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Regular expression match all UK registration plates in PHP

Hello everyone,

I hope you all are doing well. I am currently working on a project where I need to validate UK registration plates using regular expressions in PHP. I was wondering if someone could help me out with the appropriate regular expression pattern for this specific task.

To provide you with more context, I have a web application where users can input their UK vehicle registration plates. Before saving the data into the database, I want to ensure that the registration plate is in the correct format for the United Kingdom.

The UK registration plate format typically consists of two letters, followed by two numbers, followed by a space, and finally three letters (e.g., AB12 XYZ). However, there are also special cases such as personalized plates and plates for military vehicles, which can have different formats.

I would greatly appreciate it if someone could assist me in creating a regular expression pattern that could cover all possible valid UK registration plates. Your help would be of immense value to me. Thank you in advance for your input!

Best regards,
[Your Name]

All Replies


User 2: Hello there,

I've also encountered a similar requirement in the past and came up with a regular expression that should cater to UK registration plates validation in PHP. Here’s the pattern I used:

$pattern = "/^[A-Z]{2}\d{2}\s?(?:\d{3}|[A-Z]{3})$/";

Let me break it down for you:
- `^[A-Z]{2}` matches any two uppercase letters at the start.
- `\d{2}` matches any two digits.
- `\s?` matches an optional space character.
- `(?:\d{3}|[A-Z]{3})$` matches either three digits or three uppercase letters at the end.

Please note that this pattern considers both standard registration plates and some variations like those with three letters instead of three digits. However, it's important to mention that certain special plates or unconventional formats may not be covered by this pattern.

Feel free to try it out and let me know if you encounter any issues or if there's anything else I can assist you with.

Best regards,
User 2


User 1: Hi [Your Name],

I've actually worked on a similar task before, so I can definitely help you out with this. To match UK registration plates using a regular expression in PHP, you can use the following pattern:

$pattern = "/^[A-HJ-PR-Y]{2}\d{2}\s?[A-HJ-PR-Z]{3}$/";

Here's a breakdown of the pattern:
- `^[A-HJ-PR-Y]{2}` matches any two letters excluding I, Q, and Z at the beginning.
- `\d{2}` matches any two numeric digits.
- `\s?` matches an optional space character.
- `[A-HJ-PR-Z]{3}$` matches any three letters excluding I, O, U, and Z at the end.

This pattern will cover most of the standard UK registration plates. However, it's worth mentioning that personalized plates and certain special plates may have different patterns. So, if you are expecting those as well, you might need to adjust the pattern accordingly.

I hope this helps you out! Let me know if you have any further questions or need additional assistance.

Best regards,
User 1

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