Do 4D Plates Show up on ANPR

For those considering 4D plates, the legalities of it may be confusing. What is the actual limit? Is any kind of 4D plate legally compliant? Or is it limited to a certain level of customisation? Does the fact they are easier to read make them better for others to see?

This blog will answer the question ‘Do 4D plates show up on ANPR?’

Bespoke Plates is a renowned and legally certified registration platemaker and installer, with options of 3D Plates, 4D Plates, Show Plates, 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 require. (The only exception to this is show plates.)

What is ANPR?

What is ANPR?

ANPR stands for ‘Automatic Number Plate Recognition’. These systems greatly benefit both law enforcement and traffic management in the UK. This form of surveillance technology works by utilising optical character recognition to automatically read a number plate.

When an ANPR system runs a number plate, it investigates multiple databases that are maintained by various authorities, which can include…

  • Police databases
  • Transportation
  • Private entities

As a result of viewing a number plate through these systems, the user of the ANPR can obtain information about registered vehicles which include vehicle owners, insurance status, vehicle history and any criminal connections. 

In the UK, ANPR systems commonly access databases such as:

  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) Database:

The DVLA database contains records of all registered vehicles in the country, along with information about their owners, tax status, MOT history, and more. The UK government manages it.

  • Police National Computer (PNC):

This national database is maintained by UK law enforcement. It holds information on various criminal activities, including stolen vehicles, vehicles involved in crimes, outstanding warrants, and more.

This is a national database, so regardless of where the vehicle is discovered, if there is any relevant criminal information made by the police of another town or city, it can be ascertained.

  • Insurance Databases:

ANPR systems may also have access to databases maintained by insurance companies to verify the insurance status of vehicles on the road.

  • Customs and Immigration Databases:

For border control and security purposes, ANPR systems may integrate with customs and immigration databases to identify vehicles associated with smuggling or immigration violations.

The databases that ANPR utilises are updated regularly. As a result, they are interconnected and provide real-time information.

The benefits of ANPR systems:

  • Crime Prevention and Detection:ANPR systems are indispensable tools for law enforcement agencies in the UK. By instantly scanning and identifying vehicle registration plates, these systems aid in the detection of stolen vehicles, uninsured drivers, and vehicles involved in criminal activities.
  • Traffic Management:ANPR technology assists authorities in monitoring and managing traffic congestion on roads and highways. By analysing vehicle movements and patterns, traffic flow can be optimized, leading to smoother journeys and reduced travel times for commuters. An example of this is Smart Motorways.
  • Counterterrorism:ANPR systems contribute significantly to counterterrorism efforts. By monitoring vehicle movements and identifying suspicious activities, these systems help thwart potential threats and safeguard public spaces.
  • Customizable Solutions:ANPR systems offer customizable solutions tailored to the specific needs of law enforcement, transportation agencies, and private enterprises. From standalone cameras to integrated networks, these systems can be deployed across various environments to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Data Integration and Analysis:ANPR systems collect vast amounts of data, which can be integrated with other surveillance systems for comprehensive analysis. By harnessing the power of big data and analytics, authorities can derive valuable insights to inform decision-making and resource allocation.
  • Privacy and Compliance:

To address privacy concerns, ANPR systems adhere to strict regulations and guidelines outlined by the UK government. Data protection measures ensure that information collected is used responsibly and in accordance with legal requirements.

Do 4D plates show up on ANPR?

Do 4D plates show up on ANPR?

Yes, to a degree. As long as your 4D plate falls within the legal requirements, it will be identifiable by ANPR like any other standard number plate.

Complications occur if the plate is modified beyond the legal stipulations, using a plate that is customised beyond the legally approved means you have a show plate. Show plates are illegal to use on any vehicle that is used on public roads, it is strictly for show purposes.

Even if your show plate has the characters of your actual number plate, it is still illegal. Purely because it has not been customised within the legally established rules. Being caught using a show plate on your vehicle can result in…

  • Towing of the car
  • Confiscation of the plate
  • Points on your licence
  • Fines
  • Further legal proceedings, depending on the situation and how it has been handled.

Do 3D plates show up on ANPR?

Yes. Much like 4D plates, 3D plates will show up on ANPR as long as its customisation is within the legal remit. 3D plates are a similar level of customisation to a 3D plate, only the characters are slightly different in shape.

What else stops your plate from showing up on ANPR?

Beyond plate customisation, there are still instances in which your plate can not be detected by ANPR. This includes…

  • Damage to the plate that has altered the shape of the plate and/or the characters on the plate.
  • Excessive dirt that has covered one or more of the characters of the plate.
  • If the plate has been intentionally covered with a sticker or other object.

Driving in any of these instances can result in legal consequences if the authorities catch you.

For a full understanding of the legally allowed level of plate customisation, click here.

Where to get a legally compliant 4D plate

Where to get a legally compliant 4D plate

Whether it is a private plate or a standard plate, getting your own bespoke custom number plate is relatively simple. In most cases, you can even do it from the comfort of your own home! If you opt to use Bespoke Plates, you can order a custom number plate directly from our website.

Let us walk you through the process of choosing your plate through us.

  1. Head to the Bespoke Plates website
  2. Select the plate style you want under the “Build Your Plate” tab. Alternatively, you can follow this link.
  3. Enter your registration (You can press ‘preview’ to see your registration with all the modification options you have selected.)
  4. When selecting your chosen plate, you can opt for 3D/4D options, a Hex plate, and whether you want a legal plate or a show plate.
  5. Select preferred optional accessories.
  6. Decide if you are collecting with installation, or if you want it to be delivered.
  7. Confirm your order!

Installing through Bespoke Plates ensures the best service & secure installation for your number plate, along with guidance for any questions you may have.

Purchase a plate today

In this blog, we have highlighted our plate options and the information you need to obtain our stylish customisation options for your vehicle. We aim to have confidently addressed the question ‘Do 4D plates show up on ANPR?’

We hope that we have provided all the right answers and options for all of your plate modification needs.

Bespoke Plates has all the options you can ask for, as an approved registration 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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