Number Plate for landing page 2


Update: revised British standard for number plates and 3D/4D number plates


  1. Revised British standard

From 1 September 2021 the new standard for number plates, BS AU 145e, developed in partnership with the British Standards Institute, number plate component manufacturing and supply industry, and the police - will become mandatory for all number plates that are manufactured and first fixed to a vehicle from that date. If you’re unsure if the components you use comply with the new standard, contact your component supplier or manufacturer. A copy of the standard can be purchased from the British Standards Institute at

Number plate suppliers who also manufacturer components in-house used in the assembly of number plates are responsible, by law, for ensuring those components can also comply with the standard. DVLA cannot provide advice to suppliers on whether an individual product that they have manufactured can meet the requirements of the standard.


All number plates manufactured and fitted to vehicles from 1 September 2021 must comply fully with the new British Standard and be permanently marked with:

All information must be displayed below the registration mark. The distance between the bottom of the registration mark and the other markings must be at least 7 millimetres.

It is recommended that BS AU145e and the part manufacturer or supplier identifier are printed on the bottom right and the number plate supplier details printed at the bottom centre. 

The markings must be:


Where an optional border is being displayed it:


  1. Raised characters (including 3D/4D)

The new standard requires that plates only display single shade black lettering, so you cannot use different shades of black to produce 3D effects or highlighting.

On number plates with raised characters, including 3D gel and 4D number plates, the entire number plate must be able to fully comply with both the standard and legal requirements. This also includes the characters of the registration number.

It is already a requirement under the current British Standard that the entire surface of the characters of the registration number must be black. This also includes the sides of the characters - the use of different coloured or clear sides is not permitted. Illuminated characters are not permitted. The characters of the registration number must not be removable.

A number plate must not be treated in any way that makes the characters of the registration number any less readable by eye or that would prevent or impair making a photographic image of the plate. Treatments include the use of tints, films, coverings, or other coatings over the surface of the number plate.

Should DVLA receive evidence that the use of raised characters is compromising registration number readability or compliance with the British Standard, the position will be reviewed.