Find a Private Number Plate GuideSuffix Style Guide
About Suffix-Style registrations
Suffix style registrations were introduced by the DVLA in February 1963, as they were running out of dateless combinations to use, having already issued millions of vehicle registration marks across the country. It also increased customer protection since the key attribute of the suffix style number plate is that it would now be easy to identify the age of a vehicle. They use the structure BBB*A, where A is a letter which represents the period that the vehicle was first registered, and * is a 1-3 digit number. This style is the reverse of its successor the Prefix style, which follows the format A*BBB. Suffix style registrations cannot incorporate the letters I, Q or Z; O and U can only appear in the first three letters.
Suffix style registrations were initially released annually and were issued between 1st January and 31st December of each year. This changed with the introduction of the F-registrations on 1st August 1967, which started the annual release of registrations in the period 1st August - 31st July.
The suffix style is often used as an alternative to the more expensive dateless style and will suit the more historical makes of vehicle in the UK. They are also often used as cover plates to hide the age of a vehicle. They can be used to emphasise initials or abbreviated words, such as DKH222T or KRS751V. Occasionally they are used to emphasise a name, such as RAJ84C or HEL6. They are also used to spell out an entire word (TER122Y).
How to use the search
If you have a specific suffix style registration in mind, you can use our “Suffix Style Search” to try and find what you are looking for.
Please note: When choosing a suffix 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 last letter of the registration mark.
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 letters you want at the start of the registration. Many people use them for initials or make of the vehicle
- Choose 1-3 numbers from the drop down combinations. If you are trying to spell a word and need to fill the space where a letter should be you can use any number, or select the number that most closely resembles the letter that you need. E.g. using the number 3 for E or 55 for SS.
- If any of these characters do not hold any significance to you, you can leave the selection as “ANY”.
- Finally, choose the last letter of the registration, also known as the age identifier.
- If the combination you have selected is not available, our search will offer you similar matches directly from our database.
Please note that you need to select at least 2 characters from the dropdown to be able to search for registrations.
Suffix-style issuing periods
You can find a list here of the suffix letters with the years in which they were issued. You can click on the plate to browse through the suffix registrations that we have available from that year.
From January to December of the same year:
From January to July of the same year:
From August to July
See below for some examples: