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The DVLA have announced changes concerning information on black and silver number plates which will take effect from 1 January 2021.

The changes being introduced on 1 January 2021 will affect the ability of vehicles registered in the historic tax class to display the old style pre-1973 black and silver number plates.

Following the change in definition of a historic vehicle for vehicle tax exemption purposes in 2015, an issue was identified in the regulatory requirements for the valid display of a black and silver number plate. This resulted in an unintended consequence where any vehicle over 40 years old and registered in the historic tax class would be permitted to display an old style black and silver number plate. This was despite the law previously requiring all vehicles first registered after 1 January 1973 to only display the yellow and white number plates with black characters.

As this was never the intention, DVLA have sought to rectify this through a legal correction which will shortly be implemented. The change seeks to prevent any vehicle constructed after 1 January 1980 (so late model TR7s) from the ability to display the black and silver number plate despite being recorded in the DVLA’s historic tax class. Those vehicles with a construction date prior to 1 January 1980 (early TR7s,TR6 and before) will continue to be able to legally display black and silver number plates to avoid any undue costs of replacement.

The change is likely to mean that now all TR6s for example and some early TR7s can legally display back and silver number plates, but only if they were previously fixed to the car before this legislation change, if your car already has white and yellow plates, then they must remain.

TR Register members may also wish to note that from 1 January it will no longer be permissible to fix a new number plate displaying a Euro symbol. Number plates already fixed to vehicles are unaffected. DVLA will also be introducing a new British Standard for number plates produced from 1 September 2021 which will mean all current style number plates that are first fixed to a vehicle from that date must meet the technical requirements contained in that standard.

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