Are 3D number plates legal?

This is a question that unsurprisingly, we get asked a lot. We are happy to confirm that 3D number plates are 100% road legal with the BS AU 145e 2021 British Standard. All our legal plates do meet these requirements and we even give you clear guidance when selecting the customisations for your product. In case you were unsure, the conditions that a legal 3D plate are required to meet are:

  • Must be made from a reflective material – for the purpose of road safety
  • Must display black characters on a white background (front plate)
  • Must display black characters on a yellow background (rear plate)
  • Must not have a background pattern – so as not to distort the readability of your plate
  • Must be marked to show who supplied the number plate – to assist with thefts and sourcing queries
  • Must be marked with a British Standard number – this is ‘BS AU 145e’ for plates fitted after 1 September 2021
  • Must not be removable or reflective
  • Must be a single shade of black (if plates were fitted after 1st September 2021)

Our role as a number plate maker is to give you a product that will ensure you are compliant on the roads. As well as being passionate about the art of custom number plates, we are all huge motoring enthusiasts so the last thing that we would want to do is provide you with a product that does not meet legal needs.

Are 4D number plates legal?

The rules that apply to 3D number plates, which are outlined in our previous answer, also apply for 4D number plates meaning they are also 100% legal. 4D plates use acrylic characters for a more pronounced profile but they do still comply with all of the requirements set out in the BS AU 145e 2021 British Standard. Our legal 4D plates also satisfy the requirements outlined in the March 2022 motoring update which mentions that number plates must:

  • Plates now need to be tougher and extra-durable to withstand destructive materials that can be found on the road. Encouraging road users to ensure their plates are abrasion free, our 3D and 4D plates are a brilliant example of how you can invest in a custom number plate and ensure your car is compliant.
  • Characters must only be in solid block colours for 3D and 4D plates. Acrylic lettering is fine, but solid colours must be used to ensure that the colours are not distorted even when the light hits. We take our role as a custom number plate maker seriously and would only ever sell you a legal plate that met all of these needs. We also sell a selection of show 4D plates, but we will make it clear to you at the ordering stage what is allowed for use on UK roads.


What's the difference between 3D and 4D lettering?

The difference between a 3D and 4D number plate are the character profiles. Both feature signature raised profiles but the use of materials gives them slightly difference finishes.

3D plates are made using a high-strength 3D gel for characters that have a slightly shinier appearance and a lower height profile. 4D plates are made using acrylic which stands higher and also offers more a multi-dimensional finish once the finishing resin is applied. They also tend to have a more squared-off or solid look due to the depth that the characters create.

Both plates provide a similar modern look, but are favoured in their own right for their unique features. Whether you choose a 3D or 4D option, you are sure to make a real statement!

Will my car pass its MOT with a 3D or 4D plate?

As mentioned, 3D and 4D plates are fully legal and will pass an MOT as long as they meet the specifications outlined above, so no need to worry! If your personalised plate is, however, made to a different colour, finish, or features different character spacing, you will fail the MOT. We will not only ensure that plates meet the required standard, but our high-quality finish also exceeds these regulations as we want to make sure that you never experience issues with your plates. A qualified MOT examiner will know rules and requirements for custom plates so you should never experience any issues.

What are 3D and 4D number plates?

3D and 4D custom number plates are modifications that are made to a standard vehicle plate to give it a modern appearance. As number plate makers, we design and create these from scratch to ensure the best quality of which this form of modification is known for.

These raised plates offer a multi-dimensional finish which improves the sharpness and visibility of your plate. 3D plates feature pronounced gel characters, whereas 4D plates boast deeper acrylic characters for a more defined look. Both plates are finished in industrial-strength resin and known for their superior durability and hardiness.

Custom number plates are a popular accessory that also makes a great gift. We are not just manufacturers but also huge enthusiasts of this innovative motoring artform.

Why are custom number plates expensive?

Custom number plates have a higher price tag, but it is clear to see why when you look at the quality of materials they are made from. Custom number plates are manufactured to last, so when you invest in a product, you buy something that will be with your car for a very long time. Industrial grade materials and tools are needed to achieve custom plates detailed and legal requirements. If you are faced with a cheaper quote, it may be that the materials and craftsmanship are not to the standard that they should be. As number plates are such an intrinsic part of vehicle safety, we don’t believe that they should be scrimped on. The price tag, therefore, also includes the legal checks and compliance that ensure your custom plate will have no issues attached.

How do I buy a custom number plate?

As DVLA-approved manufacturers of custom number plates, you can be assured that we follow all legal procedures required when investing in a new number plate. When you explore our custom number plate collection online, you will notice that we make the process for purchasing incredibly simple, as we don’t want you to have to spend time worrying about logistics. Once you have chosen your product, follow the instructions to add any requirements for modification needs. All prices will be shown at this stage for complete transparency. You then follow the checkout process and confirm when you would like installation included or whether you plan on doing that yourself. If you do want to fit your new number plate, we all provide number plate screw fixing packs and sticky pads for number plates to make the task easy.

The process is straightforward if you are a registered vehicle owner. To invest in a new custom number plate, you will need to provide us with the following: Proof that you are the owner using either the V5C or V5CNI logbook, V5C/2 or V5C/2NI new keeper slip, or the V778 certificate. A form of ID which proves your name and identity, such as your driving license, passport, or utility bill. All data and records are kept completely secure when you provide us with access. By checking these documents, we are also meeting legal motoring standards, which contributes to the safety of your new plate. You will also receive all legal paperwork when your plate is ready.

How fast will I receive my number plate?

We aim to provide all products within 3 days so that you can enjoy your new product as soon as possible. The ordering process has been streamlined on our website to ensure that all relevant options are available for you to choose right from the start. We also have a team to help you with any further questions from Monday-Friday, 9am–5 pm.

Once your order has been submitted, we can produce your new custom number plate and will provide you with any updates or amendments to your delivery as soon as we are aware.

We don’t think you should ever have to wait long for a product, which is why we always ensure our stock and materials levels are kept high to make sure we never have to delay an order. If you do have a special request for a delivery date that needs to be met, please do contact our team to ensure we are able to meet your needs.