Number plate legislation

Our promise to you

We pride ourselves on the quality of our products and the professionalism of our services.  We therefore ensure that all of our products are regularly independently tested to ensure they meet all applicable legal requirements.  The DVLA control the registration of all vehicles in the UK and the issuance of a unique licence plate for such vehicles.  They also stipulate the requirements on how such registration numbers must be displayed on vehicles.  The current British Standard (BSAU 145e) sets the physical quality characteristics of a licence plate. These characteristics are predominantly based on visibility, strength and reflectivity to ensure licence plates are readable for as long as possible.  Our in house production systems and printing equipment offered to our customers is tailored to ensure our customers also comply to all applicable legal standards.

DVLA Legislation

The DVLA provide instructions for number plate suppliers, manufacturers and customers buying licence plates for their vehicles on how the registration number must be displayed. Motorists driving with illegal number plates could be fined up to £1,000 and face an M.O.T failure.

  • More information on DVLA number plate legislation is available here.
DVLA, RNPS – Register of Number Plate Suppliers

The Register of Number Plate Suppliers is a department of the DVLA who administer and monitor businesses that supply licence plates. You must be RNPS registered if you are supplying licence plates and wish to purchase components from us.

  • More information on the DVLA, Register of Number Plate Suppliers can be found here.
Responsibility of a number plate supplier

As a number plate supplier you are required to see identification of the person buying a licence plate and original documents that show proof of entitlement of the registration number. You must keep an electronic or hard copy of the reference numbers of these documents for three years. Below is a guide that provides information on record keeping and a record keeping template that can be used as a database.

British Standard

British Standard BS AU 145e

In January 2021 the new E standard, BS AU 145e was introduced. Number plate suppliers have until 31st August 2021 to ensure the plates they supply meet this new standard. Read more…

BNMA – British Number Plate Manufacturers Association

Hills are proud members of The British Number Plate Manufacturers Association (BNMA). The BNMA are an organisation that represents 95% of the UK’s major number plate component, manufacturers and distributors. They are the industry’s link to the UK government’s Department of Transport and the DVLA. More information on the British Number Plate Manufacturers Association can be found on their website.

Legal number plate guide

We’ve created a useful legal number plate guide. This guide will help you understand the full requirements and specifications of a legal number plate.

Some number plate manufacturers make some common mistakes that can make the finished number plate illegal. To help avoid those pitfalls we have also created an illegal number plate example to show you what not to do.

Happy to help

For more information you can contact our friendly team on 0121 623 8050, option 1 or email

Call back request
Review us