Laws and regulations pertaining to number plate sales and purchases for businesses

Similar to traditional number plates, the sales of personal number plates are tightly governed by the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 and Road Safety Act 2006 (for Scotland and Northern Ireland). Among the most potent aspect of the regulation are the need to provide proof of identification and documents demonstrating entitlement to the number plates. The strict measures are meant to ensure criminals will have difficulty in acquiring fake number plates to avoid penalty points and fines, mask stolen vehicles or worse, commit crimes.


Aside from that, there is an additional layer of DVLA regulation for businesses which sell number plates.



DVLA RNPS regulation for businesses selling private plates


As part of DVLA’s initiatives to enforce a rigorous regulation in the sales of number plates, including private sales of personalised number plates, the agency introduced the Registered Number Plate Suppliers (RNPS) list on 1 January 2003. Manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and resellers of numbers plates can submit an online application to be included in the RNPS list.


(i) Responsibilities as a manufacturer


License plate manufacturers are not allowed to make both generic and private plates to any supplier or distributor not listed on the RNPS registry. However, they may make number plates for car manufacturers and supply parts such as screws, adhesives, etc.


(ii) Responsibilities as a supplier or reseller


Suppliers must maintain a three year record of all sales involving number plates and be ready to provide the information to DVLA and law enforcement when asked.


The records that must be kept include:


• Registration mark sequence

• Buyer’s name and address

• Copy of buyer’s proof of identity and driving license

• Copy of DVLA’s forms V948 (number plate authorisation certificate), V778 or V750

• Copy of V5C/V5C (NI)

• In cases where the purchase is made by an agent or repairer of an insurer, the policy number and insurer’s reference must be retained.



Failure to comply with the requirements may lead to fines and incarceration.



Nicole Murphy

47 South Street MOCKBEGGAR TN12 0EL

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