Tle Law On The Use Of Black And Silver Number Plates

When you want to keep the aesthetic of your classic car as authentic as possible, a black and silver number plate is the type of detail that makes a difference. Dating back to 1903, these original number plate colours are iconic, so getting hold of one makes perfect sense. But how do you get a black and silver number plate and are there any restrictions? Yes, you guessed it – of course there are. Read on for all you need to know about how to get hold of a black and silver number plate for your classic car.

Can anyone display a black and silver number plate?

No, if you are not registered under the DVLA’s historic class, then you cannot use a black and silver number plate. That is, if your classic car was built after the 1st January 1979. Or if your car was built before 1st January 1979 but is used for business or trade within a commercial context or is used for hire or as a reward.

If you are registered under the historic class and your classic car was made before the 1st January 1975 then yes, you can get a black and silver number plate. The tax and MOT rule is based on a rolling 40 year basis for the historic class, but the year for valid use of the black and silver number plates remains fixed at 1975.

How do I get a black and silver number plate?

Check that you are eligible first. If you do qualify for a black and silver number plate then you will need to find a local number plate supplier to create your plate for you. You must obtain your black or white number plate from an authorised supplier because your plate must meet a number of legal requirements.

They include:

  • Standard typeface and sizing only (no playing with fonts or italics)
  • All characters must be the genuine characters, in the original order, completely un-altered (for example using a purposefully placed screw to change a 0 to an 8)
  • The plate must display the British symbol and no other unauthorised symbols (including sports-related or religious symbols)

What happens if you flout the rules? A hefty fine and an instant failed MOT. As well as the option to have you plate made up in the original-style pressed metal with raised silver lettering on a black background, there are also plastic versions available. Check out the full set of guidance for the appearance of your plate at:

You will need to bring original photo I.D, such as a passport and proof of your entitlement, for example your V5 vehicle registration certificate, to the supplier when you visit. Search for your nearest authorised supplier at:

If your vehicle does not display legal number plates you could be fined up to £1,000 and your car will automatically fail an MOT.

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