It's now become a huge money maker for the Gov.uk as they used to be issued into circulation but now they are sold. There are rules on spacing though that means you have to be creative with some reg Numbers to create a name or initials. I once saw B16 DEX on a Volvo and asked the guy if he would sell it as my youngest son is called Dex and he's a power lifter. The placement of a black screw or bolt would easily make it look like BIG DEXBeing on this side, that actually sounds kind of weird. Over here, the number/name on tag issued regardless of when or what it was on originally, can be applied to the new ownership of vehicle, as long as that tag not currently in use and being transferred properly.