Types of Plate
Current style registrations consist of seven characters. Two letters then two numbers that determine the vehicle age, then three letters. EG. AB02 ABC These were brought into issue for new vehicles when the Prefix style expired on the Y series. The DVLA issue two series of these a year for vehicles registered new in March and September, and the issuing series will run until the year 2049! Some examples of current style plates are: ST08 ART, EA57 TER, CO57 UME.
Prefix registrations were issued to vehicles when the suffix series ran out in 1983 starting with the letter "A" (eg, A1 ABC) to the letter "Y" in 2001. The year identifier appears at the front and you can use these on most ages of vehicles (but you can’t make your vehicle appear newer). The following Prefix letters were not issued: "O" as it looks like a "0", "U" as it looks like a "V", Q (reserved for kit cars and vehicles where the age can’t be determined) and "Z" as it looks like the number 2.
Suffix style registrations have a year identifier as the last letter. They run from A to Y and were issued to GB registered vehicles from 1963-1983. An example of a 1963 suffix registration would be WRT 123A and a 1983 plate would be JWU 123Y. You can make some fantastic combinations from them, as the numbers can be single to three digits for example: GOL 1F, PET 3R, SAR 4H, ANG 31A etc. You can assign suffix number plates to modern vehicles to make them look older.
Dateless registrations can be transferred to any age vehicle. They do not have a ‘year identifier’. They were originally issued to vehicles before 1963. Registration numbers that contain and "I" or "Z" originate from Northern Ireland, and are also classed as ‘dateless’. There is no way to tell the age of a vehicle with a dateless number plate by just looking at it, that is why they are used to hide the age of a vehicle, or perhaps just give it a regal distinct look.