The current system of motor vehicle registration dates from
01 October 1974 when centralisation commenced and 81 local vehicle Licensing
Offices (now known as DVLA offices) became responsible for the issue of
registration marks and the registering
of all new and unregistered vehicles.
Prior to this centralisation, the responsibility for
registration and licensing of motor vehicles lay with County Councils (C.C),
County Borough Councils (C.B.C) and larger Borough Councils (B.C).
Each council was allocated its own registration marks which
consisted of a single letter or a pair of letters. These letters were
used in various combinations with other letters and numbers to form the
car's registration. eg A 123, AA 1234, AAA 123 or reversed, eg 123 AAA,
1234 AA etc.
By the 1960s,
however, many councils were beginning use up their allocation of registration marks
and so a new system was introduced on 01 Jan
1963. The new system consisted of a group of three letters followed by
one, two or three numbers and then a
year identifying suffix. A for 1963, B for 1964, C for 1965 and D for
1966. The use of the new system was phased in through 1963 and 1964 with authorities transferring to the new system in waves of approximately twenty at a time. Councils which had used up their allocation under the old system, such as Middlesex CC, transferred first. The final twenty-two authorities, which included Bedfordshire CC, Hampshire CC, Norwich CBC and Darlington CBC, transferred on the first of January 1965 so that from this date everybody was on the new system.
NB: In a group of three letters, it is the last two which
indicate the council where the car was registered. eg in the registrations
TAE 345C and 76 XAE, AE is the registration mark which indicates that the
car was registered by Bristol County Borough
Registration marks were also changed at various times, eg BF
was originally a Dorset mark but was later allocated to Staffordshire. Some registration marks used in certain combinations were reserved for
special issue by certain authorities. Eg The combination SN was
issued by Dunbarton County Council but this combination preceded by the letter U, ie USN,
was issued by London County Council only. Also, the combination of GPO
was reserved for the registration of
vehicles belonging to the Post Office and was also issued by London County
Council. The combination PO preceded by any other letter was issued by West
Sussex county council.
To find out where
in the United Kingdom your car was registered, please refer to the table
below. This table shows the marks in use
for the period when the Ford Consul Corsair was in production.
NB 1: On 01 April 1965, the Greater London Council was
created by merging London County Council with nearly all of Middlesex and
Parts of Essex, Kent and Surrey. Vehicles were then registered by five new
licensing offices. The Central Regional Office was at Westminster and
covered what was London County Council. The South-Western Regional Office was at Wimbledon and covered Boroughs incorporated from Surrey, including Croydon. The North-Western Regional Office was at West Ealing and covered
Boroughs incorporated from Middlesex. The South-Eastern Regional Office was
at Sidcup and covered boroughs incorporated from Kent and the North-Eastern
Regional Office was at Stratford and covered Boroughs incorporated from
Essex, including East & West Ham. Registration Marks formerly issued
by Middlesex County Council and the County Borough Councils such as Croydon,
East and West Ham were transferred to the new authority. At the same time, there were changes to other local
authorities. The counties of Huntingdonshire and the Soke of Peterborough were merged to form Huntingdon and Peterborough.
Registration marks from the respective two councils were used for the new
authority and all registrations were then issued at Peterborough.
Likewise, Isle of Ely was merged
with Cambridgeshire to form Cambridgeshire
and Isle of Ely.
Registration marks previously issued by both county councils were
transferred to the new authority and issued from Cambridge.
NB 2: Many older vehicles with non age related
registration plates may have had those registration numbers sold.
Where this happens, the DVLA issues the vehicle with a new non age related
registration which is then 'non transferable'. The new plates contain three
letters and three numbers. The letter combinations AS, SJ, SK, SL, SU,
SV, SY and VS
are among those reserved by the DVLA for this purpose, eg NSK 123. These
marks were formerly issued by some of the smaller Scottish councils and
subsequently large numbers of registrations were never issued. If your
registration number contains any of these combinations, you should check
your registration document to see whether it is a non transferable
number or an original issued by one of the below listed authorities.
Cars registered in 1963 & 1964 which have had their original numbers
transferred are normally issued with a corresponding A or B suffix
registration. The above also applies to vehicles which may have been
imported or restored vehicles which have lost their original identity.
The entries marked with an asterix, ie XA, XB, XC, XD & XE were issued by different authorities. Under the old system, they were issued by London CC but under the new system, they were issued by the second authority listed. Eg 367 YXD would have been issued by London CC but BXD 160B would have been issued by Luton CBC.