Are Personalised Number Plates Legal? Everything You Need to Know

At TopReg, we believe that owning a personalised number plate is a fantastic way to express your unique identity and stand out on the road. But it’s essential to understand the legalities behind this exciting prospect. Let’s delve into the subject matter: Are Personalised Number Plates Legal? Here is everything you need to know.

Legal Framework for Personalised Number Plates

In the United Kingdom, personalised number plates are entirely legal, provided they adhere strictly to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) guidelines. The DVLA sets forth strict rules and regulations governing the format, design, and display of number plates, including personalised ones. These rules apply to everything from the spacing and sequencing of characters to the font, size, and colour of the letters and numbers.

Spacing and Sequencing of Characters

The DVLA mandates specific formatting for all number plates, including personalised ones. For vehicles registered after September 2001, number plates should have two letters, followed by two numbers, a space, and then three random letters (e.g., AB 12 CDE). The gap between characters should be 11mm, and the space between the age identifier and the random letters should be 33mm.


The only legally accepted font for number plates in the UK is the Charles Wright font. This font ensures maximum legibility and recognition by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems. Other fonts or stylings, such as italics, are not permitted. The height and width of characters in the number plate are also specified by DVLA to ensure clear visibility. The characters should be 79mm tall and 50mm wide (excluding number ’1’ or letter ’I’).


For the colour scheme, the DVLA stipulates that front number plates must have black characters on a white background, and rear plates should have black characters on a yellow background. This contrast makes the number plates easily readable and discernible.

Material and Reflectivity

Number plates must be made from a reflective material that allows them to be readable in any light condition. The reflective nature of the plates ensures that they can be clearly seen in the dark when a light shines on them.

Borders and Decorations

The DVLA allows a border on number plates, but no other decoration is permitted. Symbols, images, or graphics that may distract from the legibility of the characters are not allowed. Flags can be displayed, but only the Union Jack, Cross of St George, Cross of St Andrew, or Red Dragon of Wales are allowed.

Supplier Information

Number plates should also show the name or trademark of the manufacturer or supplier, and the postcode of the supplying outlet. That’s why you’ll see a small TopReg logo on your number plates if bought and printed by us.

Are 3D plates legal?

3D number plates are indeed legal, provided they adhere to DVLA standards. The distinguishing factor of 3D plates is their raised lettering, which adds depth and gives the characters on the plate a three-dimensional appearance.

However, the raised characters must not compromise the legibility of the plate. The same rules of font, colour, size, and spacing still apply as with standard plates. These plates must also use the officially approved Charles Wright font. It’s important to note that while the letters and numbers are 3D, they must still be completely black with no shading or pattern to ensure readability.

At TopReg, we offer both 2D and 3D number plate printing options to cater to your preference. All our 3D number plates adhere strictly to the government guidelines outlined by the DVLA. We ensure the correct font, size, spacing, and colour are used, meeting the required standards for both styles. Whether you prefer the traditional flat appearance of 2D plates or the modern, raised look of 3D plates, you can trust TopReg to provide high-quality, legal number plates that not only reflect your individuality but also comply with all relevant laws and regulations.

Compliance is Key

Personalised number plates can add a touch of personality and uniqueness to your vehicle. However, it’s crucial to remember that these plates must comply with the legal standards set by DVLA. Non-compliance can result in fines and other penalties, including a failed MOT test. At TopReg, we ensure that all our personalised number plates adhere to the legal requirements and are fully DVLA-compliant.

TopReg - Your Trusted Partner

At TopReg, we go above and beyond to ensure the legality of all our personalised number plates. We perform the necessary checks and verifications, guaranteeing that the plate you choose complies with all applicable DVLA rules and regulations. We also provide support in transferring the registration and in obtaining the necessary documentation, helping you to navigate the complexities of DVLA’s legalities seamlessly.

Clarifying Misconceptions

While some believe that personalised number plates may mislead about a vehicle’s age, this is a myth. The DVLA only allows newer registration marks on older vehicles, ensuring no false impressions regarding the vehicle’s age. However, you cannot make your vehicle appear younger by using an earlier registration mark.

Keeping Up With Changes

Legal requirements and regulations related to personalised number plates occasionally change. Therefore, it’s essential to keep up to date with the latest DVLA guidelines. We at TopReg are committed to keeping our customers informed about any new changes or updates that may affect them.

In conclusion, personalised number plates are a fun and legal way to express yourself through your vehicle, provided they adhere to DVLA’s rules and regulations. At TopReg, we’re here to make the process of getting your personalised number plate as simple, efficient, and transparent as possible. Let your number plate speak for you and stand out in the crowd, legally and in style, with TopReg.