'Smithy' numberplate auctioned by the DVLA

SM11 THY personalised numberplate The DVLA has a special department who market personalised registrations

A numberplate featuring one of the most common surnames in the UK will be auctioned by DVLA on Friday.

SM11 THY is one of 1,500 personalised registrations being sold in a three-day auction in Warwickshire.

A spokesman for the DVLA said the actor James Corden, who played Smithy in the hit TV comedy Gavin & Stacey, tweeted "Love It" on hearing of its sale.

The numberplate has a reserve of £2,000. The record price was set in March 2009 when 1 D sold for £352,000.

The DVLA holds six auctions a year selling personalised numberplates.

Since the auctions began in 1989, they have raised £1.8bn for the treasury, a spokesman said.

The DVLA has a special department responsible for selecting and marketing personalised registrations.

Owners of a personalised registration are not allowed to "alter, rearrange or misrepresent letters or numbers" in order to form names or words, according to the DVLA website.

The DVLA said the police can also issue fixed penalty fines of up to £1,000 for illegally displayed number plates and in some cases the registration mark may be withdrawn.

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