Find a Private Number Plate GuideCurrent Style Guide
The current format for UK registrations was introduced by the DVLA in September 2001. It uses the structure AA** AAA, where ** is a two digit number representing the period that the vehicle is first registered. Current style registrations cannot incorporate the letters I or Q; and Z can only appear in the last three letters.
New registrations are released in this style twice a year. They are issued between 1st March - 31st August, and 1st September - 28th February. For example, AB02 CDE would represent a vehicle registered on or after the 1st March 2002, and AB53 CDE, would represent a vehicle registered on or after the 1st September 2003.
This style of registration allows for more combinations than the previous styles. The style is ideal for spelling words in full, such as BU11DER, GU17TAR or MA12RKY. Because of its length the style also allows for words to be spelt in the initial four digits as well as using the last three for short words or initials. Examples of this would be FA57HEY (Fast), BO55SSX (Boss), or , JU57UUU (Just). Current-Style registrations can also begin with OO - these mimic dateless style registrations because O and 0 look the same on the number plate itself. You could have OO18AMY, or OO07JEN.
How to use the search
If you have a specific current style registration in mind, you can use our “Current Style Search” to try and find what you are looking for.
Please note: When choosing a current style registration it is important to note that you cannot make a vehicle look newer than it is. This means that you will need to check that the age of the registration is suitable for your vehicle. In this instance the age identifier is represented by the two numbers in the registration mark.
The current style of registrations will be periodically issued until 28th February 2051. To see whether your vehicle is suitable for a registration you can check it by selecting your vehicle age in our Transfer Age Rules Checker.
To search for a specific registration, you can follow these steps:
- Select the first two letters of your choice (known as the area code from where the vehicle is originally registered).
- Choose a number from the drop down combinations.
- Finally, choose three letters to spell what you are looking for. Many use these for initials or make of vehicle.
- If the combination you have selected is not available, our search will offer you similar matches directly from our database.
If you are trying to spell a word and need to fill a space where a letter should be, you can use the letter X as a filler or select the number that most closely resembles the letter you need.
E.g. 12 as the letter R or 11 as H. Alternatively, 5 for S or 4 for A.
If any of these characters do not hold any significance to you, you can leave the selection as “ANY”. Please note that you need to select at least 2 characters from the dropdown to be able to search for registrations.