In 2015 the Historic status was extended covering Land Rovers over 40 years young. The change introduced an unusual quirk meaning that owners could fit the historic black and silver number plates even though this is not how they came out of the factory and that they would not have been allowed to display the historic number plate when new.

The latest legislation contains a number of rule changes that will be a blow to owners of military vehicles approaching the grand old age of 40. The change to legislation means that only vehicles with a construction date prior to 1st Jan 1980 will be allowed to display the iconic black and silver plates despite being in the DVLA’s historic vehicle tax class.

What vehicles can display a historic black and silver number plate?

Any vehicles made before January 1973 are allowed to display the white, silver or grey characters on a black plate. From April 2019, vehicles registered before the 1st of January 1979 can legally display historic style plates providing they have applied to the DVLA.

Do not confuse this with the 40-year tax exemption which is calculated from 1st April each year.

What is legal and illegal for number plates in the UK?

Here are a few points to look out for when it comes to displaying your number plate:

  • Use of a non-standard font or typeface (no italic lettering or hard to read font style)
  • Changing characters or modifying spacing between letters or letter groupings (be careful on screw placements and screw header colours.)
  • Do not add graphics or logos (such as sporting or religious emblems)

What happens if you display an illegal number plate?

Simple, if your vehicle does not display a legal set of number plates you could receive a fine of up to £1,000. It is also an automatically fail when it comes to your vehicle needing an MOT.

You can checkout all the rules on the government site:

Displaying number plates – GOV.UK (