The British Standard BS AU 145e is the technical standard outlining the permissible characteristics and features of number plates used on vehicles in the United Kingdom. BS AU 145e, which was released on 28 February 2018, is the successor to the BS AU 145d. The latter served as the standard for number plates’ manufacturers for almost 17 years since 1 September 2001.
BS Au 145e is a documented list of specifications prepared by the British Standards Institution (BSI), one of the world’s most respected certification bodies, in line with widely accepted European and global standards and practices. BSI, which operates under a Royal Charter, is the premier certification agency of the UK.
BS AU 145e provides detailed guidelines to manufacturers and suppliers concerning the visibility, strength and reflectivity of number plates. It is applicable to all number plates of vehicles registered after 1 September 2001, as well as replacement plates for vehicles registered after 1 September 1973.
The standards were created chiefly for the following two reasons:
The full and complete BS AU 145e standard can be purchased from BSI’s online shop. However, as a general guideline, number plates for vehicles registered after 1 Sept 2001, and replacement plates made for vehicles registered after 1 Sept 1973, must follow the following standards:
(i) Ensuring a high degree of visibility of letterings on number plates, and thus, ensuring accurate identification of vehicle ownership
(ii) Reducing the number of plates cloned for malicious purposes, and thus, ensuring innocent people are not blamed for criminal acts and civil offences
(iii) The standard is slightly different for motorcycles and tricycles. Most notably, these two and three-wheeled vehicles are not required to display a front number plate, and the characters must be arranged in two lines or over.
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