4D Plates

If you’re thinking about getting some 4D plates, you might be concerned that driving with them on could land in you in trouble with the law.

We are a leading 4D number plate manufacturer, so we know our stuff when it comes to number plates. Here’s our advice:

4D plates are 100% road legal BUT only if they are made to British Standard BS AU 145d, which is the standard all new number plates on UK roads should be manufactured to by law (this standard has been effective since 2001).

What BS AU 145d dictates is that number plates must conform to specific display laws with regards to the following areas:

  • Font type
  • Font size
  • Colour
  • Reflectivity
  • Character spacing

We have bolded the areas that would apply to 4D characters.

The legality of 4D plates in more detail

In the case of 4D plates, 4D characters are 100% legal so long as they meet font type, size and character spacing requirements.

Font restrictions under BS AU 145d rule out two-tone/3D fonts of any kind – but please do not confuse “3D fonts” with “3D or 4D letters”. 3D fonts are those that are not solid black, such as letters with borders and shadows. The rule does not apply to 3D and 4D letters that are raised, either through stamping or bonding.

This means you can drive on public roads with 4D plates so long as the plates are made to British Standard BS AU 145d.

Be careful of where you get your plates from

Notice how we have said that 4D plates are only legal if they are made to BS AU 145d? We have made this distinction because if 4D plates are not made to BS AU 145d, then they are illegal to use on public roads and public streets.

So, how can you be sure that your 4D plates are legal?


For 4D number plates to be legal, they must show the manufacturers’ mark and the current British Standard (BS AU 145d) in text. These markings are always located in text on the front of the number plate at the bottom.

If your 4D plates don’t have these markings, they cannot legally be used on public roads, even if they meet the design standards of BS AU 145d. Plates need the necessary text at the bottom to be road legal. Without this text, they are illegal.

Fancy fonts

If a number plate has BS AU 145d markings but uses any deviation on font from that which is allowed under BS AU 145d, then the plate is illegal. There are no exceptions to this rule so if a plate uses a fancy font, it is illegal for public road use.

Fancy fonts include 3D fonts, creative fonts, italics and coloured letters. 3D fonts can trick ANPR cameras, so they are outlawed. However, 3D characters that are stamped or bonded to the license plate are legal, so long as the font is correct.

The bottom line

4D plates are legal so long as they are made to BS AU 145d and show the manufacturers’ mark and British Standard.

We hope this helps you.

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