How to Make a Custom Number Plate

A custom number plate can be an eye-catching addition to any vehicle. But how exactly are they made that makes them look different? Are they even legal? And can anyone make them? We will be exploring all of that and more today.

In this blog, we will provide the answers you need to the question ‘How to make a custom number plate?’

Bespoke Plates is a renowned and legally certified registration platemaker 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 require. (The only exception to this is show plates.)

What makes a custom plate different to a standard number plate?

What makes a custom plate different to a standard number plate?

There are a few different kinds of custom number plate, depending on the option you choose. Firstly, let’s describe a standard number plate, so you can understand the differences of a custom plate.

A standard number plate is completely flat in appearance, with either a white or yellow background and the plates characters in black. There are four kinds of custom plates that we offer, these are…

  • 3D plates – This custom plate has its characters have a smooth 3D look, the characters are not flat against the plate. The characters are applied and then covered with a layer of resin.
  • 4D plates – Similar to 4D plates in terms of application, the only difference is the shape of the characters, though this carries a premium due to the material used.
  • Hex plates – This is where the shape of the plate is finely cut to the shape of an elongated hexagon, rather than the traditional rectangle.
  • Show Plates – These plates are completely up to the wishes of the customer, it can have a conjunction of the aforementioned customisations and more. As a result, show plates are the only one that is not legal to use.

Can you change the letters and numbers on a custom plate?

This can only be done on a show plate, as they are not made for road use. If you want different letters and numbers on your plate, you would need to buy, or apply for, a private plate.

Once you own one and have the necessary documentation, you can then look towards customising it with 3D/4D characters or a Hex plate.

How to make a custom number plate

With certain approved platemakers, such as the team here at Bespoke Plates, we have the equipment, experience, and ability to make all of our custom number plates in-house. What this means for you is a quicker than average completion time, depending on our backlog.

For us, making a custom number plate in-house allows us to meticulously create the custom plate, without risking any mistakes that could make the plate illegal for road use (unless it’s a show plate).

When it comes to our 3D and 4D plates, our creation process has been streamlined into 4 simple steps. These are as follows…

  1. You begin by choosing the design you want, and the additional components of your plate. This can be done on our website, though if you have any concerns, we can also take a phone call for your query.
  1. We produce a standard number plate to use as a guide for the 3D letters of your custom plate.
  1. The plate characters are then spaced correctly, and then installed using industrial strength adhesive. This ensures a lasting and secure hold onto the plate. After which it is left to cure and dry.
  1. We then finish the plate with our quality resin to ensure an additional layer of durability. Once this is dried, and the plate is meticulously checked, it is ready to install or deliver.

Can anyone get a custom plate?

Not exactly, it is only a show plate that doesn’t require documentation to order one. However, if the custom plate you order is to replace your vehicle’s current plate, there is documentation that needs to be provided to prove that you are the owner. These are…

  • Proof that you are the owner using either the V5C or V5CNI logbook, V5C/2 or V5C/2NI new keeper slip, or the V778 certificate.
  • A form of ID which proves your name and identity, such as your driving licence, passport, or a utility bill.

All data and records are kept completely secure when you provide us with access. By checking these documents, we are also meeting legal motoring standards, which contributes to the safety of your new plate.

How fast can I get a custom plate?

We can’t speak for other providers, but Bespoke Plates aims to have your plate ready and delivered/installed between 1-3 working days. In some instances, we offer same-day collection, and an installation service should you require it.

Can I make a custom number plate myself?

Are 4D Plates getting banned?

If you have the necessary materials, equipment and understanding, then yes, you can make a custom number plate. However, if your intention is to use the plate for road use, you must attain the legal certifications required to be a platemaker.

If the custom plate you create is for non-road usage, there should not be a problem with you making them, as long as you aren’t giving them to drivers to put on their vehicles.

Are custom plates legal?

Yes. However, there are instances in which a custom number plate can be illegal, If you follow the steps below, you can ensure that your number plate is legal in the UK.

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 find a legal platemaker

If you’re considering getting a custom plate, you want a platemaker who is affordable, and not trying to up-sell you options you didn’t want in the first place. If Bespoke Plates are too far from you, we have delivery options available.

However, if you would prefer to have the plate installed but can’t drive to us, you can find a legal platemaker in your locality through the government portal.

Order a custom number plate today

Can I make my own private number plate UK?

In this blog, we have highlighted our plate options, and the information you need in order to obtain our stylish customisation options for your vehicle. We aim to answered to have addressed any confusion when it comes to how to make a custom number plate.

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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