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Discussion Starter #1
I know i will get stick from some for even thinking of getting a personalised plate, anyway....

(X = letter, 1 = number)
So i am looking at a plate with the format
X11 XXX (format on DVLA site)

I have looked at the DVLA site and read about how to legally display plates but still not sure if i can have it laid out as 'X 11X XX'.
If i can't have it in that format, it is meaningless to me so wouldn't buy it.

Can anyone advise?
 

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Yeah, Robin is right. Some main places to get the plates made will refuse to do that for you as they have some responsibility to do it in the correct format. However many online places will do 'show plates' that can be to any spacing and legal otherwise.
As Robin said tho, risk of being pulled by the cops and risk of MOT fail. But unlikely on both.
 

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It won't be legal and number plate makers should refuse to make it for you. It will also be an MOT fail. However, you are highly unlikely to ever get pulled over for it.
I've never quite understood that.
How is it that the very first Police officer seeing them doesn't immediately pull and ticket them ?

I thought that is what the Police are paid to do ???

It should be virtually impossible, without being extremely lucky, to even drive such a vehicle more than half a mile without getting a pull.
 

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I'm old school. My personalised plates just have my initials e.g. X1 XXX.
Can't be bothered trying to think about letters/numbers making a word, spacing, etc.
 

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I've never quite understood that.
How is it that the very first Police officer seeing them doesn't immediately pull and ticket them ?

I thought that is what the Police are paid to do ???

It should be virtually impossible, without being extremely lucky, to even drive such a vehicle more than half a mile without getting a pull.
Well, you'll be glad to hear that they're busy catching the real criminals - overweight vans and trucks, those with no MOT/Tax/Insurance/Drivers licence, and speeding etc.
The numberplate thing usually ends up as a "fix it ticket" or gets added to anything else you did wrong to get you pulled over.
 

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I've never quite understood that.
How is it that the very first Police officer seeing them doesn't immediately pull and ticket them ?

I thought that is what the Police are paid to do ???

It should be virtually impossible, without being extremely lucky, to even drive such a vehicle more than half a mile without getting a pull.
You obviously don't drive on the same roads as me.
I see loads of plates with spacing and font all wrong. The police don't really care, unless they are bored. Plus when do you even see a police car.
 

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Many ( many) years ago as a jobbing banker I had a farmer customer who was in financial trouble. He drove a nice Rover 90 with Reg - TED 100 - his name being Edward. I suggested the possibility of selling the car and also mentioned that the Reg plate alone would bring a nice sum. He looked bemused so I explained the recent rise in the market for such personal plates and that his would be attractive to many. He still looked puzzled and said that he had only paid a couple of quid for it at Halfords. After a period of talking at cross purposes it emerged that he had simply invented that Reg number and had it made up and put on his car. He didn't own the number via DVLA at all and was so naive that he thought others with cherished plates had done the same thing. Nobody had ever questioned this plate even though it was very well known locally and recognised as being Ted driving past by the village bobby even. So much for an injection of a few thousand into his account.
 

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I've never quite understood that.
How is it that the very first Police officer seeing them doesn't immediately pull and ticket them ?
One for Donald to enjoy. It was quite common for vehicles with badly laid out/illegal personal plates to get prosecuted, but some 15-20 years ago a defendant took his case to a high court. The result was strong criticism from the Judge against the Police and costs awarded against Police. So effectively no more enforcement of that Law.
 

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I must be one of the unlucky ones getting a ticket for illegal plate on a bike (black/white cos it looked better) but the offence he booked me for was "not having a number plate" - amusingly he proceeced to write the wrong reg on the ticket. Never heard any more...
 

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Back in the mid 90's a friend of mine had the nic-name Spud (can't remember why? possible something to do with the shape of his head...). Anyway he bought a cheap plate Xxx5 PUD and moved the 5 across to make Xxx 5PUD.

