Current Style Number Plates

Launched in September 2001, current number plates were introduced to address issues with the lack of available number plates in the UK. This gave the DVLA an opportunity to provide a system much more suited to the increasing number of cars being manufactured and on the road. The format was specifically designed to:

  • Be easier to calculate the age of a vehicle
  • Allow for two age changes per year
  • Improve driver memory retention of plates
  • Fit into existing plate dimensions
  • Be easier to read

Structure of a current plate e.g. DG59 XOK

  • First two letters (DG), also known as local memory tag - Shows the area of issue
  • Two numbers (59) - Shows the age of the vehicle (changes twice a year)
  • Space
  • Three letter sequence

This new format has been very popular choice for personalised number plates since they have been introduced as a result of the logical structure shown above. Every year the DVLA remove a number of plates that may have a rude or inappropriate connotation, as they might offend members of the public.

The scheme is expected to have sufficient numbers to run until 2064, at which point they are able to either continue the existing strategy, or design a new solution to provide us with even more private number plates.