Banned UK number plates: the 19-plate car registrations axed by the DVLA

Number plates
11 Feb, 2019 5:00pm Hugo Griffiths

Here are the new UK number plates the DVLA has deemed too silly, rude or offensive, and banned from use

BE19 END, BU19 GER, DO19 POO - another half year, another round of banned number plates. The arrival of the '19'-plate registration in the UK has brought the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) censors out once again to make sure nobody gets offended.

So while last September and the '68-plate was all about BL68 JOB, CA68 OMB and BA68 TRD, the number plates OR19 ASM, EA19 DKS and AS19 OLE have been banned ahead of the 19-plate's arrival next month.

• The UK's most expensive number plates

The DVLA may keep a close eye on potentially insulting and offensive number plates, but at least the Swansea-based government agency has the good humour to release a list of the plates it deems too rude for our roads.

And, while much of the DVLA's work is now automated and computer-based, filtering out potentially offensive and rude plates isn't left to algorithms and software: members of staff host biannual meetings where they hammer out potential double entendres as they strive to maintain a modicum of decency on the UK's roads.

As a result of the latest of these meetings, there will be no OR19 SMS or BU19 GRY this March; nor will you see DO19 POO or DO19 SHT on the road. Number plates that - with a little imagination - could be interpreted as overly sexual, or suggest racism, homophobia, or religious discrimination are weeded out by the DVLA. 

West Ham number plate

A DVLA spokesperson explained that “the vast majority of registration numbers are made available", but that "any combinations that may cause offence, embarrassment or are in poor taste" are held back from sale - though 50 million remain available to purchase, from as little as £250.

No number plates are ever removed from the DVLA's banned list, so usual suspects like VA61 ANA and CR16 PLE are still out of order. The DVLA also has the power to force drivers to hand back number plates if one is found to have slipped through the net. One example of this is the proud owner who paid £6,000 for 'CU11 NNT', only to find the DVLA ask for it back.

The DVLA makes an estimated £160 million each year from personalised plates.

Newly banned '19-plate registrations 

Below is a list of other 19-plates the DVLA has banned. 

BA19 AGS 
BO19 OCK 
NO19 BER 
FE19 ATE 
BU19 SHT 
AS19 OLE 
FR19 PLY 
DR19 GGS 
CR19 MES 
LV19 NAL 
EA19 DKS 
DO19 POO 
SH19 HOT 
MM19 NGE 
HU19 DCK 

More examples of car number plates banned in the UK

Banned number plates are nothing new, below are some other previously banned plates that remain unfit for use on UK cars.

DO67 GERBU62 GERSC12 OTM
PU15 SSYDR12 UNKLE61 ESS
BA67 ARDPA12 EDOOR67 ASM
AD13 CTSHE12 OINST12 OKE
P15 OFFJE12 KOFTE12 ROR
***2 LUTDO67 SHTPR15 SON
CR12 PLEMU12 DERSH12 HED
***2 PEWNA12 ZEEFA61 ***
AS62 OLEPE12 VRTNO13 ***
DR12 UGSTO62 SERRU13 BUM
FF12 TUSKO12 AANLE12 ZER

Have you ever owned a personalised number plate? Tell us about it in the comments...