Coinciding with the release of the new 71 registration mark, from the 1st of September 2021, the rules concerning number plate manufacturers has changed. From this date, it is now only legal to display 3D plates if they were manufactured prior to this date. Therefore, it is no longer possible to purchase 3D number plates.
Why choose 3D number plates?
If you’re in the market for new number plates for your car, you’ll understand the government has very specific laws governing them. From the size and shape of the alphanumeric characters displayed on them, to the colour of the plates themselves, there are strict laws to be adhered to. Breaking these rules can result in a failed MOT test or a fine of up to £1,000, if caught by officials.
Despite these rules and regulations, you might be surprised that there are still legal ways to make your plate stand out from those displayed by other cars on the road.
3D number plates and the law
There’s no doubt that 3D-style registrations can be a stylish way to display your car’s index marks, but are 3D number plates legal? The good news is that while they must conform to the rules laid down by the Motor Car Act, 3D plates are fully legal on UK roads as long as they were manufactured before the latest changes in September 2021.
The many rules include your registration being displayed in black characters on a white plate at the front of the vehicle and on a yellow plate at the rear, and the characters shown being of equal height to one another. However, no background patterns such a honeycomb can be used on the characters.
Are 3D gel number plates legal?
3D gel style number plates are manufactured by coating sheet-cut alphanumeric characters in a polyurethane gel to give them a raised profile on the number plate. This sought-after style of registration is carefully crafted to a high quality to meet BSAU British safety standards.
This type of plate is 100% legal providing it was manufactured prior to the law changes and fully complies with registration laws, including using the Charles Wright font seen on all UK plates.
It’s also possible to legally display 3D-looking letters and numbers without a gel resin raise. Using a two-tone effect, the characters can have a 3D appearance without using the more costly domed effect with gel resin. This can be another option worth considering when price is a concern.
Are 3D carbon number plates legal?
3D carbon number plates also present characters raised from the registration plate to create a three-dimensional appearance. While a popular choice of premium plate format in the UK, these too are only legal for plates manufactured prior to the law changes.
Carbon number plates used on your car must display your registration in black characters and in the Charles Wright font to be legal. Those that use any other colour, font or background pattern are not acceptable.