On This Day - New Year 1904

New Year 1904 – Wolverhampton’s First Number Plate

The first number plate issued in Wolverhampton - DA1
The first number plate issued in Wolverhampton – DA1

The Motor Car Act 1903

The Motor Car Act 0f 1903 came into force on 1 January 1904.

This required all motor vehicles to enter an official vehicle register and to carry alphanumeric plates.

The Act came to pass so the government could trace any vehicle in the event of an accident or contravention of the law.

Vehicle registration alphanumeric plates in the UK are rectangular or square in shape. The permitted dimensions of the plate and its lettering are set down in law.

Front plates are white, whereas back plates are yellow.

The First Number Plate Issued In Wolverhampton

The first number plate issued in Wolverhampton came in 1903.

Well-to-do lawyer Samuel Robert Rhodes, of the renowned firm Rhodes & Son on Lichfield Street, was the first person to have a licence plate. Samuel was also secretary of the Wolverhampton Automobile Club.

The plate read DA1.

Samuel put the plate on his 15hp Birmingham built Aerial car. At the time bicycles and horse and carts were the most popular form of transport.

He died in 1936.

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