There are plenty of options out there for those who wish to personalise their car, and 4D number plates are an increasingly popular choice. But what are 4D number plates, and are they legal?
The law around this style of number plate is a bit of a grey area, read on for all you need to know about number plate regulations and what to consider before fitting 4D plates to your car.
What are 4D number plates?
There are some pretty strict rules regarding the appearance of registration plates. They must be white at the front of the car and yellow at the rear, have black lettering and you can’t have any sort of pattern in the background.
They also must be presented in what’s known as ‘Charles Wright’ font, with characters measuring 79mm in height and 50mm in width, with a space of 11mm in between each one.
4D number plates differ from regular plates by having letters which are raised from the background. These are often stuck onto the background using adhesive, rather than being printed.
Can you have 4D number plates?
The use of 4D number plates on cars causes some confusion when it comes to the law. Essentially, it’s not illegal to have raised letters on your number plate, however people with 4D plates can sometimes find themselves in trouble with the police.
While it isn’t illegal to have a 4D plate, it is illegal to have a plate which isn’t readable. If the letters are raised too far above the surface of the number plate, it can make them hard or even impossible to read from certain angles.
The 4D letters are also usually cut out and stuck to the background using adhesive, meaning there is a chance they can fall off and leave you with an incomplete number plate.
So while it’s not technically against the law to have 4D plates fitted to your car, they can cause you a lot of undue stress for the sake of a small styling upgrade.
Where can you get legal 4D number plates?
If you’ve decided to go ahead and get some 4D number plates for your car, there are plenty of retailers where you can have them made. A quick search on Google will yield plenty of suppliers near you.
Before choosing where to buy your number plates, make sure the company makes them to British standards. All UK number plates must be marked with a British standard number (BS AU 145e for plates fitted after September 2021).
You’ll often need to provide your V5C logbook and some form of ID when collecting your number plates.
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