Any number plates fitted from September 2001 must use the below fonts.
Are gel digits legal under the new standard BS AU 145e?
Yes, the DVLA has clarified that providing they create no ‘highlighting or 3D effects’, 3D gel digits are legal under the new standard BS AU 145e.
Are 3D/4D plates with digits that include either clear or coloured parts legal? (These are sometimes called “Krystal” or “Neon” 4D plates).
No, under BS AU 145e these are illegal, because the digits must be ‘solid black’.
Download the letter on at the bottom of the Legal Fonts page for more information.
Because BS AU 145e is an enhanced version of BS AU 145d, if a plate meets 145e, it also meets 145d.
Are 3D digits legal under BS AU 145e?
It depends what kind of 3D digit.
Fonts that are not solid black (e.g. high-line, carbon-effect fonts) are illegal on any plate supplied or fitted after September 1st, 2021 when BS AU 145e became mandatory.
However, solid black acrylic or gel digits affixed to the front of plates are currently viewed by DVLA as legal under BS AU 145e. See the letter at the bottom of the Legal Fonts page for more information.
The legal number plate font is Charles Wright.
Car and large vehicle number plate font
Image thanks to DVLA.
All number plates (except motorcycle and tricycles) must abide by the following font rules:
- characters must be 79mm tall
- characters (except the number 1 or letter I) must be 50mm wide
- the character stroke (the thickness of the black print) must be 14mm
- the space between characters must be 11mm
- the space between the age identifier and the random letters must be 33mm
- the margins at the top, bottom and side of the plate must be 11mm
- vertical space between the age identifier and the
- random letters must be 19mm.
Motorcycles and tricycles:
There are separate rules for motorcycles and tricycles.
- characters must be 64mm tall
- characters (except the number 1 or letter I) must be 44mm wide
- the character stroke (the thickness of the black print) must be 10mm
- the space between characters must be 10mm
- the space between the age identifier and the random letters must be 30mm
- the margins at the top, bottom and side of the plate must be at least 11mm
- vertical space between the age identifier and the random numbers must be 13mm.
Images not to scale
Are 3D/4D number plates legal?
BNMA sought clarification for you, our website users, to understand what DVLA were thinking about 3D digits under the upcoming legislation, BS AU 145e.
The (very) short answer is yes – most but not all types of 3D digits are legal, where they are physically attached to the front of the plate and non-removable.
Why? Most 3D digits can still be read by safety cameras and the new legislation was created to support safety camera readability. The legislation also says that digits must not be removable, so we recommend a strong adhesive bond.
The key exceptions are:
- Black plastic digits on top of a clear or coloured plastic digit – illegal
- 3D effect flat digits e.g. for example created when printing or transferring digits onto a piece of reflective. - illegal.
- These types are illegal because the new legislation BS AU 145e requires a solid black digit.
So 3D gel plates and plastic digits that are one solid colour of black and do not create the effect of highlighting or 3D except for their actual three-dimensions are legal.
All this was clarified in a letter from DVLA to Registered Number Plate Outlets sent in June 2021.
Download a copy below.