Motorcycle Number Plate Laws

Motorcycle Number Plate Laws

There are over 1 million motorcyclists in the UK, so getting a personalised number plate is a great way to make you stand out. But, just like cars, there are certain number plate laws which motorcycle users need to adhere to. These are slightly different from the car reg plate laws and it's important to consider them when changing your number plate.

What Are The Number Plate Laws For Motorcycles? 

In general, motorcycle number plate laws are almost exactly the same as the laws for cars. The DVLA  set the laws for number plates so that you and other road users are safe and remain compliant with how you display your number plate. The laws for motorcycle number plates are as follows.

  • It must be manufactured from reflective material.
  • The backplate must have a yellow background with black characters.
  • The background must not have a pattern.
  • The supplier must be shown on the number plate.
  • It must be marked with a British Standard Number.

Motorcycle Number Plate Specific Laws 

The rules above are the general rules that all cars and motorcycles have to follow for their number plate displays. However, there are more considerations for motorbikes and tricycles.

  • Number plates must always be displayed at the back of the vehicle.
  • It’s optional to have a front number plate if you wish but it must have a white background with black lettering.
  • All motorcycles and tricycles must have number plate lettering on two lines.

Motorcycle Number Plate Sizes 

Although there is no exact size for the outline of your private motorcycle number plate, there are some rules and regulations to follow. There are minimum spacing sizes you must adhere to so that the reg plate characters are easy to read for authorities and other road users as well.

  • The thickness of the lettering must be 10mm.
  • The spacing between lettering must be 10mm.
  • Each letter must be 64mm tall and 44mm wide.
  • The age identifiers and the random numbers must be 30mm apart and the vertical space must be 13mm.
  • The margin between the lettering and the outside of the number plate must be at least 11mm.

Motorcycle Number Plate Laws FAQs

Here are the most common questions on the laws around displaying and fitting motorcycle number plates.

Where Should You Display Your Motorcycle Number Plate? 

Motorcycles must always clearly display their number plate on the back of the vehicle. It must also be reflective and have a yellow background with black lettering. It is essential for motorbikes to always have a number display on the back of the vehicle. Unlike cars, a number plate on the front of the vehicle is optional and not legally required for motorcycles.

What Is The Smallest Motorcycle Number Plate I Can Buy? 

The most common size for motorcycle number plates is 9 inches by 7 inches. Although there are no official standard sizes for number plates, there are rules and regulations you need to follow. Characters on motorcycle registrations must be 64mm high and 44mm wide since the regulations changed in 2001.

Can You Use Motorcycle Number Plates On Cars? 

Although it’s a legal requirement for motorcycle number plates to display their characters on two lines, you can still transfer your registration to a car. The rules remain exactly the same when you transfer your number plate, and there are certain vehicles you won't be able to transfer your reg plate to (Such as trailers). Be mindful that although it isn't required for motorcycles to have a reg plate on the front of the vehicle, you will need them on your car.

Are 7x5 Number Plates Legal? 

No – 7x5 number plates are not legal. This is because of the rule changes by the DVLA in 2001 to set a standard number plate size for all vehicles. Unfortunately, 7x5 number plates do not fit in with the new rules and regulations.

Can You Use a Motorcycle Without a Plate? 

You can ride a motorcycle without a number plate, but you won’t be able to take it onto public roads. To drive any vehicle on a public road requires you to be insured and have a number plate displayed clearly on your vehicle. If you ride on a public road without a number plate you could be subject to fines or penalties.

How Can I Get a Personal Motorcycle Number Plate?

At Absolute Reg, we have a huge stock of number plate combinations in a variety of different styles and sizes. You don’t need to worry about your number plate size either. This is because when you purchase a number plate from us, we do all the sizing for you including sizes for motorcycle number plates! Also, if you find the same plate somewhere else for cheaper, our price promise guarantees that we will meet that price. As a result, you’ll always get the best deal for your number plate.

Use our search function to find your dream plate, or browse the different styles below: 

If you need any help finding the perfect motorcycle number plate or want to find out more about Absolute Reg plates, contact our friendly team at for more information.


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