If you want to ride any motorised vehicle on the UK roads, with the exception of a mobility scooter, then you have to display a number plate which complies with the current laws set out by the DVLA. Starting back in 1904 the government, in their infinite wisdom decided it would make sense to be able to trace cars and their owners in the event of an accident or when a law was broken.

Number plates and the lettering displayed on them must conform in exact shape and size to what has been decided by the DVLA, failure to do so can lead to point s on your license and fines. This makes them easily recognisable and easy to read by the law enforcement agencies and the general public. They should also be displayed on a specific part of your vehicle and for motorcycle number plates this means the rear in comparison to cars which must have them on the front as well.

Motorcycle Number Plates and the Law

There have always been many suppliers out there who were willing to produce illegal plates for road users to stick on their vehicles in an effort to individualise them. These products were sold under the pretense that they were only going to be used when a car was being shown off the public highways, hence their name, show plates. New laws brought in last year have made it illegal for manufacturers of bike plates to produce a plate with a license number on it so it is now much harder to find anything but a standard plate in the UK.

According to the DVLA a motorcycle number plate should:

1. Be displayed on the rear of the motorbike

2. Be easy to read and follow the standards set out

3. Have black lettering on a yellow background

4. Have a reflex-reflecting background with black background

5. Lettering sized at a height of 64mm and width of 44mm

6. Two-line number plate for bikes made after 2001, one-line plates are illegal on any motorcycle.

Motorcycle Number Plate must not have:

1. Altered, rearranging or misrepresentation of the numbers and letters

2. Characters which are grouped together differently than on the license

To prove that the government is getting serious about tackling illegal plates there is now a possible £1000 and withdrawal of registration for breaking these laws. In reality it is more likely that you will be given a slap on the wrist or a £30 fine but things may get more severe in the future.

Custom Motorcycle Number Plates

If you are willing to take the risk you can still hunt down quality custom show plates for a motorcycle to help make your bike an individual. Making sure you don't stray too far from the regulations is the best way to avoid getting pulled over by the police and the most likely reason for getting caught is when you are getting reprimanded for something else at the same time such as a speeding offense.