Can You Still Buy 3D Number Plates?

Gel Number plates are an aesthetic and practical option to personalise your vehicle, but with so many other providers of 3D number plates around it’s hard to know who to trust.

Well, we at Bespoke Plates are a legally certified license plate vendor, and in this article, we will be answering the question, can you still buy 3D number plates?

3D Plates

A 3D plate, and even a 4D plate, come under the distinction of a gel number plate.

A gel number plate refers to a number plate which has its characters altered to achieve a distinct 3-dimensional raised appearance on the words and numbers on the registration plate.

This is achieved by applying industrial-strength long-lasting resin on top of the 3D characters.

Our gel number plates come with the option of 3D plates, and 4D plates. Our blog has a deeper delve into the distinctions between the two plates if you want insight on that.

It’s important to mention that as of September 2021 new rules have been implemented to number plating in Great Britain as a result of England’s dissociation with the European Union. Here are the new rulings directly from the UK Government. We know that seems worrying especially if you’re considering personalising your number plate, however, at Bespoke Plates we thoroughly advise you on what plates can be put on your car legally.

Want to see how a 3D or 4D plate could look on your vehicle? head over to our website so you can visualize what your plate could look like. Do you like what you see? we have same-day collections and fittings available.

Next up, we are going to be covering the legalities of 3D plates.

Are 3D number plates legal?


To clear up any confusion, 3D plates are 100% LEGAL if you stick to the outlined rules from the DVLA.

The latest update to UK number plate rules was released in 2021. The DVLA created these outlines to improve road safety, minimise the number of illegal vehicle activities, and clear up any confusion drivers were expressing. The industry is worth £2 billion in the UK alone, so it’s not like the government wants the trade to just come to a stand-still.

The legal terms that a number 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 number 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 number plates were fitted after 1 September 2021, they must also be a single shade of black.

As well as these outlined conditions, custom plates must also display the following:

If the rules have been adhered to, you will be fine. Number plates must also have either a ‘BSAU 145d’or a ‘BSAU 145e’ code applied to them, which can only be completed by a legally certified licence plate vendor.

These regulations all work to ensure that number plate modifications still make certain that cars are legally compliant on the road so as not to cause issues for other road users.

Will 3D plates pass an MOT?

During an MOT, these aspects will be checked in regard to your number plate:

  • condition
  • secure attachment
  • colour
  • characters correctly formed and spaced

As long as these all of these conditions are satisfactory, you will pass an MOT. This applies for 3D plates too. At Bespoke Plates, we offer installation on all of our plates, guaranteeing you will pass your MOT.

Self-installation may result in you damaging the plate, or not securing correctly, which is why we offer this service for you. The only exception to this, is show plates.

Can you still buy 3D Number Plates?

How to Replace Registration Plates

The answer is yes, you can still buy 3D number plates, to avoid being in trouble with the law, we recommend that you make sure you use a legally certified licence plate vendor like us at Bespoke Plates.

Not only do we supply various options, but our plates are made in-house and have the option of being installed by us (which means perfect, pain-free installation every time.) Alternatively, you have the option to have it delivered to you.

So what are you waiting for, head to our website and see how we can help you today.

Show Plates

As it is a service we offer, we thought it would be appropriate to mention show plates. Show plates, also known as a novelty plate.

Novelty Plates offer a variety of uses and functions including:

  • Being a thoughtful gift for a car enthusiast.
  • Can be used as a prop for a film of any production value.
  • A unique and personal decoration for a home, bedroom or office.
  • A deterrent for thieves, replacing your plate with a show plate (When on private property) can deter thieves from taking your vehicle, as the likelihood of them getting stopped whilst in the car with show plates on is very high.
  • It can be a perfect compliment to a car you or someone you know have put a lot of time into customising.

Whilst we provide show plates we must disclose clearly that show plates are illegal to use on public roads. Using a show plate on any public road could lead to a fine of £1000 and can also get points added to your license, however, using a show plate on private property is perfectly legal. We make mention of this with every purchase and/or installation of show plates.

With show plates, you have more freedom in personalising your plate, the reason it is illegal to use whilst driving on a public road is due to some designs being harder to read for other road users, whilst alternative backgrounds, spacings and character raising can make technologies such as speed cameras and ANPR’s struggle to recognise the plate. Driving a vehicle from public to private land with show plates on is also illegal.

After a private plate instead?

You are only able to buy legal private number plates from either DVLA auctions or from their licensed sellers. Private plates are all pre-approved and created by the DVLA. As such, they maintain a library of legally registered private plates that can be sold to dealers or customers, all supported by legal documentation.

You must always research where you are buying your private number plate from, as illegal plate sales are on the rise. Your dealer or auction house should always be able to provide you with a view of their documentation which approves them as a legitimate seller when you ask to see it.

You can also gain peace of mind if you book to attend an auction which has been listed on the DVLA’s official list of upcoming events as they all will be adhering to the private plate rules.

Once you buy your number plate, you will always be provided with the legal documentation, which is the V750. Another way to ensure that your seller is genuine is to ask to see a copy of this beforehand.

As with our own collection of private registrations, most resellers will only stock a selection of designs, so alarm bells should always ring if someone gives you a large selection.

As with any number plate in the UK, a strict set of rules must be adhered to, which make it legal for use on the roads. These private plate rules have been created following safety regulations to ensure that road users and pedestrians benefit from enhanced protection.

Contact Bespoke Plates today

We hope for anyone still wondering ‘Can you still buy 3D number plates?’ that we provided all the right answers and options for all of your plate modification needs. If you choose to purchase and install your 3D plates and 4D plates through Bespoke Plates, we can guarantee your registration plate will be MOT compliant.

We at Bespoke Plates have all the options you can ask for, as an approved license vendor we can guarantee your modification abides by the DVLA rules whilst offering same day collections and a 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:

36A Broughton Street,
M8 8NN

discount popup bespoke-plates

Great! Use coupon code below at checkout for 5% discount