Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
1:00 AM 20th January 2024

Number Plate Warning Ahead Of 2024 Release

Image credit: ShutterStock
Image credit: ShutterStock
Drivers have been told to learn eight must know number plate rules or risk a hefty fine and penalty points ahead of the launch of new 2024 plates.

Number plate experts at Absolute Reg have warned drivers to be aware of eight rules to avoid driving with illegal plates.

The warning to ensure plates are road-legal comes ahead of the new 2024 registration plate launch on the 1st of March.

Strict UK laws could see oblivious motorists fined an eye-watering £1000 for having a non-compliant number plate.

Other punishments for driving with an illegal car registration plate include an on-the-spot fine of £100, three penalty points and a failed MOT.

Car number plates must comply with various regulations covering aspects such as design, font and visibility.

Jake Smith, director of Absolute Reg, said:
“With the new 2024 plate launch just around the corner, motorists must ensure they are up to scratch with number plate laws.

“Car owners who fail to comply with rules risk a hefty fine and other penalties including license points.

“Number plate regulations range from the general design to visibility, which makes it an offence to conceal the plate in any way.

“Motorists may also be surprised to know that having faulty bulbs or a dirty number plate could lead to a fine.”

Here are eight must-know number plate rules:


Number plates must be displayed at all times on the vehicle from the front and back. Letters and numbers on the plate must also be visible at all times, so ensure nothing is obscuring them.


It is illegal to put plates on a car which makes it look younger than it is, so motorists cannot put the new ‘24 plate on a 2023 registered car, for example.

Faulty bulbs

It is illegal to drive with a number plate which cannot be easily read, so faulty number plate bulbs must be fixed before heading out in the dark.


The DVLA allows several nationality flag identifiers to be printed, including UK, Scottish, and Welsh as well as a newly introduced EV Green Flag. However, don’t get caught using the incorrect EV Green Flag, this is only allowed if your vehicle is registered with zero emissions.

If travelling outside of the UK, make sure to display the correct flag showing the UK along with the Union Jack flag.

Spacing or size of characters

There are many regulations when it comes to plate spacing and size of characters, including that characters must be 79mm tall, spaces between characters must be 11mm and characters must be 50mm wide. All registrations should be spaced in the legal format shown on your V5C.


UK number plates must use the mandatory font specified in the Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001, the official Charles Wright font. Whilst number plates can be easily obtained with different fonts, these should not be fitted to your vehicle.


Vehicles manufactured after 1st January 1973 must display number plates which are manufactured of a reflective material, with a white background for the front number plate of the vehicle and a yellow background for the number plate for the back of the vehicle, with black letters and numbers.

Dirty Plates

Number plates are prone to gather dirt and debris, so make sure to clean them regularly. A build-up of dirt which makes it difficult to read or identify a number plate can lead to huge fines.