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Advice Centre

Legal Flags

Number plates can show no flag, a national identifier flag or a green flash if it's a zero-emission vehicle.


Can I put a Green Flash plate on a petrol/diesel hybrid electric vehicle?

No.  The vehicle must have zero emissions to be eligible for a green flash plate.

Given that I am required to put a UK sticker on the back of my car if travelling through Europe, does this mean I only need to change the rear plate on my car to include the new UK sign?

If you are changing your plates rather than using a UK sticker on the back only, we would recommend changing both front and rear plates to prevent any confusion while travelling overseas and the associated inconvenience.

Flags must be printed to the far left of the plate and must not obscure any of the registration number.

National identifier flags and travelling overseas rules

Vehicles can display any of the following national flags:

  • the Union Flag - the only legal option for overseas driving from 28th September 2021, when accompanied by UK initials
  • the Cross of St George
  • the Scottish Saltire
  • the Red Dragon of Wales

The flags must be accompanied by one the matching letters:

  • Great Britain or GB
  • United Kingdom or UK - the only legal option for overseas driving from 28th September 2021
  • ENGLAND, England, ENG or Eng
  • SCOTLAND, Scotland, SCO or Sco
  • CYMRU, Cymru, CYM or Cym
  • WALES or Wales

Before September 28th, 2021, if using one of the national identifier flags in Europe, motorists must also display a GB oval sticker on their vehicle.  After that, the oval must show UK, or plates must be the Union Flag plates + UK initials.  More information on this change is available in our news article.


Green flash number plates

Zero emissions vehicles can show plates with a green flash in place of a flag.  View our news article for more information.