Changes on Trailer Registration Plates

Driver Safety, Driving Awareness, Driving Risk Management, Government

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From 28 March 2019, it will be a requirement for certain trailers travelling abroad to be registered with DVLA. To provide ample time for customers to register, DVLA aims to launch this service in January 2019. When registered, trailers must display a trailer registration number plate as well as the registration number plate of the towing vehicle.

Registration plates must be supplied by registered number plate suppliers. You may be asked to supply these plates so you will need the following information:

Trailer registration plate specifications

The trailer registration mark will consist of one letter followed by seven numbers. They will be grouped as one letter and three numbers followed by a group of four numbers, for example, A123 4567 in this layout

The plate should use the standard font and have the following characteristics:

  • Characters should be 64 millimetres in height
  • Have a width of 44 millimetres, except for the character representing the number ‘1’ and letter ‘I’, which must have a width of 10 millimetres
  • Have a stroke width of 10 millimetres
  • Be separated by 10 millimetres from any other characters within a group, groups of characters in the registration mark must be separated from one another by a space of 5 millimetres vertically

What is the trailer registration scheme and why has it been introduced?

Trailer registration scheme is a DVLA service for certain UK trailers used internationally. It is being introduced as part of the UK’s ratification of the 1968 Vienna Convention and to address the issues already faced by customers using UK trailers abroad.

Will every trailer in the UK be registered?

No, registration will be mandatory for all commercial use trailers travelling internationally that weigh over 750kg in gross weight. Registration is also mandatory for non-commercial use trailers that travel internationally and weigh over 3,500kg in gross weight.

How should the trailer registration plate be displayed?

The trailer registration plate must be fixed to the rear of the trailer in a position that is as far as reasonably practicable from the position of the towing vehicle registration plate. If it is not possible to fix a registration plate on the rear of the trailer, a registration plate must be fixed to both sides of the trailer and in such positions that in normal daylight the characters of the registration mark are easily distinguishable from either side of the trailer.

Do I need to register separately to become a supplier of trailer registration plates?

No, as long as you are a registered number plate supplier you will be able to supply trailer registration plates as well as vehicle registration plates.

I do not have all the necessary components to produce trailer registration plates. Where can I get them?

Your current supplier should be able to provide you with the vehicle registration plate components or equipment needed to produce trailer registration plates.

What documentation do I check?

As with vehicle registration plates, customers will need to provide a document to confirm their identity and a document proving their entitlement to use the registration number. The list of acceptable documents can be found on the INF136. For trailer registration plates, customers should be able to provide the ‘UK trailer registration certificate’ (VTRC) or a ‘Trailer number plate authorisation certificate’ (eV948/2). Please see images below.

Is it compulsory to supply trailer registration plates? 

No, it is down to each RNPS to decide if they will offer trailer registrations plates. DVLA will advise customers to check with their chosen supplier beforehand to ensure they are available.

Are RNPS required to keep a sales record for trailer registration plates sold?

You must keep records of number plate sales for three years and show them upon request to the police, DVLA, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and Trading Standards enforcement officers if they ask to see them. A sample template of a sales record can be found on the INF195/2.

Further information on the Trailer Registration Scheme can be found at You can also sign up here for DVLA email alerts on the new scheme.

If you have any more questions about the changes or would like to know more give us a call on:

0115 946 6466

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