The UK is a global leader when it comes to number plate personalisation. Mostly people want to know the rules and regulations of 3D 4D Number Plates in the UK. Brits love personalised plates, and over recent years, the trend for 3D and 4D plates has gone mainstream. They look great, make your car stand out and allow you to get creative. All of which have contributed to their popularity.
However, there has been some confusion about the legal position of 3D and 4D number plates, with many people mistakenly believing that they are illegal on UK roads.
What does the DVLA have to say about 3D and 4D number plates?
What are the rules for UK number plates?
The law on UK number plates changed in September 2021. The new law sets out several key points that must be adhered to. These are:
- Plates must be made from a reflective material.
- The front plate should display black characters on a white background.
- The rear plate must display black characters on a yellow background.
- Plates should not have a background pattern.
- Plates should be marked with a British Standard number. For plates fitted after the 1st of September 2021, this is ‘BS AU 145e’.
- The characters on the number plate must not be removable or reflective.
- If the plates were fitted after 1st September 2021 the lettering must be a single, uniform shade of black.
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What are the reasons for the change?
The most recent manufacturing standard for plates that were introduced in 2021 aims to ensure that they remain in good condition after many years of exposure to the weather and differing road conditions. They are designed to ensure that car registrations are visible.
Are 3D number plates legal?
Despite some unfounded fears that changes to DVLA number plate regulations would effectively lead to outlawing 3D and 4D number plates, 3D number plates remain legal on UK roads.
What has happened is that 2D plates that have used an unusual font or effect to give the impression of being 3D are now effectively banned. However, genuine 3D and 4D plates with actually raised lettering are still legal.
When you’re looking for a 3D or 4D number plate, make sure you order it from a reputable supplier and order a plate with genuinely raised lettering. The DVLA guidance also states that characters must not be removable or reflective. If your plates were fitted after the 1st of September 2022 they must also be a single shade of black.
Are 4D number plates legal?
As long as the plate meets all other BS AU 145e legal requirements, are made from reflective material with non-reflective solid-black non-reflective lettering and with no background pattern, 4D plates are legal. Plates should also bear the name of the supplier.
Compliant 3D and 4D number plates from Number Plate Clinic
At Number Plate Clinic, we create DVLA compliant 3D and 4D number plates to help you personalise your vehicle.
Take a look at our guides to 3D Number Plates and 4D Number Plates to find out more.
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