The ‘71’ number plates banned by the DVLA for being too rude

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Smut, racism and even Covid among the reasons for certain registrations being withheld

Registration numbers referring to Covid-19, violence and sex are among the latest number plates banned by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Anti-American plates, drug references and sequences that spell out racist terms are also among the registration marks that won’t be issued because they are too rude or offensive.

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The Covid pandemic has created a new list of problematic plates and among the virus-related registrations being withheld are CO71 VD, CO71 RNA and AN71 VAX.

Political statements are also an issue, with AN71 USA a no-go, along with TA71 BAN and EU71 BAD.

Good old fashioned swear words also cause a headache for the agency, so BO71 LOX, FA71 NNY, **71 WAT and *B71 TCH won’t be appearing on any vehicle this time around.

The DVLA has a standing list of banned letter combinations which are excluded from issue every year. These include *B** UMS, *G** ODS *R** APE, AN** GER and BO** SOM. Any plate ending in SEX, ASS or BUM is an automatic no-no as well.

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However, every March and September it also compiles a list of plates which could cause offence due to how the year marker appears among other characters. These can range from glorifying violence, for example KN71 VES, to playground taunts like FA71 BOY.

This September’s 71 mark has led to the agency blocking anything with far-right connotations, including any number starting with NA71, FA71 ST and a number of combinations that could be interpreted as spelling out Hitler.

(Graphic: Mark Hall/JPI Media)(Graphic: Mark Hall/JPI Media)
(Graphic: Mark Hall/JPI Media) | JPI Media

The DVLA withholds plates if it thinks they could cause offence or are in poor taste, so there’s no chance of nabbing EA71 DCK or EA71 POO either and various AN71 plates that have racist, sexist or homophobic connotations are being withheld.

A DVLA spokesperson said: "Many people enjoy displaying a personalised registration number and there are over 50 million registrations available on our website.

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"The vast majority of registration numbers are made available but the agency holds back any combinations that may cause offence, embarrassment or are in poor taste."

The DVLA holds regular auctions of plates it deems desirable, such as those that spell out common names or match vehicle models and it makes an estimated £160 million a year from personalised registrations.

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