Motorcycle number plates

Motorcyle number plate
All vehicles have to display the correct number plates in accordance to The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001.


The Regulations specify the typeface, the size, colouring and the British Standards that number plates must conform to in order for the vehicle to be legal.


Motorcycles registered after 1.9.2001 must only display a number plate at the rear of the vehicle. Motorcycles registered before 1.9.2001 can display a number plate at the front but are not required to.


The number plate must conform to the following dimensions.

Character height


Character width (except the figure 1 or letter l)


Character stroke


Space between characters


Space between groups


Top, bottom and side margins (minimum)


Space between vertical lines




You and the law

It is an offence to alter, rearrange or misrepresent letters or numbers in order to form names or words or in such a way that makes it difficult to read the registration number. Characters must not be moved from one block to the other e.g. AB51 DVL must not be displayed as AB5 1DVL or AB 51DVL. Vehicles with illegal displayed number plates may FAIL the MoT test. The police can also issue a fixed penalty fine for illegally displayed number plates. Offenders are liable to a MAXIMUM FINE of £1,000 and in some cases the mark may be withdrawn.


This page only contains a summary of the main regulations for number plates. The full regulations for number plates can be found on the DVLA website.