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Valuable Advice for Motorists to Avoid Costly Penalties for Number Plate Errors

Motorists Given a Timely Reminder about Recent Changes to Number Plate Regulations

Motorists are being strongly advised to ensure their number plates comply with the latest regulations in order to avoid substantial fines or even failure of their car’s MOT test.

Leading the industry in personalized registrations, National Numbers has issued a warning to drivers, especially those who have purchased a new vehicle or replaced their number plates since September 2021 when the law underwent changes.

Under the updated regulations, the use of number plates featuring printed 3D-style digits or employing two-tone effects, such as carbon fibre patterns with black and grey lettering, has been strictly prohibited. Instead, the new standards mandate the use of solid black digits, guaranteeing a clear contrast between the background and the letters. This contrast is vital for Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, enabling them to accurately identify vehicles on the road, even at high speeds and during both day and night.

All newly produced number plates must adhere to the enhanced British Standard BS AU 145e, which replaced BS AU 145d two years ago. This change was implemented to address concerns related to road safety and law enforcement. Additionally, plates manufactured according to the new standard are more resistant to abrasion, ensuring prolonged durability despite exposure to dirt, road grime, and jet washing.

David Edwards, the operations director at National Numbers, the UK’s longest-standing dealer in personalized registrations, expressed concern about the number of drivers who remain unaware of these requirements, leaving them susceptible to avoidable fines. He emphasized that since the recent changes came into effect in late 2021, traffic authorities are unlikely to show leniency towards those claiming ignorance after being stopped. Consequently, National Numbers strongly urges every driver to ensure their number plates comply with the law.

Failure to display legally compliant number plates can result in fines of up to £1,000, and a vehicle will fail its MOT test if stopped with non-compliant plates. In some cases, the registration number may even be permanently withdrawn. Furthermore, insurance companies may view such offenses unfavorably, potentially leading to the refusal of claims following an accident if the number plates are not road legal.

Thankfully, motorists have a variety of legal options available for replacing their number plates. Traditional acrylic plates, featuring solid black printed digits, are widely used and fully compliant with the new regulations, offering clear visibility and legibility. An increasing number of drivers are opting for “3D” and “4D” plates, which incorporate modern gel digits and solid black acrylic digits, respectively. These alternatives provide a distinct finish and comply with the rules as long as the digits are non-removable.

Car owners are encouraged to visit our website, where they can explore a wide range of alternative number plate formats.


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