When the start date for the historic class of vehicles was unfrozen in 2015, and became a rolling 40 years, it was overlooked that the regulations for number plates had linked the validity of the old style black and silver plates to the vehicle qualifying for the historic tax class. This meant that it rolled forward every year, despite the law previously requiring all vehicles first registered from 01 January 1973 to only display the yellow and white number plates with black characters.
As this was never the intention, the DVLA has sought to rectify this through a legal correction which will shortly be implemented. The change seeks to prevent any vehicle constructed from 01 January 1980 from the ability to display the black and silver number plate despite being recorded in the DVLA’s historic tax class. Those vehicles with a construction date prior to 01 January 1980 will continue to be able to legally display black and silver number plates to avoid any undue costs of replacement.
Also, from 01 January 2021 it was no longer permissible to fix a new number plate displaying the Euro symbol. Number plates already fixed to vehicles are unaffected. The DVLA will be introducing a new British Standard for number plates from 01 September 2021 which will mean that all current style number plates that are first fixed to a vehicle from that date must meet the technical requirements contained in that standard.