New Trailer Regulations for Travelling Abroad

By Dash Dynamics

29 April 2019

Important information forwarded to all registered number plate suppliers regarding trailer regulations for travelling from Dash Dynamics. The UK’s first choice for 3D Resin Domed and 4D Acrylic Number plate systems.

In late February this year, the DVLA (Drive and Vehicle Licensing Agency) released important information about trailer registration plates for registered number plate suppliers.

It states that from 28th March 2019, it will be a requirement for certain trailer regulations for travelling abroad to be registered with the DVLA. An online trailer registration service was delivered by the DVLA on the 25th February 2019, allowing customers to register their trailers ready for international travel. Once registered, trailers must display a trailer registration number plate in addition to the registration number plate of the towing vehicle.

What Does This Mean for Plate Suppliers?

As a plate supplier, you need to be aware of these new trailer regulations for travelling and 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.

Plates should use the standard font and have the following characteristics:

  • Characters should be 64 millimetres in height.
  • Characters should have a width of 44 millimetres, except for the character representing the number ‘1’ and the letter ‘I’. These must have a width of 10 millimetres.
  • Characters must have a stroke width of 10 millimetres.
  • Characters must be separated by 10 millimetres from any other characters within a group.
  • Groups of characters must be separated from one another by a space of 5 millimetres vertically.
  • The width margin between the top or lateral edges of the registration plate and any part of a character used to display a registration mark on it must be at least 5 millimetres.
  • The width of the margin between the bottom edge of the registration plate and any part of a character used to display a registration mark on it must be at least 13 millimetres.

As standard, the trailer registration plate must have solid block characters on a white background. No material, other than a registration mark, may be displayed on a registration plate except for information that identifies the manufacturer of the registration plate.

Why Have These Regulations Been Introduced?

The trailer registration scheme has been introduced by the DVLA for use of certain UK trailers internationally. It is 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?

Not all trailers will need to be registered. Registration is only 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 Do the Plates Need to Be Displayed?

The 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 it to the rear of the trailer, the plate must be fixed to both sides of the trailer in such a position that, in normal daylight, the characters of the registration mark are easily distinguishable from either side of the trailer.

Do You Need to Register to Become a Supplier of Trailer Registration Plates?

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

Do the Plates Need to Be Retroreflective?

No. This is not a requirement for the trailer registration plate, but it is also not illegal to display one.

What Size Does the Plate Need to Be?

The largest minimum size for a trailer registration plate (a plate displaying a registration which does not contain an I or 1), will be 216mm by 151mm. An industry standard motorcycle plate (231mm by 164mm) could be used but the plate must be white.

Where Can You Get the Necessary Components?

Your supplier should be able to provide you with the vehicle registration plate components or equipment needed to produce trailer registration plates. At Dash Dynamics, our special manufacturing jig can create the likes of bespoke 3D number plates to your required specifications.

What Documentation is Needed?

Customer will need to provide documentation to confirm their identity and prove their entitlement to use the registration number. For trailer registration plates, customers should be able to provide the ‘UK trailer registration certificate’ (VTRC) or ‘trailer number plate authorisation certificate’ (eV948/2).

Further information on the Trailer Registration Scheme can be found at