Interested in learning about suffix number plates? This guide by JDM Plates has got you covered. In this article, you’ll find:

  • What suffix number plates are
  • How to identify suffix registrations
  • A comprehensive chart for suffix number plate years


Suffix number plates are one of four vehicle registration systems that have been used in the UK since the early 1900s. To find out more about other types like prefix, dateless, or the current new style registration systems, follow the respective links.

Alternatively, you can read our complete chart on car registration years for an overview of all the number plate systems.

What is a Suffix Number Plate?

A suffix number plate is a UK car registration format that was in use between 1963 and July 1983. It’s one of the four different registration systems in the UK and features a letter at the end of the plate to signify the car’s year of registration.

jdm plates suffix number plates registration example

Suffix registrations usually consist of three sections:

  • The first three letters indicate the area where the car was registered. For example, ‘AD’ signifies a car registered in Gloucester.
  • The subsequent 1-3 characters are random numbers, which distinguish the vehicle from others registered in the same year and area.
  • The final letter is the age identifier. For example, plates ending with ‘A’ were registered in 1963.

Suffix Number Plate Years

Curious about which year a suffix registration represents?

Suffix plates were introduced in 1963, starting with the letter ‘A’, and progressed through the alphabet until they ended with ‘Y’ in July 1983. We have a full depth article on number plate area codes which may be insightful.

Here’s a chart listing suffix letters and their corresponding registration periods:

Suffix Letter Registration Period
A 1963
B 1964
C 1965
D 1966
E Jan 1967 – Jul 1967
F Aug 1967 – Jul 1968
G Aug 1968 – Jul 1969
H Aug 1969 – Jul 1970
J Aug 1970 – Jul 1971
K Aug 1971 – Jul 1972
L Aug 1972 – Jul 1973
M Aug 1973 – Jul 1974
N Aug 1974 – Jul 1975
P Aug 1975 – Jul 1976
R Aug 1976 – Jul 1977
S Aug 1977 – Jul 1978
T Aug 1978 – Jul 1979
V Aug 1979 – Jul 1980
W Aug 1980 – Jul 1981
X Aug 1981 – Jul 1982
Y Aug 1982 – Jul 1983

Why Are Some Letters Not Used for Suffix Plates?

Certain letters were intentionally avoided in suffix registrations:

  • ‘I’ and ‘Z’ were reserved for Northern Ireland.
  • ‘O’ could be confused with the number 0.
  • ‘U’ was too similar to the letter ‘V’.
  • ‘Q’ was designated for vehicles with uncertain manufacturing dates.

Suffix Registration Plate History

Suffix plates were launched in 1963 and lasted until 1983. Before then, registrations were dateless and only indicated the area code. The suffix system introduced the use of age-identifying letters, a concept that continued in the prefix system, where the age identifier is at the beginning of the plate.

Can You Use Suffix Plates on Any Car?

Suffix plates cannot be added to cars registered before 1963. Adding a suffix plate to such a vehicle would violate the law by making it appear newer than it is. However, you can use a suffix plate on any car registered after July 1983. For those registered between 1963 and 1983, you must use a suffix that is the same or older than the vehicle.

Rules for Using Suffix Plates

If you’re interested in using a private suffix plate, you’ll need to follow UK law. Ensure your new plate doesn’t make the vehicle appear younger than its actual age.

Where to Find Suffix Plates?

Suffix plates are widely available, and one of the most convenient ways to find one is online.

The JDM Plates database has access to millions of DVLA registrations, making your search fast and efficient. Simply enter your details in our registration search engine to browse available plates.

We also offer transfer services and handle all the necessary DVLA paperwork, making your private suffix plate purchase hassle-free.

Other options available at JDM Plates

Here at JDM Plates, we also offer Prefix Number PlatesDateless Registration Numbers and the normal Current Number Plates via our purchasing portal!

Why Use JDM Plates For Your New Number Plates?

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