What number plate spacing is legal in 2023?

What number plate spacing is legal in 2023?

The legality around number plate spacing is very black and white yet some people are still unsure of it deliberately try to alter spacings to spell their desired words. YES you will see a lot of examples on the road of the illegal spaced number plates on the UK roads and wonder how they have eluded VOSA/Police and got away with it but nevertheless they are still illegal and are for off-road use.


The legal measurements

There a certain gap and requirement of letter sizes for UK car registrations.

There are available to read on:




There is also this useful leaflet made by the DVLA - INF104:



Below is an illustration of the rules:

legal spacing


A brief summary

  • 11mm gap between letters
  • 33mm space in the middle

Any other format for a 7 digit reg would be illegal.


The different reg styles

But what about other registrations types?

There a different reg styles available, some shorter than 7 digit so it can get confusing. You are able to purchase these personalised registrations from DVLA auction site or companies like New Reg.


The main types are known as "current" and "prefix" style. Current refers to your typical reg on cars, often referred to as "71 plate" etc. Prefix style refers to the personalised ones which may be shorter. Below is an example of legal and illegal examples of both styles:


illegal and legal plate spacing


As you can see the space has to be in the middle for these examples to be legal. A missing space or a space in the wrong space would be illegal. 


Please bear this is mind when ordering as some people forget to include spacings thinking they get added automatically, which they don't. If still unsure of the legal spacing about your reg please get in contact with us before ordering.