully managed transfer service, no finance credit facility, and no means of supplying the physical number plates for your vehicle.
This is relatively easier and a more efficient alternative to the first option. Brokers provide a fully managed transfer service, provide finance credit options, will supply the number plates and relieve you of the worry and concern involved with the process of assignment to the vehicle. Brokers supply issued and un-issued registrations and they have more choice than the DVLA because they are dealing in both registration types. Make sure the dealer is a registered DVLA reseller and has the experience to sell and assign private number plates. Buying from a DVLA recognised registration broker will save you time and eliminate the stress and worry associated with the process.
If you fail to identify a suitable number plate through DVLA or a broker than you always have the options of sourcing a suitable number privately. This can be time consuming as you will need to monitor adverts in magazines or newspapers whilst also searching online auction portals such as E-bay. You will need to ensure you don’t pay over the odds for a privately advertised number as quite often prices are high.
Is it possible to transfer your vehicle number?
Having purchased a new personalized number and having assigned it to your vehicle you may want to then sell your vehicle at a future point in time. In this scenario it is possible to remove the personalized number from the vehicle and place it on retention until you have sourced a replacement vehicle. The number can then be re-assigned to your replacement vehicle allowing you to keep the personalized number even though you have changed your vehicle.