What are the legal requirements for having number plates made?

I'm changing my car for one first registered in September 2010 and have a cherished plate that I intend to transfer. I surfed and found a firm that would supply with no documents required and with the facility to design my own plate, within reasonable parameters. One design feature enabled me to avoid the dreaded Euro stars and to replace the badge that often contains them with either a Union Jack or even a logo of my own. Plus there was no requirement to have the plate maker's name and postcode on the plate.

Wondering how legal such plates might be, I phoned the DVLA and was told that the style of plates was to do with the MoT and not the DVLA. I now find (by talking to my MoT tester) that the maker's name and postcode need to be on and personal logos must not be, and there's a fine of up to £1,000 for displaying a non-standard plate. This requirement came into force about nine months ago. How does the average motorist find out about such laws? I looked through the MOT tester's handbook and could find no reference to number plate features.

Asked on 12 May 2011 by RG, Huntingdon

Answered by Honest John
Your MoT tester is right. He is referring to the Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001 and Sections 17 and 38 of the Vehicles (Crimes) Act 2001 that renders the supply of non-compliant plates illegal as from November 2008. The plate maker's name and postcode have to be on the plates as a control measure to try to prevent cloning as well as illegal plates.
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