UK: Old GB number plate sticker no longer valid abroad

British drivers who are taking their vehicle abroad now can remove old-style GB stickers or cover them up. As an alternative, motorists should display a UK sticker or have the UK identifier on their number plate. The old-style GB stickers had been displayed on British cars when traveling abroad for 111 years before the changes this week. A plan for new registration plates was under consideration and weeks after detailed discussions, the government’s guidance was in place since Tuesday 28 September.

UK Transport secretary Grant Shapps unveiled the new design, which had the letters ‘GB’ on it under a flag of the Union Jack and it was done on the day of the first anniversary of Brexit. “This is a significant change for drivers who in normal times take their cars outside the UK,” said RAC spokesman Rod Dennis.

Hereafter, it is made mandatory that any driver with a GB sticker on their car now needs to replace it with a new UK one if they are taking their vehicle abroad. Besides, number plates without any symbols or logos will need a UK sticker when traveling abroad and the government says that the drivers need to cover up the GB sticker if the vehicle has the sticker on it. It was also said that drivers need to remember that number plates featuring the blue band and letters ‘GB’ next to the European golden stars are also no longer valid. Anyone who violates the new law would be liable for penalties and also their entry to some countries might get banned.

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One will need to display a UK sticker clearly on the rear part of the vehicle if the number plate has any of the following:

  • a GB identifier with the Union flag
  • a Euro symbol
  • a national flag of England, Scotland, or Wales
  • numbers and letters only – no flag or identifier

It is observed that the rule change is a show of solidarity with Northern Ireland since Brexit and it is considered a historic movement for drivers.