Is a Broken Number Plate Illegal?

Not fixing a broken number plate can result in you getting into trouble for not driving with a legally compliant number plate. That’s the last thing we want for our readers! That’s why in this blog, we’re going to be discussing how to fix a broken number plate.

Bespoke Plates is a renowned and legally certified registration plate maker 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 need. (The only exception to this is show plates.)

What can cause a number plate to break?

Although number plates are generally resilient, there are circumstances that can cause them to break. Here are the causes that contribute to this. (This will be referring to standard number plates that come with a vehicle.)

A number plate can break if:

  • There is repetitive damage that eventually weakens the plate, causing it to eventually break.
  • There is a high-velocity impact
  • Attempted theft of a plate
  • The screws of the plate are attached too tightly
  • The plate comes off and is run over

Is a gel plate stronger than a standard plate?


Yes, gel plates have a nominal extra level of resilience in comparison to a standard number plate. This is due to the resin being used for the plate characters, creating an extra layer over the plate.

Gel plates come under the category of 3D & 4D plates, these are specialised plates in which the plate’s characters are raised and provide a distinctive effect.

Are gel plates legal?

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 registration plate providers may not be making their plates to the legal specification, which could become an 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 plate makers 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
  • 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.

How to fix a broken number plate?

When it comes to fixing a broken number plate, it shouldn’t be executed by someone without the tools or experience to do this. The best option is to obtain a replacement. By doing this you are not only get a brand new, undamaged number plate, but you’ve also saved yourself from using a plate that could break whilst you’re driving.

Can I fix a number plate with tape?

You can fix a number plate with tape, but the issue with this is that using the tape will hide the characters of the plate, making it an illegal plate. Using clear tape can also present an issue as there will likely be a crack running through the plate, which could affect its readability with ANPR devices.

Can I fix a number plate with glue?

Yes, using a strong adhesive glue can result in your plate being repaired, but there are two issues with this. 

The first issue is that the repaired plate may display a large crack through the plate. 

The second issue is that the plate will not have the same structural integrity it once did, the vibrations the plate will experience from regular driving can serve to weaken the glued area, resulting in the plate being more likely to break whilst you drive, causing a hazard for yourself and other road users.

What’s the best way to replace a broken number plate?

Replacing a broken number plate is simple, depending on where you’re based, you can find local qualified plate makers, but for those who are looking to upgrade their plate whilst replacing it, Bespoke Plates is the best option, with the ability to deliver your plate to you, you can get one of our unique plates wherever you are.

Below is the process of ordering a plate.

How to replace your number plate


Whether you want to replace your registration plate because of physical damage or loss, or you just want a different style of plate, we at Bespoke Plates make the process easy and efficient. Here is the process.

By following these steps you will also 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. 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 of the modification options you have selected.)
  4. When selecting your chosen plate, you can opt for 3D/4D options, a Hex plate, and whether or not you want a legal plate or a show plate.
  5. Select preferred optional accessories. 
  6. Choose if you are collecting with installation, or if you want it to be delivered.

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

Does my number plate have to be broken for me to replace it?

No, you don’t have to wait for your plate to break in order to replace/upgrade it. The same is applicable if your plate is chipped or scratched, it’s only a necessity if the characters on your plate can’t be read.

You can replace your plate at any time, Bespoke Plates offers the choice for installation, or to have your plate delivered to you regardless of where you are based in the UK.

Upgrade your number plate today

In this blog, we have highlighted our plate options, and the information you need in order to our stylish customisation option to your vehicle. We aim to have answered the question ‘How to fix a broken number plate?’

We hope that we 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:


0333 006 7878

Visit in-store 

36A Broughton Street,
M8 8NN

discount popup bespoke-plates

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