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16. (1) No material other than a registration mark may be displayed on a registration plate except material complying with the requirements of any of the relevant standards mentioned in Schedule 2.
(2) Where a mark is displayed on a dual purpose plate—
(a)no material other than the international distinguishing sign of the United Kingdom displayed in accordance with the Council Registration may be placed in the space provided on the plate for that purpose;
(b)no part of the international distinguishing sign must encroach beyond the extreme left of the registration mark (that is to say the outside edge of the margin prescribed by these Regulations).
(3) Unless it forms part of a dual purpose plate a registration plate may not be combined with a plate or device of any kind containing material which would not be permitted to be displayed on a dual purpose plate.
17. (1) This regulation applies in a case where, on or after 21st March and before 1st September 2001 a registration mark on a vehicle—
(a)is displayed on a registration plate which conforms to the specification set out in Part 1 of Schedule 2 and is otherwise fixed on the vehicle and lit in accordance with the requirements of Part II of these Regulations,
(b)conforms to the requirements of regulations 13 and 14 as to layout and spacing of characters in so far as they apply to vehicles first registered on or after 1st September 2001, and
(c)is comprised of characters each of which is in the prescribed font.
(2) Where this regulation applies—
(a)regulations 17 to 22 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 1971(1) or, as the case may be,
(b)regulations 18 to 23 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1973(2),
(which provide for the format and means of display of registration plates and marks) shall cease to apply in respect of that vehicle and any trailer being towed by it and the provisions of these Regulations shall apply instead.
18. For the purposes of these Regulations a vehicle which was first registered on or after 1st January 1973 shall be treated as if it was first registered before that date if—
(a)it is an exempt vehicle for the purposes of paragraph 1A(1) of Schedule 2 to the Act(3), or
(b)not being such a vehicle, it was constructed before 1st January 1973.
19. (1) For the purposes of section 59(1) of the Act (regulations: offences), the person responsible for complying with these Regulations is the person driving the vehicle or, where it is not being driven, the person keeping it.
(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to a regulation the breach of which would constitute an offence under section 42(1) of the Act (not fixing a registration mark as required by virtue of section 23).
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