What Makes Number Plates Illegal?


Number plates must be displayed clearly. Any illegal change may result in a £1,000 fine, which means a failed MOT. A number plate must be readable and recognizable to fulfil UK standards. Numerous things can go wrong with a number plate that makes it unsuitable for usage on UK roads. Here are six factors that determine the legality of number plates:

Spacing: The spacing between the numbers on a vehicle’s number of plates must be correct. It is illegal if the characters are too far apart. A brief inspection of your V5C logbook (or your V778/V750 if you have not received your V5C) can help you avoid breaking the law. The incorrect spacing makes it more difficult for passers-by and authorities to read the registration plate. It is against the law for ANPR cameras (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) to fail to scan your number plate correctly.

Bolt placement:

You must be aware of the consequences of fastening your number plate to your car with a bolt. In certain situations, it has obscured the view of vehicle number plates. When improperly positioned, it might distort the appearance from afar by forming a letter or number into a shape. This may cause your number plate to resemble another registered combination that is not desirable. You may avoid this by using matching colours for the bolt and background colour, or simply utilizing double-sided stickers that are highly visible.


The font for British registration plates is unique. It is generally agreed upon by road users and number plate merchants. It improves the visibility of the letter and digits on your license plate. In addition, an incorrect typeface makes your license plate unlawful. The “Charles Wright” typeface is a normal font used in this country.


The background of the number plate in the United Kingdom must be reflective. This allows characters to stand out, making them more visible. It also aids visibility for drivers, particularly under bad weather conditions. Road users will be able to tell which way a car is facing simply by looking at its colour. Non-standard backgrounds, colours, or even stickers are not permitted on your number plate. The front plate background must be white, while the rear plate background must be yellow.


Incorrect colour on vehicle number plates is punishable by fines. The background and typeface are designated as standard colours. The front of the wagon must be white, while the rear may be yellow. Characters must be black, and the back must be white. Any other hues other than these two make it more difficult to identify and are thus illegal.

Invalid Flags:

It is possible to add a flag onto the number plate, but it does not detract from the look. However, if you wish to add a flag, it must be an official one and positioned correctly. In the United Kingdom, every country has its own set of flags that are acceptable (for example, St George Cross, Union Jack, Red Dragon of Wales, and Scottish Saltire).

If you’re looking for a new plate, we suggest visiting Number Plate Clinic. Number Plate Clinic is the UK’s number one supplier of customised number plates. We stock every plate style you can imagine from standard plates through to 3D and 4D number plates.

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