What to Do if Your Number Plate Is Damaged

Having a damaged registration plate can result in more hassle and stress that you don’t need. That’s why, depending on the damage, you should replace your registration plate as soon as possible.

This may be a new process for some, that’s why we at Bespoke Plate are here to tell you what to do if your registration plate is damaged.

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.)

Can I replace my registration plate if it isn’t damaged?

Yes, registration plates can be upgraded even if there is no damage on the plate. Despite it being allowed for aesthetic purposes, you must make sure that your replacement is a legally compliant option.

What can I replace my registration plate with?

When replacing your registration plate, you have the option to replace it with

All of these options are provided by Bespoke Plates, your one-stop shop for all things plate related.

Although there are concerns in regards to the legality of these plates, it must be noted that from the options we provide, the only option that is not legal to use on public roads in the United Kingdom, is show plates.

Legal stipulations for customised registration plates

How to Swap Registration 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 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.

What to do if your registration plate is damaged

If your registration plate is damaged, you may need to replace it. However, depending on the damage, you may not have to actually replace the plate, here are the damages that require you to replace your registration plate.

You must replace your registration plate if

  • Your plate’s characters are obstructed due to the damage. If you can’t read your plate properly, neither will anyone or anything else.
  • Your plate is hanging or loose after the damage has occurred
  • If your plate’s shape has been altered due to the damage, the alteration can result in your plate looking bent or misshapen.
  • If you have been advised by the police to do so

You don’t need to replace your plate if

  • There are scratches that can only be seen up close and at an angle
  • If the damage does not affect any area with markings or writing on it
  • If the plate is still tightly secured to the bumper after the damage (in addition to the previous two points)

The best way to replace a registration plate

The quickest, most professional handy service to replace your registration plate, is ordering your replacement through Bespoke Plates.

Whether your plate has been damaged, or you just want an upgrade, we supply a variety of options in plate customisation and/or replacement. We are a legally recognised, respected and long-serving ally for all vehicle users when it comes to getting the best in class in terms of service and quality regarding registration plates.

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. Choose between having a regular plate, or the 3D/4D options, 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.

If you choose to install through us, we can remove and replace your old registration plate, taking the hassle and hard work out of your hands. Of course, you can opt to remove your plate yourself.

What happens if you don’t replace a damaged registration

What kind of personalisations

A damaged registration plate is not safe. If it’s loose, has the potential to fall from your bumper on the road, creating a potentially deadly hazard. Furthermore, ANPR / other registration detection equipment may fail to recognise your vehicle which could result in legal consequences and/or fines.

Why you should keep your plate clean

It isn’t just damage that can obscure your plate, dirt can too. If your registration plate is dirty to the point where your plate can’t be read, you can be fined. Sometimes the dirt on your plate can’t be helped, you should make the effort to check your plate before and after a journey just in case.

Replace your registration plate today

Replace your registration plate today

In this blog, we have highlighted our plate options, and all the information you need in order to our stylish customisation option to your vehicle. We aim to have provided everything you need to know regarding what to do if your registration plate is damaged.

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 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:

Email info@bespoke-plates.co.uk

Phone 0333 006 7878

Visit in-store

36A Broughton Street,



M8 8NN

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