The Rules of Number Plates: 5 Legal Requirements You Need to Know

There are many rules and regulations related to motor vehicles. The legal requirements for numberplates are just one aspect of legal vehicle registration. Here is a quick guide to the five most important ones to help you stay inside the rules of the road.

White at the Front, Yellow at the Back

This is one of the most basic legal requirements for number plates in the UK. The front plate must have a white background, and the rear number plate must be yellow. This is something crucial that will be standard across the UK. You will notice this on the roads of Britain.

There Are Some Options Available

Though the regulations for number registrations aim to create uniform plates across vehicles, there are some options you can take advantage of when getting a plate made. A three-dimensional (commonly known as ā€˜4Dā€™) version of the standard Charles Wright 2001 font can be used, and you can also choose to have a solid-coloured and non-reflective border on the plate and a flag or emblem. You can choose a customised plate with these options at, and find out more about the history of UK vehicle number plates.

Some Modifications Are Not Permitted

Previously, there were some alternate fonts and typeface styles available. Now, the font is standardised in style, size, and shape. The spacing of the letters and numbers is important too. These factors all help automated numberplate recognition systems used by the Police and other government authorities. You may not adjust the placement of fixing bolts to change the appearance of numbers or letters on the plate or add symbols other than the national emblems, above.

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There Are Exceptions for Historic Vehicles

A vehicle made before 1973 can use old-style, traditional number plates with a solid black background and white or silver numbers and letters. These can be made from plastic or their traditional, period-correct materials. You should do your research when it comes to historic vehicles so that you understand your position. This will also be the case when it comes to fixing the car up. You may find that certain parts are no longer being manufactured. While some parts may be able to be 3D printed, it may not be a viable solution. You may be able to find certain parts from car sellers and marketplaces, so shop around.

Motorcycle Plates Have Unique Regulations

For motorcyclists, there are a few more options and slightly altered regulations. Many motorcyclists want the smallest plate possible to reduce drag and streamline the look of their bikes. There is no specific size for a motorcycle numberplate either, as the design of motorcycles limits the placement options for manufacturers. All motorcycle plates must use the approved font, but the size of the characters is slightly reduced.

With the help of a professional number plating service, and the rules and regulations explained here, you will be able to get a fully legal number plate for your car and keep enjoying the open road.

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