26 February, 2024

Motorists Urged to Avoid Costly Penalties by Ensuring Road Legal Number Plates

A Gentle Reminder to Drivers Regarding Recent Changes in Number Plate Regulations

Motorists are being strongly advised to meticulously inspect their number plates in order to eliminate the risk of incurring significant fines or failing their car’s MOT.

Experts at National Numbers, a leading provider of personalised registrations, are cautioning drivers to ensure that their number plates comply with the updated road legal requirements. This is especially important for those who have purchased a new vehicle or installed new plates after September 2021, when the legislation underwent changes.

The revised rules prohibit the use of number plates featuring printed 3D-style digits or employing two-tone effects, including carbon fibre-look plates with black and grey lettering.

The updated regulations now mandate the use of solid black digits, which create a distinct contrast between the background and the letters. This contrast aids Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras in accurately identifying vehicles on the road, regardless of their speed or the time of day.

According to the enhanced British Standard BS AU 145e, all newly issued number plates must adhere to this standard, which replaced the previous BS AU 145d two years ago. The aim of these changes is to address concerns regarding road safety and law enforcement.

In addition to improved visibility, number plates manufactured to the new standard also exhibit greater resistance to abrasion. This enhanced durability ensures that the plates remain in good condition despite exposure to dirt, road grime, and jet-washing.

David Edwards, the operations director at National Numbers – the UK’s longest-standing personalised registration dealer – expressed concern for drivers who are still unaware of these requirements, as they are unknowingly subjecting themselves to avoidable fines.

Considering that the updated regulations have been in effect since late 2021, traffic police are unlikely to be lenient towards drivers claiming ignorance if stopped. To prevent such situations, National Numbers is urging all drivers to verify their number plates’ compliance with the law.

Failure to display correct number plates may result in fines of up to £1,000, and the vehicle may fail its MOT test. In certain cases, the registration number could even be permanently withdrawn.

Furthermore, non-compliant number plates may lead to insurance companies refusing to provide coverage following an accident, making it a potentially costlier offense.

Thankfully, motorists have various legal options for obtaining replacement plates. Traditional acrylic number plates, which feature solid black printed digits, are widely used and fully compliant with the new regulations, offering clear visibility and legibility.

An increasing number of drivers are opting for what are commonly known as 3D and 4D plates. These plates incorporate modern gel digits and solid black acrylic digits, respectively, providing a distinctive finish. As long as the digits cannot be removed, these plates remain within the boundaries of the law.

Car owners are invited to visit our website to explore a broad range of alternative number plate formats.


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