The full list of numbers that DVLA intends to withhold from this series

Naughty number plates banned by the DVLA

James Carter
Authored by James Carter
Posted: Monday, April 22, 2024 - 14:07

Next month, the second series of 2024 licence plates will be unveiled, and a Freedom of Information request (made by private plate supplier Regtransfers) has revealed the full list of numbers that DVLA intends to withhold from this series.

DVLA's removal of number plates is nothing new, and it’s done to prevent potentially offensive or provocative registrations from appearing on our roads. Apparent references to violence, warfare, drugs, crime, sex, racism, sexism, sexual and gender identity, politics, some aspects of religion and any term that can be seen as insulting are all subject to scrutiny and a potential ban.

Unfortunately, the DVLA is stuck in a losing battle. No doubt the government will receive complaints from disapproving members of the public if "offensive" number plates appear in the wild, but equally, they face criticism from disapproving members of the public if it engages in what might be considered censorship.

It’s not an exact science, and there are some plates one might expect to be banned, which aren’t. Past noteworthy examples include raunchy plates like PEN 15 and ORG 45M, both of which have been bought and sold in the past. A few years ago, a man from Chesterfield purchased the “ballsy” plate, BO11 LUX. DVLA later withdrew the plate but the owner, not satisfied with a refund, contacted the Secretary of State for Transport, who subsequently reversed the decision to withdraw his number plate, allowing him to take it out onto the road. 

Other examples of questionable plates from the past that aren’t banned include DEV 1L (which was previously withheld in 2016), S70 LEN ("Stolen") and ASA 551N ("Assassin").

Plates that have been banned from the 74 release include references to violence, such as *S74 BBR ("Stabber"), *S74 BBY ("Stabby") and similar - where the asterisk (*) is a "wildcard", meaning any character may appear in that position. In the same vein, AT74 CKU ("Attack you") is also being kept from release.

A number of registrations resembling racial slurs or LGBTQ+phobic insults are also being withheld, as well as a number of combinations resembling sexual references.

Below is a shortlist of just some of the plates that have been banned from the upcoming release:

**74 NAL


**74 NUS


**74 RSE


**74 WAT


*S74 ABU


*S74 BBR


*W74 NKR


*W74 NKS






The DVLA faces a tough, ongoing battle to find a balance between people's right to free speech and their duty to keep the public area polite. As society evolves, so does the language and symbols considered offensive, and while there may be disagreements about some decisions about what is offensive or censorship, the goal is to apply standards without violating people's rights.

People will definitely keep talking about these kinds of rules, which are a reflection of bigger issues like morality, freedom, and respect in our constantly changing society. As a final note, it’s worth mentioning that 74 number plates may only be displayed on eligible vehicles originally registered on, or after, 1st September 2024.

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