Exclusive: Banned ’23’ number plates revealed

March 05, 2023 by

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carwow reveals the number plates deemed too rude for the road by the DVLA

The arrival of the new ‘23’ number plate on 1 March brings with it two things: an upswing in car buyers registering new vehicles so they can have the latest plate, and the biannual banning of registration combinations deemed too offensive to grace cars.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) holds a meeting twice a year prior to new number plates being released on 1 March and 1 September, during which staff comb through potential registrations plates looking for “combinations of numbers and letters where we consider that they may cause offence, embarrassment or are in poor taste.”

The resultant list of ‘23’ plates was obtained by carwow via a freedom of information request, revealing plates that hold evergreen rudeness, as well as some that have only recently become offensive.

Few drivers are likely to want to be told to GO23 HEL or EA23 POO by the car in front, for example, while nobody wants to share the road with a BA23 TRD. BO23 OKS and MU23 DER are also likely to cause perennial offence.

More recent events have led to plates such as RU23 UKR, NO23 RUS and YE23 WAR being suppressed, however, alongside CO23 ONA and EU23 BAD.

Rude number plates that might slip through the DVLA’s net ahead of the change can also be rescinded at a later date, although the organisation highlights that “the vast majority of registration numbers are made available”, as most are unlikely to cause offence.