Motorcycle Number Plates

DESIGN THEM YOUR WAY

There are very many modifications that you can make on your motorbike. But perhaps the easiest and most popular one is adding a smaller number plate on the motorbike. This smaller motorcycle plate has the effect of making the rear tire appear bigger, and as bikers everywhere will attest, bigger tires look meaner.

It is also worth mentioning that you can purchase customized motorcycle plates for your bike that can be manipulated to spell your name or that of a loved one. These are increasingly becoming popular although it is worth mentioning that there are laws governing the customization of motorcycle plates.

 

The Rules Governing Motorcycle Plates

To begin with, all single row motorcycle plates are illegal.  The government makes this very clear by pronouncing that, “Characters on Number plates must be set out over two lines and must be displayed on all motorcycles registered on or after 1 January 1973.”Bikes that were registered before the 1st of September 2001, can display a three-row number plate. But this doesn’t suit most bikes and therefore is not a popular option for most bile owners.

All other bikes have to follow a very strict 2-row rule for motorcycle plates. It is also mandatory for this plates to be displayed on the rear if the bike. If your bike was registered before 1st September 2001, you may also be able to place a number plate on the front as well. These rules apply to tri-cycles as well.

This particular date of 1st September, 2001 is important because it also marks the date that small changes to the rules governing motorcycle plates were also announced. These small changes affect the character sizes and the overall size of the plate. They basically tell you how big or how small your number plate can be.

 

Character Sizes on Motorcycle Plates from 1st September 2001

These character sizes apply to motorcycles that were registered after that date and also any replacement number plates fitted after the date. They also apply to tricycles and quad bikes. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the rules your plates need to adhere to;

  • Characters must be 79mm tall
  • Characters (except the number 1 or letter I) must be 50mm wide
  • The character stroke (the thickness of the black print) must be 14mm
  • The space between characters must be 11mm
  • The space between the age identifier and the random letters must be 33mm
  • The margins at the top, bottom and side of the plate must be 11mm
  • Vertical space between the age identifier and the random numbers must be 19mm

 

Character Sizes on Motorcycle Number Plates before 1st September, 2001 but after January 1973

  • Characters must be 89mm tall
  • Characters (except the number 1 or letter I) must be 64mm wide
  • The character stroke (the thickness of the black print) must be 16mm
  • The space between characters must be 13mm
  • The space between the age identifier and the random letters must be 38mm
  • The margins at the top, bottom and side of the plate must be 13mm
  • Vertical space between the age identifier and the random numbers must be 19mm

 

Character Sizes on Motorcycle Number Plates Registered before 1st January 1973

  • Characters must be 64mm tall
  • Characters (except the number 1 or letter I) must be 44mm wide
  • The character stroke (the thickness of the black print) must be 10mm
  • The space between characters must be 10mm
  • The space between the age identifier and the random letters must be 30mm
  • The margins at the top, bottom and side of the plate must be 11mm
  • Vertical space between the age identifier and the random numbers must be 13

Those are the official rules governing character sizes on Motorcycle plates. But there are other rules surrounding legal plates that apply both to cars and motorcycles. They include the following;

  • Number plates must be lit in the evenings.
  • The registration marks on the plates must be clearly readable and not covered by dirt or dust.
  • All vehicles including motorcycles must have number plated fixed to them.
  • Each number plate on the vehicle must be the correct size, coloring, font ad spacing.
  • The owner of the vehicle is not allowed to rearrange or alter the letters and numbers appearing on the number plate.
  • All plates should follow the British Standard for number plates that includes the trademark of the plate supplier.
  • No additional images should appear on the number plate except approved images such as the EU or GB flags.
  • Non-reflective borders on your plate are optional

 

The Color of Your Motorcycle Number Plate

The other thing you may be wondering about is the color of your motorcycle plates; should they be black or yellow? Motorcycle plates often look good in black, although it is worth mention that there are also laws restricting the color of the plates.

Vehicles that were made before 1st January 1973 can display the traditional black and while number plate. But since April 2016, you can only use this traditional color on your vehicle manufactured on before that date only if you fulfill two conditions; you have applied to the DVLA and you have registered within the “historic vehicles” tax class. Vehicles that were made 40 years ago are exempt from taxation.

 

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