3D Number Plates Could Lead To Fine

Mon 30th Aug 2021

New legislation introduced from 1 September will change the face of number plates on cars and could lead to drivers facing fines of up to £1,000 if they breach the rules.

The changes have been introduced alongside the launch of the new ‘71’ plates this autumn with the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency suggesting that the new rules will make number plates more durable, however it is more likely that they will also make it easier for automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras to pick them up.

All new plates must meet strict guidelines and be made from a tougher material which can withstand damange from road debris. The new law also forbids the use of 3D and two-tone number plates or from using different shades of black on flat lettering.

In a note to number plate suppliers, the DVLA said: ‘In March 2018, the BSI published an updated standard for number plates, BS AU 145e. This new standard will improve the durability of new number plates and enhance compatibility with on-road enforcement cameras.

‘The new standard also requires that plates only display single shade black lettering, removing the ability to use different shades to produce 3D effects or highlighting.

‘The agency has not seen any evidence to show that number plates displaying raised plastic, acrylic or Perspex lettering (3D/4D plates) are able to meet the requirements of either the current or new the British Standard.

‘To take effect this new British Standard needs to be incorporated into the regulations and will become mandatory from 1 September 2021 but can be used from 1 January 2021.’

Those who break the rules could face a fine of up to £1,000. However true 3D and 4D plates are still legal, as are all existing plates created prior to the 1 September deadline.