4D Number Plates & Acrylic Number Plates

Also referred to as ‘next gen number plates’, 4D number plates and 4d acrylic number plates are constructed from a laser-cut black Perspex® acrylic (polymethyl methacrylate), which is made from acrylic acid polymers in a polymerisation reaction. In contrast, its 3D plate counterpart is made using a gel polyurethane resin – this is the only difference between 3D gel plates and 4D number plates.

Our number plates are manufactured from acrylic letters which are designed to absorb all wavelengths of light directed towards it; thus, creating an opaque, three-dimensional lettering for your number plates; – as opposed to using a standard, printed plate – providing your vehicle with a unique and stylish finishing touch.

4D plates are essential for vehicle owners who wish to enhance the prestige their vehicle brings with them, wherever their journey takes them and makes their vehicle stand out from the crowd.

To ensure our 4D acrylic number plates stand the test of time, our laser-cut letters are stuck to the acrylic number baseplate using 3M double-sided adhesive, which is a watertight sealant, rather than your average sticky pads. The baseplate is also backed with a vinyl plastic on the opposite side.

Simple answer is Yes; 4D number plates are road legal once the correct spacings, margins, character sizes and colours are complied with. From September 2021, the DVLA, and BNMA published the most recent amendment for number plate Regulations which states no additional colours other than black can be used for number plate digits.

We have already covered this topic at JDM Plates in another article – however, we are happy to touch on this subject again! 4D acrylic number plates are completely legal in the UK, so long as they comply with the British Standard (BS AU 145e). We comply with all the legal requirements for our 4D acrylic plates, including stroke thickness and other relevant dimensions such as 50mm wide and 79mm high characters. However, it must be noted that tinted number plates are not road legal in any way possible.

Although motorcycle plates, on the other hand, can be slightly smaller, with a lettering stroke of 10mm, character width of 44mm and a character height of 64mm. All OF our 4D number plate acrylic lettering is in solid black and again, our 4D motorcycle number plates are also completely road legal! To find out more you get in touch via our contact page.

Some police officers think that 4D number plates are not road legal; this is not the case. At JDM Plates, we have first hand experience of over ruling fines related to 4D number plates and have written case studies with evidence that some police officers are issuing fines under section 59(1) of the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994. 

Our standard 4D acrylic number plates feature 3mm thick acrylic lettering but we can also offer 5mm 4D lettering options for those who want to have their number plate stand out. Laser-cut lettering results in more precise, cleaner, sharp edges which attracts attention from passers-by.

For vehicle owners who prefer a softer, rounded effect, we also offer 3D gel number plates which can be found on our number plate builder. Of course, we can customise your plates for shows and exhibitions so if you are unsure about what is road legal and what is not, simply get in touch and a member of our team will be able to help and advise.

Our 4D 5mm number plates are especially popular amongst our recent customers which reflect around 50% of our overall 4D number plate sales during the year of 2022. 4D 3mm number plate sales accomadated for approximately 30% of our overall 4D number plates sales whereas our 4D with gel (3mm and 5mm) accounted for around 20% of our overall 4D plate sales. 

We offer the standard UK car size plate, at 520 x 111 mm, as well as several smaller options, including the smallest legally permitted sizes available in the UK. For example, if a registration has 5 characters, then the smallest legal size would be 338mm wide x 101mm high on a single line as opposed to the standard 520mm wide x 111mm high size!

4D number plate example with 5 characters

We offer the smallest legal 4D plates in the UK for all vehicles including imports and motorcycles. We also provide documentation to prove our own legality for every delivery. We offer a range of 4D variants, such as:

Imported 4D 3mm

Imported 4D 5mm

UK Spec 4D 3mm

UK Spec 4D 5mm

Unfortunately, the DVLA banned the use of colours in UK number plates. This change was implemented on January 1st, 2021. Additionally, all vehicles manufactured on or after January 1st, 1980, were banned from using the historic black and silver plates.

Subsequently, this left vehicle owners with one set of colours, white plates with black characters for the front-end of the vehicle, and yellow number plates with black characters on the rear-end.

Companies offering special colouration for your plates, such as neon substrates beneath the black acrylic, are no longer road legal and could result in prosecution if used improperly on vehicles for their registration. We will always advise you beforehand if your number plates meet the criteria of the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).

