RAC Cars News


DVLA Bans Offensive Personalised Registration Plates

By raccars Published

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You may think they are a symbol that you have 'arrived,' or you may know better and find them utterly crass, but either way the DVLA makes a great trade in personalised number plates. However, the government agency has decided to take a stand against vulgarity, by releasing its latest list of registration plates which are now banned from use on cars in the UK.

Plates which are considered inappropriate and offensive include those featuring religious references, such as AL14 LAH, 15 LAM or JE55US, according to a recently compiled report running to 46 pages. The ban appears to rely on interpretation, however, as MO14 MED, valued at over £100,000, and KR15 HNA, which sold for £233,000, have both been deemed acceptable.

References to alcohol on number plates have been outlawed, as has anything which could be considered obscene, including VA61 ANA but not, inexplicably, PEN 15. The latter has been valued at £100,000, and is for sale by specialist registration plate dealer, RegTransfers. AL60 POP, AL60 HOL and SL05 HED have all made the banned list on the basis of referring to alcohol, while SH15 TTY, PU15 SSY and UP15 BUM are all simply too vulgar.

Also on the banned list are OS55 AMA, OM63 WTF and MA55 MDR.

Details of the report were made public after a man applied for the plate 15 LAM, to match his surname, only to be told by the DVLA that that particular combination of letters and numbers was inappropriate. The report comes after a furore last October over the number plate H982 FKL, which was used by members of the TV programme, Top Gear, while filming in Argentina. Locals considered the plate referred controversially to the Falklands War of the early 1980s and rioted, forcing the show's presenters to flee the country. The BBC has insisted the plate was used in all innocence and was not a deliberate attempt to wind up Argentines, who remain notoriously sensitive about the disputed ownership of the Falkland Islands.

The DVLA holds a committee meeting twice a year, which is publicly funded and set up to decide which number plates are and are not suitable to be used on British roads. The DVLA can legally demand that plates be withdrawn. On one occasion, the owner of the number plate BO11 LUX successfully challenged a DVLA ruling to withdraw his registration.

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