I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that Statutory Instrument (S.I.) No. 318 of 1992, Vehicle Registration and Taxation Regulations (as amended by Statutory Instrument No. 542 of 2012) prescribes the format, lettering, dimensions and technical specifications of registration plates to be displayed on vehicles in the State. I am also informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the correct format of the registration plate is a requirement for the National Car Test (NCT), and where the registration plate is not in the prescribed format the vehicle will fail the NCT Test. In addition, it is an offence to display the wrong registration number on a vehicle or to display the registration number in the incorrect format and a person convicted of such an offence is liable to a fine of up to €5,000.
While the format of the number plate is regulated, there are no controls or regulations in relation to the manufacture of such plates. This is a matter that has been considered by the Revenue Commissioners but they concluded that such controls would not be effective given the simplicity and widespread availability of the technology for manufacturing number plates. I am satisfied that the measures in place provide an appropriate deterrent to non-compliance with the regulations on registration plates. Further information may be obtained on the Revenue website at the following link: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/vrt/leaflets/format-vehicle-registration-plates.html .