It is the law in the UK since 1904 to display number plates on vehicles. The law was passed to assist the authorities in cases of accidents or crimes involving cars. There are laws that govern number plates, with rules on how they are displayed, to ensure that they are always easy to read.
How do number plates fit into the law?
Perhaps you are looking to style your vehicle with a set of number plate sticky pads, or maybe you’re just curious about how registration numbers are displayed.
Why does the number plate legality matter?
Even though number plate rules appear extensive and complicated at times. It’s essential that you understand them completely to avoid unfortunate outcomes. You may be fined up to a thousand pounds for failing your annual MOT test. Or failing to follow the governmental guidelines.
Currently, registration plates consist of two letters followed by two numbers and three letters. These characters are the memory tag of the DVLA and indicate where a vehicle’s registration is located. The two numbers following state the vehicle’s age and are taken from a special code that identifies exactly when it was registered. Lastly, a random letter identifies the vehicle.
Your front plate should always display your registration in black characters on a white background, and your rear plate should display the characters in black on a yellow field. Any flag can be displayed on a UK license plate, including the St George’s cross, the Welsh red dragon, the Saltire for Scotland, and the Union Jack.
The legal number plate size
In the United Kingdom, the size of characters on your number plate is more relevant to the legal requirements than its dimensions. The first rule is that all the characters, both letters, and numbers, on your plate must be of equal height. Characters on plates purchased between January 1st, 1973 and September 1st, 2001 are legally required to be 89 mm high. The height of plates purchased outside of these dates should be 79 mm.
In most cases, the characters on your plate should have a stroke width of 14mm, although the letter ‘I’ and number ‘1’ are exceptions. Despite a different thickness of a number or letter, the width of the characters should always remain the same. You can avoid getting in trouble by keeping your characters consistent.
Are 3D number plates legal?
DVLA’s website clearly states that number plates using 3D materials are legal. By itself, they do not make them legal; they must follow all the rules for number plates described in the law. There can be no pattern on the background and the letters should be displayed on a white grounding at the front and a yellow grounding at the rear. The characters must always be made of reflective material and must conform to the law regarding size and height.
Are 4D number plates legal?
Recently, 4D number plates have been added to the registration process. They are often used for a premium and personalized look. The characters are made from 3mm thick black acrylic and attached to acrylic plates with a strong adhesive. In addition to 3D number plates being legal on the road, 4D number plates are legal when designed to British Standard BS AU 145d and using the Charles Wright Font.
Are small motorcycle number plates legal?
Many motorcyclists want to streamline the appearance of their bikes by using the smallest plate possible. It is often determined by how motorcycles are sold, with the number of plates advertised being much smaller than the kind that is commonly used.
Are gel number plates legal?
In most cases, gel number plates are associated with 3D style registrations and can be manufactured to British Safety Standard BS AU 145d, making them legal for use on UK roads.
In a 3D gel number plate, the registration digits are raised from the plate, crafted from high-quality polyurethane resin.
Are sticker number plates legal?
Stick-on number plates are often discussed in car forums as to whether or not they can be legally used. Formerly used on a variety of vehicles. Notably older E-type Jaguars, new laws require that number plates adhere to certain laws in order to avoid fines on the road or failing their MOT.
Are tinted number plates legal?
If you have put tinted number plates. You could be breaking the law since the DVLA states number plates shouldn’t be obscured in any way.