The Y-registration plate launched on March 1 signalled the last in the current style of number plates. From September the new plate system, which will continue to be updated twice a year, will have a two-letter regional identifier, a two-number age identifier and three randomly selected letters for example PE02 FNN. However, as with the current number-plate system, there are strict rules on the spacing of the numbers and letters and from September 1, there will be a single mandatory typeface.
Manufacturers' press offices have already been caught out, with Citroen publishing pictures showing a vehicle with the number plate RA 51 CUK.
The firm said it had only been informed of the official shape of the new plate after the pictures had been published and it was now correcting the error. A spokeswoman for the DVLA said: 'It is an offence to alter, rearrange or misrepresent the characters on number plates. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of £1,000. Illegally displayed number plates may also fail the MoT test. There has been a reasonable amount of interest in the plate change and we have been trying to publicise the correct style to fleets and private drivers alike.'