Current Number Plates: 2001 to Present
By the end of the nineteen nineties a new system was devised to continue following the Prefix system reaching the end of the alphabet.
The automotive industry had campaigned for two registration changes per year as sales were heavily weighted to August when the numberplate year letter changed.
This was taken into account and the “Current” registration format was introduced, with two releases per year, which commenced in September 2001.
This time an attempt was made to create a number plate format specifically to:
- Be easier to read.
- Be easier to work out the age of the vehicle.
- Support two age changes each year.
- Be easier to remember.
- Have enough combinations to last the intended period of use (longer than the previous Prefix system)
- Still fit into the existing plate dimensions.
It was hoped that a logically designed layout of 7 characters would help people remember plates involved in accidents and crime and thus help the law enforcement authorities. They seven characters of the Current plate format are formed from:
- Two letters often called the local memory tag; this shows the area of issue.
- Two numbers. These show the age of the vehicle and changes twice a year in March and September.
- A three letter sequence. (Excl I & Q)
Northern Ireland does not use Great Britain’s “Current” registration format. Instead it operates its own unique system.
For plates issued from March to August the vehicle age code is simply the last two digits of the year, e.g. “02” for 2002 or “18” for 2018. If issued from September to February of the following year the code has 50 added to it, e.g. “52” for 2002 or “68” for 2018. With this new current number plates scheme a buyer can tell the year of a car without having to look it up.
There is no particular significance to the final three letter sequence beyond that of distinguishing vehicles registered in the same place during the same period. The letters I and Q are excluded from this sequence, as are combinations that may the DVLA determines may appear offensive in English or other languages.
This scheme should have sufficient numbers to run until 2050. (ending with “50” series, with “99” series intended on being issued September 2049)
Registrations that have a combination of characters that are particularly appealing (for example resembling a name or word) are reserved by the DVLA each year to be auctioned off to generate more money for the Government.
Vehicles registered under previous numbering systems continue to retain their original car registration plates. Subject to certain conditions, registration plates can be transferred between vehicles by the vehicle owner. Some of these transfers involve large financial transactions taking place due to the desirability of a specific number plate.
Issue Dates of Current Registrations:-
“51” - 1.09.01 to 28.2.02, ”02” - 1.03.02 to 31.8.02
“52” - 1.09.02 to 28.02.03, “03” - 1.03.03 to 31.8.03
“53” - 1.09.03 to 28.02.04, “04” - 1.03.04 to 31.8.04
“54” - 1.09.04 to 28.02.05, “05” - 1.03.05 to 31.8.05
“55” - 1.09.05 to 28.02.06, “06” - 1.03.06 to 31.8.06
“56” - 1.09.06 to 28.02.07, “07” - 1.03.07 to 31.8.07
“57” - 1.09.07 to 28.02.08, “08” - 1.03.08 to 31.8.08