What is a Q Number Plate?

Apr 19, 2023

What is a Q Number Plate?

Have you ever seen a car on the road with a registration plate that starts with the letter "Q"? These plates are known as Q number plates and they are issued to vehicles whose age or origin cannot be determined through normal means.

Q number plates were introduced in the UK in 1983 to replace the previous "unregistered vehicle" plates. They are intended for use on vehicles that have been extensively modified, rebuilt using parts from different vehicles, or imported from overseas without a valid registration date.

The letter "Q" stands for "query," indicating that there is some uncertainty about the vehicle's history. To apply for a Q plate, the vehicle owner must provide evidence of the vehicle's history, such as receipts for parts used in the rebuild or import documentation. The vehicle will then need to undergo a thorough inspection by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to ensure that it is roadworthy.

Once the vehicle has been inspected and deemed roadworthy, the DVSA will issue a Q plate. The letter "Q" will be followed by a randomly assigned three-digit number. The current design of Q plates features black lettering on a yellow background.

Vehicles with Q plates have certain restrictions, such as not being able to display a year identifier (e.g. "17" for a vehicle registered in 2017) and not being eligible for personalized plates. Additionally, vehicles with Q plates cannot be used for certain purposes, such as private hire taxis or as emergency vehicles.

It's important to note that Q plates are not transferable to another vehicle. If the vehicle is sold or scrapped, the Q plate will be cancelled and cannot be used again. This is because the Q plate is tied to the vehicle's unique identification number (VIN), which cannot be transferred between vehicles.

Overall, Q plates are a way for the UK government to regulate and monitor vehicles with uncertain histories, while still allowing them to be used on the road in a legal and safe manner. If you ever come across a car with a Q plate, you'll know that it's had an interesting history and may have a story to tell!

If you need a Q Number Plate making, we can make you a road legal number plate at Sweven Plates. Browse through our Road Legal Number Plates here.