Are Shaped Number Plates Legal in UK?

With more and more people opting for licence plate modification, people are also started to wonder if the shape of the registration plate can be altered, which they can with examples such as Hex plates. But are there more shapes?

In this blog we will be answering the question ‘Are shaped registration plates legal in the UK?’

As an established registration plate maker, we at Bespoke Plates know how to add a unique and distinctive finish to your vehicle registration plate, further stating a level of individuality that can be the finishing touch to a vehicle you have already customised.

Bespoke Plates is a renowned and legally certified registration plate maker and installer, with options of 3D Plates, 4D plates, Show plates, and regular / electric vehicle plates and more. We are the one-stop shop for all things registration plates!

Whether it’s a private plate, gel plate, standard registration plate or plating accessories, we have you covered.

As a certified and experienced team of plate fitters and makers, our plates are installed to the specification of UK law, provided alongside the appropriate paperwork you need. (The only exception to this is show plates.)

What are the shapes of registration plates?

The standard shape of a registration plate is a rectangular style. There are more shapes available, however at the moment we at Bespoke Plates supply Hex registration plates, which refers to a six sided registration plate as opposed to the rectangular registration plate.

Other shapes include trapezoid variations, along with smaller rectangular shapes. When it comes to further shapes, it becomes slightly more difficult to balance the required size and spaces of the registration plate characters on uneven shapes such as an oval for example.

It is vital for spacings and characters to follow the rules established by the government, any deviation from these rules would result in the plate being illegal.

Are shaped registration plates legal in the UK?

How do I order a Hex plate?

Yes, shaped number plates are legal in the UK, within reason.

As we continue, we will highlight the legal stipulations required for every registration plates, but here is essentially what keeps a shaped number plate legal.

A shaped registration plate is legal as long as the required characters and colours on the plate match the legal specification required, if the plate’s shape means the characters on the plate have to change size, it will make the plate illegal.

A great example of a legal shaped registration plate is the Hex registration plate. These plates are in a hexagonal shape, which (if properly made) will not affect the placement of characters on the plate itself.

If you choose to continue with a shaped plate that contains the wrong colours and characters, you are essentially driving with a showplate, which is illegal to drive on public roads.

Registration plate legalities

How much are number plates?

To clear up any confusion, plate modification, whether that be hex plates, or gel plates (3D & 4D) are 100% LEGAL if you stick to the outlined rules from the DVLA.*

*Please do your due diligence and research, some unverified licence plate providers may not be making their plates to the legal specification, which could become a massive inconvenience for you. Visiting Bespoke Plates is the best way to avoid this trouble.

Alternatively, using the government gateway to find licenced and approved plate makers is the best option for peace of mind and finding a plate maker close to you. Enter your postcode on the government gateway website.

What are the legal requirements for a registration plate?

The legal terms that a registration plate must adhere to are:

  • be made from a reflective material – for road safety
  • black display characters on a white background (front plate)
  • black display characters on a yellow background (rear plate)
  • not have a background pattern – so as not to distort the readability of your plate
  • be marked to show who supplied the registration plate – to assist with thefts and sourcing queries
  • be marked with a British Standard number – this is ‘BS AU 145e’ for plates fitted after 1 September 2021
  • The characters must not be removable or reflective. If your registration plates were fitted after 1 September 2021, they must also be a single shade of black.

You can find the full list of legal requirements here.

What makes a shaped registration plate illegal?

Shaped registration plates, if the do not follow the standards described above can become illegal, which can result in you getting in trouble with the authorities. At Bespoke Plates, we will be sure to tell you if your modification goes beyond the legal threshold.

An illegal shaped registration plate can look like:

  • Not having the white or yellow background
  • Having a different coloured or incorrectly spaced/shaped characters
  • Incorrectly applied/ loose fit.
  • Additional characters/symbols that have no relevance to the legality of the plate

How to order a Hex plate

What Is a Hex Plate? Lamborghini Shaped Number Plates

With Bespoke Plates, you can order a gel (3D/4D) plate aswell as the Hex plate together if you so choose.

By following these steps you will have the option to see the plate before making a decision.

Visualising how your plate can look in real-time, with the characters from your actual registration plate, saves time and makes it easy for you to know what you want before you get it. Let us walk you through the process of choosing your plate through us.

  1. Head to the Bespoke Plates website
  2. Choose your plate style (3D, 4D, Standard)
  3. Choose your style (legal or show plate)
  4. Select where this plate will go (front, back or both)
  5. Select plate size, scroll down & select the Hex/Lambo plate option
  6. Select optional accessories.
  7. Enter your registration plate in our visualiser & press ‘preview’
  8. Choose if you are collecting with installation, or if you want it to be delivered.

Can I install a shaped number plate?

We would only recommend installing a shaped number plate yourself if you have experience in doing it correctly. If you don’t have the experience to do this you may end up damaging your plate or bumper, which you will have to repair.

Bespoke Plates gives you the option to have your plate installed by us, we have years of experience so we can install the plate with no issues whatsoever, giving you peace of mind.

Do shaped registration plates affect my insurance and MOT?

In regard to insurance, you would have to speak to your provider directly before making any decisions, but it is unlikely that having a shaped registration plate will affect your insurance. Though this may vary between insurance providers.

When it comes to an MOT, a shaped plate will only cause you to fail your MOT if it is incorrectly installed, this means if it is loose and unsecure. This factor can affect any plate whether they are modified or not. This is because a loose plate can fall on the road and become a hazard to other road users.

Order a Hex reg plate today

In this blog, we have highlighted our Hex plates, and all the information you need in order to add this stylish customisation option to your plate. We aim to have answered the question ‘Are shaped registration plates legal in the UK?’ And we hope that we provided all the right answers and options for all of your plate modification needs.

Bespoke Plates have all the options you can ask for, as an approved licence vendor we can guarantee your modification abides by the DVLA rules whilst offering same-day collections and full fitting service.

To get in touch and discuss the full fitting service we offer with our plates you can talk to one of the members of our team by:


Phone 0333 006 7878

Visit in-store

36A Broughton Street,



M8 8NN

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