The UK vehicle registration plate system is considered highly confusing by many tourists. With so many letters and numbers to figure out, we decided to make a simplified guide of registration plate meanings and the importance of technology like speed cameras.
How can ANPR cameras read a reg plate?
ANPR stands for Automatic number plate recognition. These are the cameras you see on the side of the road and take an image of your registration plate if you’re speeding or in the wrong lane. The device will then read the letters and numbers on your registration plate to identify you. The reader uses Optical Character Recognition software, shows a view of the plate, and saves it to an interface where they can see if it matches anything in a real-time database.
ANPR technology captures the “read” and “hit” data. A read is when the vehicle’s VRM and image are captured as it passes in front of a camera. View data is all of the data sent through the ANPR machine. If a hit matches the one in the database, it will send an alert to let you know.
ANPR is an acronym for Automatic number plate recognition. With proven accuracy, this system provides high-quality footage that allows you to identify the vehicle and record all data related to it, including its speed and direction. A Read-Barrier Interface is also included, which helps identify number plates from a wider distance.
All the data is stored in memory cards, so they can’t fail. 8GB memory cards typically come with the software, but if you need more storage, you can upgrade to a card of your choice!
How do you read a UK registration plate?
A common question we often hear is, “What do the letters and numbers on a registration plate mean?” The system for GB came about in 2001, so it is a new and likely more secure registration method. Cars in the UK currently have registration plates that are two letters, then two numbers, then a space and three letters. After Brexit, a blue vertical bar will be added to our existing plates, and an acronym of “GB” will be added on the right-hand side. This will indicate that we are now an independent country from Europe. These stickers are no longer available, but you can still have them on your car if you’ve already bought them.
One of the first two digits in a number plate is the vehicle’s original registration code. This tells you where it first entered circulation. The number of months a car was written for can be found in these little digits called the age identifier. They change every six months and help us work out which six-month period the date first written on a car falls under. Then the last three letters are random. It is worth knowing that I and Q are not used because they could be mistaken for 1 and 0 or O, which means the letter combinations in personalised registration plates.
How are UK reg plates different to other countries?
It’s terrific that every country requires license plates these days to help identify vehicles. Thirty-one states in the US necessitate a license plate on both the front and the back of a car. The other states only need one plate on the back. Canada has a different system from that of the US. To be registered as a car in Canada, you need one plate regardless of how many vehicles you own. However, this means that newer cars often display older plates. This system ensures that all the cars are officially registered in the event of an accident or police check.
The system for driver’s license plates in China seems complicated, especially when private ownership, energy efficiency and other factors come into play. The first number represents the region where the plates were issued. The second number is the county where the vehicle was registered. Chinese plates do not designate a specific individual and are usually limited to businesses. China has more people than any other country worldwide, so no two numbers are allowed. One example is that in Guangzhou, the capital of China’s Guangdong province, you can only have up to 120,000 license plates per year unless you have an electric car. Just because that’s the number, they’ll issue “unless you buy an electric car.” The city began this practice to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency.
In conclusion, every country in the world has their own registration plate laws. So if you want to bring a car or drive in another country, make sure to find out what their registration plate rules are.
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