Banned Number Plates

Twice a year before each new registration change (March and September) the DLVA go all of the letter and number combinations and identify any that could cause offence.

The DVLA has rules to ensure registration number combinations are not rude or offensive in any way. The topics that the DVLA doesn’t want to be represented on your number plate are:

  • Offensive language
  • Covid-related
  • War-related
  • Homophobic language
  • Weapons or killing related
  • Racist language
  • Anything controversial or inflammatory

Let’s explore the rude and offensive number plates the DVLA have decided to ban over the years...

So far in 2022, the following registrations have been banned - we will let you decipher what they say!

  • S22 LAG
  • TO22 SER
  • BO08 LES
  • BE22 END
  • CO22 VD

Some more offensive number plates that have been banned over the years include:

  • MU21 DER
  • BA57 ARD
  • HE12 OIN
  • BU19 SHT
  • AA55 HOL
  • DO67 SHT
  • P15 OFF
  • CO21 RNA

A DVLA spokesperson said: “Many people enjoy displaying a personalised registration number and there are over 50 million registrations available on our website, with almost endless possibilities of combinations to suit a person’s taste, interests and budget.

“The vast majority of registration numbers are made available, but the agency holds back any combinations that may cause offence, embarrassment or are simply just in poor taste.”

Along with banning some complete plates, any plate containing a certain string of characters is also automatically off limits. For example, anything with ‘BUM’ or ‘SEX’ as the final three letters is immediately ruled out.

While many of these licence plates may be sought by drivers wanting a personalised registration to cause mischief, they’re also banned to prevent any embarrassing automatic allocation of plates.

A car is automatically assigned a registration based on its location and date of registration. The first letter is taken from the county in which the vehicle is registered – Y for Yorkshire, for example – with the second letter relating to the local DVLA office. Any car registered between September 1, 2022 and February 28, 2023 will have the number ‘72’ following those two letters. The final three letters are randomly assigned.

Ask a question about number plates



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