Frequently Asked Questions
- Number Plates
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Can I use a metal number plate?
BNMA is a member of the BSI panel which is revising the number plate standard BS AU 145d:1998 “Specification for retroreflecting number plates”. This task group also includes representatives from DfT, ACPO, Home Office and the Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology
The objective is to update this 1998 standard in the light of modern requirements and to update testing where appropriate in order to maintain performance standards.
This draft standard (BS AU 145e) will be available for consultation shortly. BNMA customers will see little change as most work has been around the perfomance of the reflective materials themselves. There is likely to be a requirement, however, that plate fixings should not intrude into the area of the plate containing the registration characters and that the characters should be uniform black in nature. This is intended to reinforce the existing requirement for fixings not to interfere with readings - see 11.3 of The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001. No reference will be made to character spacing and design, incidentally, as this is also fully covered in the 2001 Regulations.
The current standard is a performance standard and the panel is keen that it remains non-prescriptive ie the standard does not require the plates to be made of any particular materials as long as they meet the performance requirements - this is designed to encourage innovation by industry. This means for example that in effect that either plastic or metal plates can be used, and this principle will be carried forward into the new standard.