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The new rules: British Standard BS AU 145e

The UK has some of the busiest roads and most variable weather in Europe. As a result, we already have some of the strictest rules on number plate construction.


What is the British Standard BS AU 145e?

The new British Standard 'e' rules go even further to ensure public safety and security through ANPR camera readings and harder, more resilient plates. 

When does BS AU 145e go live?

We are currently awaiting confirmation and a specific date from the DVLA. We anticipate that the new British Standard will become effective during either 2020 or 2021.

We will keep you updated with our news articles.

The new British Standard rules go even further to ensure public safety and security through ANPR camera readings and harder, more resilient plates.


Durable and able to resist:

  • Impact. Stone chips and minor parking collisions are unfortunately part of driving. The impact test ensures the plate’s longevity.
  • Bending. The components that make up a plate can separate from each other when the plate is bent. This is sometimes called plate delamination. The bend test prevents delamination on BNMA member supplied plates.
  • Thermal change. The UK’s changeable temperature necessitates this test. The plate’s shape and size must remain the same when subjected to heat and cold.
  • Abrasion (NEW). Plates stay clear and easy-to-read if they pass the abrasion test. This protects against repeated exposure to dirt, road grime and jet-washing.
  • Being removed from a vehicle. Provided adhesive pads are placed correctly along the plate, it will take over 160 hours of consistent pressure to detach a plate that passes the E standard.
  • Weathering. The weathering test under BS AU 145d remains the same under BS AU 145e. It’s a key and extensive test and replicates 2,275 hours of UV exposure; 2½ times more than some other European number plate test schedules.
  • Dirt. As a subset of the weathering test, plates must be able to resist simulated dirt.

Reflective, with the correct: 

  • Colourimetry. Plates must be made of components that show the correct white for front plates, yellow for rear plates and black for printed digits.
  • Retroreflection. To keep them distinct on a plate, the black digits and yellow or white background have very different retroreflectivity rules. The black digits cannot exceed 0.5 retroreflective units (cd/lx) whereas the white or yellow background can’t exceed 150 retroreflective units.
  • Near Infrared contrast (NEW). ANPR cameras read plates by looking at the contrast between the digit and the plate background. This contrast is read in the near infrared (NIR) spectrum, similar to infrared or ultraviolet. The new rules make sure all plates can be read in NIR. The NIR test is repeated at various points during the accreditation process.

Designed and printed with the correct: