Car Registration Local Memory Tags

If you’re looking for information on UK memory tags then you’ve come to the right place.

After one of our most successful articles around what year a UK registration is – our readers started to ask questions around where a vehicle is registered.

We soon realised that this information wasn’t readily available in our resources so here it is.

Quick Links

Local Memory Tag List
Registration Plate Area Codes

What Is A Local Memory Tag On A License Plate?

A memory tag is a system used by the DVLA to indicate the area where a vehicle was first registered.

Just think of it as car registration area codes indicator.

The area code is where the vehicle was registered and the age identifier was the year it was registered.

Why Do We Use The Memory Tag System?

A UK license plate is a handy way for buyers to know the history of the vehicle, where it was registered and the year it was first registered.

Not only is it handy for buyers but also whenever an incident occurs where a vehicle can be tracked.

Let’s say something happens where a car has left the scene and police are appealing for witnesses.

One person remembers a red Ford with the licence plate starting with AB. That’s all the person remembers and that is completely fine.

The police can work their way through every red Ford on the database to pinpoint it down to a handful of potential vehicles that it could be.

They can then use traffic cameras to find the right vehicle they were looking for.

Number Plate Area Codes List

Local Mnemonic Local Area
A Anglia
B Birmingham
C Cymru (Wales)
D Deeside
E Essex
F Forest And Fens
G Garden Of England
H Hampshire And Dorset
K No official mnemonic
L London
M Manchester and Merseyside
N North
O Oxford
P Preston
R Reading
S Scotland
V Severn Valley
W Anglia
X Personal Export
Y Yorkshire

Car Registration Area Check

Use this handy tool below to see the location and date a vehicle was registered.

Where And When Was A Car First Registered?

P.E means Personal Export and is used just before a vehicle is leaving the country.

Banned means this combination of letters will never be issued.

Reserved means that the Memory Tag is reserved for select issue (private plates usually).

Related Information

  1. Overview
  2. Where A Vehicle Is Registered
  3. When Was A Vehicle Registered
  4. Private Registrations


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Ark Redwood
7 months ago

I have often seen vehicles with a J registration as a prefix [JA, JB etc]. I can’t find
any info as to where a J reg was registered. Is it reserved for a particular type of vehicle

Charles Graham
6 months ago

W is Westcountry, not Anglia.

Check Vehicle DVLA
5 months ago

The check vehicle dvla is very important to do before buy a used car

Jeffrey Williams
1 year ago

Want to find registration for a car I had in 09

11 months ago

This website cannot supply you with that information. I imagine the DVLA would be able to, as they’ll have a record of all the years you paid road tax and what vehicle that road tax is assigned to.
They could do it most likely…but that doesn’t mean that they will. They’ll view it as personal information and even though you’ve told that you previously owned the car and want to be reminded of its registration, they can’t necessarily verify that information over the phone. So to err on the side of caution, they’d most likely decline your request for them to share this specific registration number with you