He got pulled over so many times he gave up in the end and moved the number back again. I don't think anything happened other than 'get that sorted or we'll fine you next time!' but wasn't worth the hassle.
 

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I must be one of the unlucky ones getting a ticket for illegal plate on a bike (black/white cos it looked better) but the offence he booked me for was "not having a number plate" - amusingly he proceeced to write the wrong reg on the ticket. Never heard any more...
And you didn't correct him as he wrote the ticket ?

"Excuse me officer, but I do believe you've written my reg number down wrong" ;)

What a result, and what a dumb copper
 

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I'd argue the layout of the plate is significantly less noticeable anyway. Your average bobby who deals with traditional incidents won't even notice. It's more important that the right don't face is used along with correct backing colour.

Traffic officers however do know and will find the time to deal if you happen to do something else wrong and then act up to them.
 

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Registration plates belong to DVLA, when you "buy" a personalised plate you are only buying the right to display it on your car, DVLA can and will withdraw a plate if it's not displayed correctly, it is a good little money earner because they can then "sell" it to someone else.

My friend has a garage and they make plates but the rules are very strict now, you have to have ID and the V5 etc and the plates have to include the plate makers name and post code along the bottom edge, if a plate is discovered that isn't correct the garage can be fined, needless to say when he had his personalised plate made up he went to the local market where they sell plates for "show purposes" only.

ANPR will read plates that are not spaced correctly, it will also read plates that don't have the correct font, it will even read Polish registration plates. ANPR will get confused if there is a black dot where it shouldn't be, quite by accident the BMW garage put the black dot in the gap in my 5 so the ANPR thinks its a 6 but only if it was looking down from a bridge, on level ground it was a 5.
 

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The government fixation over regulation on who is authorised to make plates is quite foolish if you think about it for a few seconds. The machines to make plates are not regulated. So any nefarious back street cloner of cars can simply make up whatever is needed themselves without having to visit Halfords. The only people being inconvenienced by this legislation are legitimate car owners. Its like the American saying - " If you outlaw guns only outlaws have guns"
 

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FWIW (which may not be a lot) my view/experience is as follows:
  • Fitting incorrectly spaced plates to a vehicle is an offence
  • I would never advise anyone to commit an offence
  • I have had incorrectly spaced plates on various cars continuously since 2001 (see profile photo for example), and have never once had so much as a hint of a mention of it from anyone in authority
  • In all that time I've only been stopped by police once (I overtook him at 60mph having failed to notice a temporary 30mph limit that was in the process of being set up, and also my MOT had expired - he let me off with a warning on both counts and didn't even mention the plates)
  • On one occasion I even forgot to switch them for an MOT and the car still passed
  • My view is that as long as the plates are made of the correct material, use the right font, and are easily and unambiguously readable by both humans and ANPR cameras then it is essentially a victimless crime, and prosecuting it is probably not in the public interest
  • Ultimately I look at it as being the same as driving at 80mph on a well lit empty motorway in good visibility. It's technically an offence, but you would have to be extraordinarily unlucky ever to get a ticket for it
However take care if you use South Mimms services; there's apparently a particularly officious PCSO who stalks the car park there and tickets incorrectly spaced plates. They seem to particularly target Teslas while charging; I'm sure the fact that the police bays were relocated to the back of the car park to make space for superchargers is entirely coincidental :).
 

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My friend has a garage and they make plates but the rules are very strict now, you have to have ID and the V5 etc and the plates have to include the plate makers name and post code along the bottom edge, if a plate is discovered that isn't correct the garage can be fined, needless to say when he had his personalised plate made up he went to the local market where they sell plates for "show purposes" only.
What's interesting (and perfectly reasonable IMO) is that now many of the reputable "show plate" makers are insisting on ID and proof of ownership of the VRM, even before they'll print something that doesn't conform to the rules. So they're checking that you really do own the mark, but then turning a slightly blind eye to the exact layout.

Most of them print the showplates via a subsidiary based in Ireland.
 
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