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New ’22’ numberplate law changes introduced

UK numberplate rules have changed; here’s everything you need to know

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You might have heard that UK numberplate rules have now changed with the introduction of the ‘22’ registration mark, but what exactly has been altered? To help you keep up with the law, cinch runs through the changes to have been rolled out this month – and those that have recently been implemented before it. You’re welcome.

No more 3D letters and numbers

The increasing use of automated camera technology – including Automatic Numberplate Recognition, aka ANPR – has encouraged legislators to ban the use of raised letters and numbers. Plates will continue to be allowed in both perspex and acrylic, and the green badge to identify fully-electric cars – introduced this year – will also remain an option for EV owners. But you won’t be able to fit plates with 3D characters anymore.

Tougher plastics

The new BS AU 145e standard plates are more durable and resistant to wear, meaning the plate characters will remain more clearly visible for longer. Handily, your car will look fresher for it, and you shouldn’t need to replace the plates for wear-related issues, in theory, ever.

UK designation

Since September, plates have swapped the ‘GB’ designation for ‘UK’, with a Union Flag displayed above it. Cars with these plates on won’t have to display a ‘UK’ badge on their boots when travelling onto the European continent.

Historic cars

Also, since September, black and white plates – which mimic the design of the UK’s oldest numerplates – will only be eligible for cars that meet two criteria. They must be registered as classic cars, meaning they’re in the DVLA’s historic tax bracket. And they must have been registered before 1 January 1980. Unless a car conforms to both rules, it must run the modern white/yellow-on-black design.