What Is The Law On Black and Silver Car Plates?

When you’re out and about on the roads, you’ve probably noticed that some cars may have these silver and black number plates. Instead of the standard yellow and white. (See below), however not everybody knows what they are for and if anybody can have one!


Image of vintage plate

Can anybody put black and white number plates on their vehicle?

Unfortunately not. As much as we love them also, only older vehicles use these plates. What do we mean by older vehicles? We mean those that were manufactured on or before January 1st 1980. If you’re lucky enough to own one of these, then you’re even luckier as you use a black license plate!


Can you put black number plates on modern cars?

As discussed, only if the vehicle was manufactured before 1980. There was a slight confusion when the DVLA suffered an unintended consequence of a change in law, whereby any vehicle over 40 years old and registered to the historic tax class, was able to display a silver and black number plate. This obviously counteracted the underlying law that only vehicles registered on 1st January 1973.

An incident which the DVLA had never intended. And since then they have sought to rectify the issue through legal correction which was implemented in 2021. The change implemented seeks to alter the dates from 1973 to 1980. This means that those vehicles constructed before 1 January 1980 will have the ability to legally display black and silver plates.


Is there a difference between vintage car and vintage motorcycle plates?

The simple, short answer is – no! The only difference between them is the size of the actual plate. The basic laws are the same for whatever vehicle it may be, so long as it is ‘historic’ i.e. manufactured on or before 1980, then it is able to have the vintage plate on it. Regardless what vehicle is!


Where can I purchase black and silver number plates UK

Here at Number1Plates we sell all things numberplates, whether it’s private registrations or the vintage plates which we have spoken about! Our black number plates and vintage reg plates are pressed aluminium, and so they’re a high quality, durable material which looks great too! Whether they’re for your pride and joy which sits in the garage, or you take it out to shows, your vintage metal number plates are sure to make your classic car stand out!

Some people want black show plates simply for meets and shows. Unfortunately, unless you can prove your car is of the correct age and provide the documentation, we can’t manufacture black and silver plates for vehicles which don’t meet the criteria.

Take a look through our hundreds of different plate styles, which include black number plates legal – of course! There are lots to choose from, find yours today.

Vintage Number Plates For Classic Car


If you want to read more, find out about the history of the GB number plate here. We have lots of interesting articles and information for you to read and soak up, and get to know the ins and outs of the laws with the DVLA.


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