What is changing?
From 28 September 2021, the national identifier displayed on vehicles registered in the United Kingdom when driven abroad changed from GB to UK.
Further information for customers on driving abroad is available at Displaying number plates: Flags, symbols and identifiers - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
What is expected of me as a number plate supplier?
• there is no requirement for vehicle keepers to change their number plates
• customers can still choose to purchase number plates which display a national flag of England, Scotland or Wales with accompanying letters
• although it is still permissible to display the letters GB on a number plate customers should be offered UK and the Union flag as this ensures their vehicle is compliant with international road traffic rules
• customers choosing other options (e.g. ENG) should be made aware that they will need to apply a separate UK sticker when travelling abroad
What are the rules that I need to follow?
• the requirements for the production and sale of registration numbers have not changed
• the display of flags and identifiers must still comply with the legal requirements. The attached specifications are compliant with domestic and international law and should be used as a template for the display of the letters UK and the Union flag on a number plate Union Flag General
• these markings should be positioned within an area of no less than 40mm and must be no more than 50mm
• the entire background of the area for displaying the flag and distinguishing sign should be retro reflecting
• the entire background of this area should be the same colour as the background of the plate, or for vehicles defined as being ‘eligible’ in the regulations, Pantone 7481c (or a colour match that is as close to possible to this colour)
• the markings must be positioned on the left of the registration plate
• the markings must not encroach into the margin of the registration plate where margin has the same meaning as Regulations 14(9) and 14A(2) (f) of the Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001
• where an optional border is also displayed on a registration plate, the markings must not be positioned inside the border Recommended guidance for the Flag
• the colours of the flag should be: – royal blue, Pantone 280C or a colour match that is as close as possible to this colour – red, Pantone 186C or a colour match that is as close as possible to this colour – white CMYK 0.0.0.0
• the flag should be between 35mm and no more than 50mm in width and 21mm in height (all +/- 1mm)
• the flag must be positioned above the country designation letters “UK” and should be displayed in a landscape orientation
• the centre of the flag should be centred across the 45 to 50mm area reserved for these markings
• the flag should be retro-reflective
Recommended guidance for the Distinguishing Sign
• the characters should be in TW Cent MT Condensed Extra Bold
• ideally the characters should be 20mm in height (+/- 1mm) • ideally the characters should be 12mm in width (+/- 1mm)
• the characters should have a stroke width of between 3.2 mm (+/- 0.5mm) and 5mm
• the space between the characters should be 4mm (+/- 0.5mm)
• the centre of the arrangement of characters should be centred across 45 to 50mm reserved for these markings
• the centre of the arrangement of characters and the centre of the flag should be between 40 to 45mm apart
• the characters should be Royal Blue, Pantone 280C or a colour match that is as close as possible to this colour and should not be the same colour as the registration mark
• the characters should be retro reflecting for registration plates intended for two or three-wheel motor vehicles, the dimensions of the flag and of the UK distinguishing sign may be proportionately reduced.
• the design and specification of the flag is taken from the ‘The Union Jack Bill 2008.’ as amended by The Flag Institute and is intended only for use on vehicle number plates (FI). Other specifications are taken from EC2411/98 which has been the basis for successful flag designs of quality and consistency throughout EU countries
• there is no Pantone colour reference for white, the CMYK colour reference from the FI document has been used
• dimensions have been taken from and where necessary are in proportion to FI and EC2411/98 and the Roads Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001
• there is no specification for the distinguishing sign under the Vienna Convention and EC2411/98. The nearest typeface found is TW Cent MT Condensed Extra Bold, which has meant that the character stroke width has been adjusted
• the reference to a smaller flag and literal for two or three-wheel motor vehicles has been taken from EC2411/98
• the Pantone reference 7481C green is set out in Regulation 16 of the Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001