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Home » Everything You Need to Know About Legal Requirements for 4D Number Plates

Everything You Need to Know About Legal Requirements for 4D Number Plates

In the past few years, 4D number plates have become more popular among car owners who want to make their cars look more stylish and unique. The figures on these number plates are laser-cut from acrylic, which gives them a raised, three-dimensional look that can’t be found on regular 2D plates. But, as with any car change, making sure it’s legal is the most important thing. We put together this complete guide to help you understand the rules and laws that apply to 4D number plates.

How to Read 4D Number Plates

It’s important to know what 4D number plates are before getting into the details of what the law says. Basically, these plates are made up of numbers and letters that are raised above the base plate. This gives them a clearer and more three-dimensional look than 2D plates. They are a popular choice among car fans because of their unique style.

Rules for Governance

A group in the UK called the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) decides what kinds of number plates are allowed, even 4D ones. The rules are mostly about making sure that characters are shown correctly and that they can be seen. If you break these rules, you could get fined, have your MOT fail, or even have your car deemed unfit for the road.

Important laws about 4D licence plates

These are the main rules that your 4D licence plates must follow in order to be safe on the road:

Dimensions of the character:

figure Height: Every figure has to be 79 mm tall.

Character Width: Every character should be 50 mm wide, except for the word “I” and the number “1.”

Width of the stroke: The character should be 14 mm thick.

Character room: There must be 11 mm of room between each character.

There must be at least 11 mm of space between the plate’s top, bottom, and sides.

Vertical room: There is 33 mm of room between each group of characters.

Building materials and methods:

Number plates need to be made of something that shines back.

The characters have to be solid black and not show light.

Plates shouldn’t have any other images on the background.

In line with BS AU 145e,

All number plates must meet the BS AU 145e standard by September 2021. This standard makes sure that the plates are long-lasting and can stand up to different kinds of weather without losing their ability to be read or reflect light.

Type of Font:

Everything on a licence plate has to use the Charles Wright style, which is easy to read and meets safety standards for the road.


On the front plate, there must be black writing on a white background.

Words in black on a yellow background must be on the back plate.

Legal ID number:

The British Standard mark (BS AU 145e) and the name or trademark of the maker must be on the plates.

No Patterns in the Background:

Backgrounds should all be the same colour and not have any extra designs, patterns, or tints that might make it hard to read.

Where to Put the Licence Plate:

The licence plates must be set vertically or almost vertically and in a way that makes them easy to read from both the front and back of the car.

Extra Things to Think About

Even though the above list covers the most important legal needs, there are some other things to keep in mind:


Make sure that your licence plates are clean and easy to read. If the plates are dirty or broken, the MOT may not pass.

How to Use 4D Characters:

Make sure that the 4D characters are fixed firmly. When loose letters fall off, the plate can’t be read and isn’t compliant.

Space and Linearity:

If the spacing or placement isn’t right, the 4D plate might be hard to read, which is against the law.

Adding ons and frames:

Make sure that any number plate frames or covers you use don’t cover up any part of the plate.

Real-World Steps to Make Sure Compliance

Buy from Suppliers You Can Trust:

Get your 4D licence plates from sellers who are known to follow DVLA rules. Plates that meet the BS AU 145e standard will be sold by sellers you can trust.

Look for a Certificate:

Most of the time, a real number plate provider will give you proof that they follow the rules. This could come in handy if you ever need to show that your licence plates are acceptable.

Maintenance Tasks:

Keep your plates clean, and check them every so often for damage that might make them hard to read.

Keep up with:

Regulations can change, so stay up to date on any changes to number plate laws to make sure you continue to follow the rules.

Installation by a professional:

You might want to have a professional install your plates to make sure they are put on properly. This keeps the figures from getting out of place or out of alignment over time.

Common False Ideas and Myths

As 4D licence plates become more popular, some common myths and false beliefs could lead car drivers astray:

Myth: All 3D and 4D licence plates are against the law.

It’s true that not all 3D and 4D plates meet the legal requirements, but those that do can be fully legal for the road. It is very important to make sure that your licence plates follow DVLA rules.

Myth: You can always get personalised plates with different fonts and styles.

Fact: The style, size, spacing, and material must all follow the law, even if they are personalised. Individual fonts or styles that don’t follow the rules aren’t allowed.

Myth: Plates with reflective backgrounds look better and are easier to read.

The background has to reflect light, but the figures have to be black and not reflect light. Reflective characters are banned and can make text harder to read.

Enforcement of the law and punishments

There are several fines that can happen if you don’t follow the rules for number plates on your car:

Fines on the spot:

For licence plates that don’t follow the rules, police officers can give fines right away.

Failed MOT:

Number plates that don’t follow the rules will cause a MOT failure, which means you can’t legally drive your car until the problem is fixed.

Taking a vehicle:

Law enforcement agencies can seize a car if the number plate makes it very hard to identify the vehicle.

Points on your licence:

Repeated violations can get you points on your licence, which can affect your driving record and maybe even your insurance rates.

In conclusion

To sum up, making sure your 4D licence plates are legal for driving means following the DVLA’s rules about character sizes, materials, reflectivity, fonts, and general design. If you buy from reliable sellers, make sure the plates are in good shape, check for compliance certifications and stay up to date on legal changes, you can enjoy the unique look and style of 4D number plates without worrying about whether they are legal.

Remember that while customisation can make your car look more special, safety on the road and following the law are the most important things. By following these tips, you can make sure that your car stands out for the right reasons, giving you both style and peace of mind while you drive. Not only will following these rules keep you on the right side of the law, they will also keep your licence plates working and easy to read, which improves road safety generally.

As the use of 4D licence plates grows, it is important for car owners to stay alert and responsible, finding a balance between how the plates look and following the rules. After following the instructions and learning more about the subject, you can show off your personalised licence plates with confidence, knowing that they follow all the rules and make driving more enjoyable.