Are my number plates legal?

Car crime has unfortunately been on the rise over the last few years, most notably the last five. This means that the laws and regulations surrounding the sale and purchase of number plates have had to be improved and enforced much harder than before. Third party websites like Amazon have been able to allow sellers to distribute number plates without adhering to proper laws that the DVLA enforce upon registered number plate suppliers, so if you don’t purchase your plates from a company that is listed here, then your number plates are not legal. Criminals use these sellers to purchase number plates that do not belong to them and commit crimes in cloned vehicles, that could mirror yours and mine.

When buying from a legal number plate supplier like Number1Plates, upon purchase you will be asked for the following:

Identity documents

You can use the following to confirm your name and address:

  • driving licence
  • utility, Council Tax or rates bill from the last 6 months
  • bank or building society statement from the last 6 months
  • national identity card

The following will confirm your name only:

  • passport – does not have to be issued in the UK
  • bank or building society debit or credit card
  • police warrant card
  • armed forces identity card

Proving you can use the registration number

You must bring one of the following to show you’re allowed to display the registration number:

  • vehicle registration certificate (V5C or V5CNI)
  • new keeper supplement (V5C/2 or V5C/2NI)
  • certificate of entitlement (V750 or V750NI) to the number
  • retention document (V778)
  • a renewal reminder for vehicle tax or SORN (V11 or V11NI)
  • temporary registration certificate (V379 or V379NI)
  • a number plate authorisation certificate (V948) with an official stamp from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
  • an electronic number plate authorisation certificate (eV948 or eV948/2)
  • a letter of authorisation from a fleet operator (including lease or hire company) quoting the document reference number from the registration certificate
  • if your fleet is in the new V5C on demand scheme (also called ‘V5C suppression’), a PDF of the vehicle’s details from the view vehicle record service
  • UK trailer registration certificate (VTRC)

Once these have been received and cross-referenced, the plates can be legally dispatched to you. In the design of the plates, though there are some restrictions, you are able to have some fun with the specifications and make plates that are bespoke to both you and your vehicle.  The font used on your plates must be Laser Charles Wright font that has been issues by the DVLA.

They will also match the following:

  • be made from a reflective material
  • display black characters on a white background (front plate)
  • display black characters on a yellow background (rear plate)
  • not have a background pattern


Characters on a number plate can be 3D.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to buy the standard plates that will come with a car that you purchase brand new.  You can personalise with text types, base materials, badges and borders.


3D Gel and 4D Number Plates

These 3D Gel Number Plates have a real premium feel to them and are slowly become the most popular number plate type that road users are going for. The raised style gives a depth to the characters and look great on freshly cleaned cars. Completely road legal, they are made by adding a gel resin to the surface of black printed Laser Charles Wright font characters. 4D number plates give a similar, less smooth but more masculine appearance. Made using laser cutting technology, your characters would be cut from a 3mm acrylic material, again using the same font that is used on all UK registered vehicles.

I hope this article has been useful, good luck.


Leave a Reply

Please write your reply below. We will not publish your email address.

Would you like us to review a product, service or car?

Get in touch and we can make that happen for you.

Find out more

Get in touch with us

Looking to advertise on My Car Heaven?
Would you like to join our team, or have an enquiry for us?

Find out how

Receive My Car Heaven updates

Subscribe to the My Car Heaven Newsletter to be kept up to date with all the latest posts, competitions and happenings.

Terms & Conditions