What is the law for small registration plates on motorcycles?

Written by lewis j. fagleman
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What is the law for small registration plates on motorcycles?
The DVLA issued guidelines for motorcycle number plates 2001, and violators are subject to a fine and withdrawal of registration. (motorcycle image by Dragana Petrovic from Fotolia.com)

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) released specific guidelines in 2001 that motorcycle number plates must conform with. Those that do not may result in a fine of up to £1,000 and the withdrawal of the registration.

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Motorcycles registered from 2001 onward must have a two-lined number plate measuring at least 9 inches by 7 inches. Pre-2001 motorcycles may use a number plate displaying three lines; however, in no instance is a one-line number plate legal on a motorcycle.


All motorcycle registrations from 2001 on must use the "Charles Wright" typeface, and letters should be 64mm by 44mm and separated by a gap of 10mm. Groups of letters are not to be pushed together to spell words, nor are fixing bolts to be used to alter the appearance of letters.


The fixed penalty notice (on-the-spot fine) for displaying an illegal number plate is £60. This covers failure to conform with rules on font, size and colour of number plates. Offenders could face fines up to a maximum of £1,000 and risk having the registration withdrawn, thus making the bike illegal until re-registered.

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