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3D/4D plates laws: September 2021 changes

We’ve all seen the police officer talking about 3D/4D plates laws in 2021 Number Plate Clinic gets asked daily, and they are aware of your worries regarding the legality of your license plates and the future of the personalized plate business.

Future of 3D/4D Plates: New Law 2021

If you’re considering 3D vs 4D number plates, the most pressing issue is whether they’re legal. The regulations governing the display of number plates will be updated on September 1, 2021, making things a little more challenging.

We’ll show you how it all works so you can understand the current rules regarding number plates and what’s changing.

Will 3D and 4D Plates Still Be Legal?

The short answer is that yes, it is possible. You can let out a sigh of relief. Characters on a number plate may be three-dimensional nowadays; if:

  • The material of the number plate is reflective.
  • There is no background design.
  • Front plate letters are black or white
  • The letters on the back are yellow on black.

Characters must be a specific size and height on license plates:

  • All the characters must be at least 79 millimetres tall.
  • Except for the numeral 1 or letter I, they must be 55mm wide. The strokes on these black characters should be 14mm thick.
  • The spaces between the bars must be equal to or less than 11mm.

There are also restrictions regarding character spacing and margins, which you can learn about in the DVLA’s INF104 leaflet.

However, depending on physical plate codes from September 1, 2021, there will be some variations between what is and isn’t allowed.

How Number Plate Codes Affect Number Plate Rules

A vehicle’s number plate is the primary identification document. The BSAU code on a number plate shows what standard the plate has been produced to:

  • BSAU 145d codes apply to plates manufactured BEFORE 1 September 2021
  • BSAU 145e codes apply to plates manufactured AFTER 1 September 2021.

The old standards will continue to apply to BSAU 145d coded plates, but new rules will apply to BSAU 145e coded plates. As a result, from September 2021, you’ll need to verify your number plate code to see if your number plate design is still acceptable. This also includes 3D and 4D plates.

If your number plates were legal for use on the road when you purchased them, they will continue to be lawful if they display the BSAU 145d code on the plate. If you have a number plate manufactured AFTER 1 September 2021, it will show the BS145e code and must comply with new DVLA regulations.

What are the New DVLA Number Plate Rules?

The regulations that come into force on September 2021 are based on BSI technical standards for number plates. These new levels will make number plates more durable and easier for ANPR cameras to interpret. This is the technology that detects traffic infractions. If you’ve paid a fine or been penalized, you’ll be familiar with your 3D plates being readable

What are the Drawbacks of Using 3D and 4D Plates? Two distinct hues of black are not permitted. As a result, there can be no two-tone number plates.

The manufacturing of 3D plates, unlike the application of two hues, entails coating sheet-cut characters in polyurethane gel to create a three-dimensional effect. This raises them above the number plate surface.

The same basic idea of elevated figures applies to 4D number plates, with the exception that they are often produced using laser-cut acrylic letters and numbers.

If it’s not truly 3D, 3D plates become unlawful. However, if the text is a standard 2D font with the colour shading to make it seem like it stands out in relief from the surface of the plate, then it isn’t 3D at all and is known as “colour-shifting,”.

How Will I Know if My Number Plate is Legal?

If your number plate has a BSAU 145d manufacturing code, you may continue to drive with it. This is if it satisfies current DVLA regulations.

If you obtain a new number plate after 1 September 2021, it must adhere to the changed criteria and contain only one tone of black for its letters and numerals. The BSAU 145e code will be displayed on the new plate. Your 3D or 4D plate will be acceptable in the future if you have the correct number plate code.

Keep Up with Number Plate Changes

The world of number plates is in constant motion. Keep up with the most recent number plate news by visiting Number Plate Clinic online.


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