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Petition Stop the ban of 4D and 3D registration plates

The British Standards Institute (BSI) has updated the technical standards for number plates in the UK. This means that 3D Gel and 4D number plates will be banned. I'm asking the Government to have another look at these rules.

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Many vehicles have these type of number plates attached. Many people will now have to get these changed or stopped by the police.

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Government responded

This response was given on 3 February 2021

A new British Standard becomes mandatory for all new number plates fitted to vehicles from 1 September 2021. This will improve the durability of number plates and readability by enforcement cameras.

Number plates fixed to vehicles after 1 September 2001 must already comply with the current British Standard (BS AU 145d), which includes specifications relating to the characters of the registration number. A new British Standard (BS AU 145e) becomes mandatory for all new number plates fixed to vehicles from 1 September 2021. The new standard only applies to number plates fixed to vehicles from that date and there will be no requirement for existing plates to be replaced if they already comply with the current requirements.

The new British Standard for retroreflective number plates does not state that number plates with raised characters, including 3D gel and 4D number plates, will not be permitted.

It is a requirement under the current British Standard that the entire surface of the characters of the registration number must be black. This also includes all sides of the characters; the use of different coloured or clear sides is not permitted. Under the new British Standard, new number plates fitted from 1 September 2021 will also no longer be legal to utilise different shades of black to create 3D effects. The new standard also specifies that the characters of the registration number must not be removable.

A number plate must also, by law, not be treated in any way which means the characters of the registration number are any less readable by eye or would prevent or impair the making of a photographic image of the plate. It is already an offence to either supply or display a number plate on a vehicle that does not fully comply with the legislative requirements or the British Standard, and this includes the characters of the registration number.

Number plate suppliers must ensure that the products they supply fully meet both the legal requirements and the British Standard. The Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) advises number plate suppliers to check with their component suppliers that the components they provide to assemble finished number plates have been tested to ensure these requirements are met.

Vehicle keepers are strongly advised to only purchase number plates from those suppliers who can confirm that the number plates they supply comply with all legal requirements.

The police can already take enforcement action against those drivers whose number plates do not comply with the legal requirements. Should evidence subsequently confirm that the use of raised characters that have been attached to a number plate do not comply with the British Standard or can impair the readability of the registration number overall, the DVLA will take appropriate action. This could include stricter controls on the supply and display of such number plates.

Department for Transport

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