Saturday 27th August 1932
Three-letter car number plates were introduced in Britain; the first issued in London was AMY 1.This scheme placed a serial letter before the code, and had the sequence number run only to 999, thus restricting the number of characters in a registration to six. The first area to issue such marks was Staffordshire in July 1932 with ARF 1 etc., and all other areas in England and Wales, plus most areas in Scotland, followed suit once they had issued all their two-letter registrations. I, Q, and Z were not used as serial letters, as the use of I and Z continued to be restricted to Ireland and Q was reserved for temporary imports, while the single-letter codes were left out of this scheme as a serial letter would have created a duplicate of an existing two-letter code. In some areas, the available marks within this scheme started to run out in the 1950s, and in those areas, what became known as “reversed” registrations – the letters coming after the numbers – were introduced. Staffordshire was again the first area to issue such registrations, starting with 1000 E in 1953. In most cases, the three-letter combinations (e.g. 1 AHX for Middlesex) would be issued first, while in later years some areas started with the one- and two-letter combinations and others issued all three at the same time. The ever-increasing popularity of the car meant that by the beginning of the 1960s, these registrations were also running out. Some three-letter combinations were not authorised for licensing use as they were deemed offensive. These included ARS, BUM, GOD, JEW, SEX, and SOD. DUW was issued in London for several months in 1934 before it was realised it was the Welsh for “god”, and withdrawn.