It has been a legal requirement for all vehicles to display a number plate since 1903. Over the years, there have been a number of developments regarding number plates, including the 1973 change from black and silver number plates, to white reflective plates on the front of a vehicle and yellow reflective plates on the back of a vehicle.

Having a black and silver number plate on your classic car adds an extra touch of authenticity, which many owners desire. But, unfortunately, not every classic car is allowed to display a black and silver number plate. There are certain criteria which your vehicle must meet in order to be able to display the black and silver number plate, keep reading to find out the rules and regulations of when you can, and when you can’t display one.

In order to use a black and silver number plate, your classic car must meet two set criteria:

  1. Your vehicle must have been manufactured before January 1st 1975. If your vehicle was manufactured after this date, then you are not permitted to use the traditional black and silver number plate.
  2. Your classic car must also be registered for the historic vehicles tax class. If your vehicle is not already registered, then you need to inform the authorities by applying for the historic vehicles tax, or by using SORN to declare it as off the road.

If your classic car meets these two criteria, then congratulations! You are eligible to use a black and silver number plate on your car. Before you go ahead and purchase your ‘new’ black and silver plates, make sure you do so from a registered number plate supplier. This will ensure that the number plate meets the DVLA set required standard. You can find registered number plate suppliers in your area on the website. There are a number of different options you can choose, including plastic, pressed metal, or hand-painted digits – depending on your budget and preference.

Remember to take photographic ID and your log book when you visit your number plate supplier. They will need these documents to ensure your vehicle is compliant and able to use silver and black number plates.