Vehicle Registration Letters

A brief history of the registration plate

1903 to 1932

The first registration (number) plates were issued in 1903 and ran until 1932 in the format of one or two letters followed by a number ranging from 1-9999. The letter/s identified the issuing area office.

1932 to 1963

As the original combinations ran short an 'extention' scheme was introduced. This involved plates with 3 letters and 3 numbers between 1 & 999.

1963 to 1982

1963 saw a series of 3 letters (the area code), 3 numbers (random) and a letter on the end which showed the year. Example: TTW 344W

1983 to 2001

Similar to the 1963 set up but in reverse. The first letter was the year, the next 3 numbers were random and the final three letters showed the county. Example: A289 KWU

2001 onwards

The current layout starts with the two area code letters followed by two numbers which denote the year. The numbers change each March and September. The final three letters are selected by the DVLA. Unless it changes, the latest plates will run until 2049.


Suffix 1963>1983   PreFix 1983>2001   Current 2001>
A FEB-1963 > DEC-1963   A AUG-1983 > JUL-1984   51 SEP-2001 > FEB-2002
B JAN-1964 > DEC-1964   B AUG-1984 > JUL-1985   02 MAR-2002 > AUG-2002
C JAN-1965 > DEC-1965   C AUG-1985 > JUL-1986   52 SEP-2002 > FEB-2003
D JAN-1966 > DEC-1966   D AUG-1986 > JUL-1987   03 MAR-2003 > AUG-2003
E JAN-1967 > JUL-1967   E AUG-1987 > JUL-1988   53 SEP-2003 > FEB-2004
F AUG-1967 > JUL-1968   F AUG-1988 > JUL-1989   04 MAR-2004 > AUG-2004
G AUG-1968 > JUL-1969   G AUG-1989 > JUL-1990   54 SEP-2004 > FEB-2005
H AUG-1969 > JUL-1970   H AUG-1990 > JUL-1991   05 MAR-2005 > AUG-2005
J AUG-1970 > JUL-1971   AUG-1991 > JUL-1992   55 SEP-2005 > FEB-2006
K AUG-1971 > JUL-1972   K AUG-1992 > JUL-1993   06 MAR-2006 > AUG-2006
L AUG-1972 > JUL-1973   L AUG-1993 > JUL-1994   56 SEP-2006 > FEB-2007
M AUG-1973 > JUL-1974   M AUG-1994 > JUL-1995   07 MAR-2007 > AUG-2007
N AUG-1974 > JUL-1975   N AUG-1995 > JUL-1996   57 SEP-2007 > FEB-2008
P AUG-1975 > JUL-1976   P AUG-1996 > JUL-1997   08 MAR-2008 > AUG-2008
Q Special/temp import   Q Special/temp import   58 SEP-2008 > FEB-2009
R AUG-1976 > JUL-1977   R AUG-1997 > JUL-1998   09 MAR-2009 > AUG-2009
S AUG-1977 > JUL-1978   S AUG-1998 > FEB-1999   59 SEP-2009 > FEB-2010
T AUG-1978 > JUL-1979   T MAR-1999 > AUG-1999   10 MAR-2010 > AUG-2010
V AUG-1979 > JUL-1980   V SEP-1999 > FEB-2000   60 SEP-2010 > FEB-2011
W AUG-1980 > JUL-1981   W MAR-2000 > AUG-2000   11 MAR-2011 > AUG-2011
X AUG-1981 > JUL-1982   X SEP-2000 > FEB-2001   61 SEP-2011 > FEB-2012
Y AUG-1982 > JUL-1983   Y MAR-2001 > AUG-2001   12 MAR-2012 > AUG-2013

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