Laser-cut number plates are the final, finishing touch to automobiles which many vehicle owners rarely consider, despite its effect of further enhancing the luxuriousness of your car.

Asides from further personalising the vehicle itself so that it further expresses you as an individual, a practical advantage of 4D acrylic plates over printed plates is that they are not as likely to fade. This is due to the acrylic used to produce them being designed to absorb all wavelengths of light on the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum directed towards it.

This means 4D number plates in certain environments – such as an arid, sunlit climate – are slightly more durable compared to printed number plates. Yet another reason to choose JDM Plates is that all our plates are fitted by professionals and we never compromise on quality.

Unsure of how our 4D plates look? Check out our Instagram page for a full showcase of previous plates we have produced for our customers. There you will find examples of the fantastic range of number plates we provide to customers across the entire United Kingdom.

So long as you have a dateless private number plate, 4D number plates can hide the age of a vehicle. In a world where cars are getting older due to rising living costs, you cars age is legally documented, but there is no need for your number plate to give that away! Whether personalised or just a 4D version of the standard characters, these number plates give a contemporary look to any vehicle.

Other benefits of 4D number plates include enhanced night time visibility: as of 2020, 61% of UK cars parked not within garaged at night certainly requires better visibility. Within this 61%, a significantly large portion of them would be parked on the street which means any means of reflection on public roads at night would reduce the likelihood of hitting a parked car. 

Custom 4d number plates also help express ones unique personality; whether this be a 4D hex number plate, a 4d short number plate or similar – everyone has their own unique taste on modifying their pride and joy.

The most effective method in cleaning your 4D plates is by using an all-purpose/multi-purpose cleaner, either by spraying it directly onto your number plates and then using a microfibre cloth to wipe the cleaning product on the surface of the plates or by spraying the cleaning product onto the microfibre cloth and wiping your number plates until all of the contaminants are gone or have reacted with the cleaning fluid.

You can then hose the area down with pressurised water on a low setting to clear any debri for a smooth and clean finish.

When customers come into our store to collect an order they have placed, we recently get asked the question, ‘how do you make 4D number plates?’ Well, it is quite a simple process so long as the correct procedures are in place. We do have a full article covering how 4D number plates are made which touches on what 4D number plates are, the history of number plates and actually how 4D number plates are produced.

With an insignificant price difference between printed and 4D acrylic number plates, at JDM Plates, you can typically expect to pay £29.99 for a printed number plate, whilst 3mm 4D number plates start from just £37, including VAT. At JDM Plates, we offer the best quality 4D plate quality at competitive prices and we are always happy to help if you have any questions.

We have a 10% discount code displayed above the main menu of every page (JDMP10) or you can take advantage of our 15% discount code when signing up to our newsletter.

You can also use our Number Plate Builder to choose from our full range of plate designs for a bespoke plate that still meets british standards.

If customers would like to collect their plates, then they can purchase their 4D number plates in Norwich. However, customers are more than welcome to purchase via the website and pay for Royal Mail tracked 48 or tracked 24 delivery.


4D number plates are essentially modern, contemporary number plates that utilise raised acrylic letters to give a 3-dimensional effect rather than the plain, bland 2-dimensional printed style number plates. 4D number plates were initially branded ‘Next-Gen Number Plates’ or laser cut plates which first appeared within the UK market back in 2017-2018. Most number plate companies now offer 4D number plates as a core product and we can understand why due to their popularity!

Yes! That is the reason JDM Plates came about hence the name. JDM Plates were setup to fill the gap for a range of different import size number plates including 4D number plates. We offer a range of imported size number plates in all different styles including 4D 3mm and 4D 5mm. 

Absolutely, here at JDM plates we offer 4D number plates in a range of sizes to accommodate each and every registration number. We offer 4D motorcycle number plates as well as UK and import 4D number plates.

Contact JDM Plates Today For 4D Number Plates

For more information about the highest quality plates we have available, you can check out our blog for helpful advice on the options available for changing your number plate and the legal steps required when transitioning from a printed number plate to a 4D number plate.

We are passionate about what we do and with many years of experience, we believe that choosing JDM Plates for all of your number plate requirements is the best course of action in your search for the highest quality plates across the U.K.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

For all 4D acrylic number plate enquiries, you can call us on 01493 230023, alternatively email us on our contact page or contact forms scattered around the website!

Why Use JDM Plates For Your New Number Plates?

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