A Brief Introduction – Short Legal Number Plates!

Over the past few months, the team at JDM Plates have been working tirelessly on being able to supply a service for all Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) car owners and car enthusiasts alike. It may be unknown to a lot of JDM car owners; but JDM vehicles can legally mount significantly shorter number plates than standard UK vehicles.

Here at JDM Plates, we have meticulously read legislation regarding the display of number plates; guidance notes regarding the relevant legislation; information leaflets supplied by the DVLA and MOT inspection guidelines. However, it is difficult to interpret what is legal and what is not and we have found that some documentation conflicts with others. This is not for you to worry though, as we have already done the dirty work with regards to investigating the shortest legal number plates!

At JDM Plates, we can assure you that we supply the shortest legal number plates for all JDM vehicles imported into the UK. Our small number plates also exceed the quality of generic UK number plates manufacturers’ too. We have trailed multiple suppliers, multiple raw materials and multiple manufacturing processes and after much deliberation, we now have our solution! Our number plates comprise of an ultra-clear, UV protected  poly carbonate surface; the cheaper number plates on the market have a laser film surface which bubbles over time. Our short number plates have UV; impact; chemical; humidity; thermal and abrasive stable properties to ensure long term quality is guaranteed. In addition,  our number plates are the shortest in the UK and fully comply with BSAU 145e!

Some of the main suppliers we initially considered for raw materials include:-


Northern Number Plates

Jepsons Number Plates 

After significant correspondence with the above companies, who are very knowledgeable and helpful, it was unfortunate that they couldn’t assist due to them primarily focusing on standard UK sized number plates. This initially dented our confidence but after all the hard work we endured and knowledge we gained, we had to stride on-wards… 

Throughout our R&D phase, we came across many obstacles. Initially, the first obstacle was actually getting into this industry! Prior to setting up JDM Plates, our team didn’t have much experience and found it difficult to know where to start; including knowing the best printing methods, what materials we needed, what legislation we needed to comply with and even terminology… That is all in the past. The team at JDM Plates now have the knowledge, the service and the product!

When carrying out our market research, we noticed that most of the mainstream number plate sellers would only supply standard UK number plate sizes using the raw materials from the aforementioned distributors. These sellers included, but are not limited to; PlatesForCars, DemonPlates, A1ShowPlates & FancyPlates. However, after our research, we knew that JDM imported vehicles, and even UK vehicles, could legally display shorter number plates. Most of the mainstream number plate sellers were reluctant to sell smaller number plates and a few of them offered to supply a shorter number plate but without any legal markings on it – this is not recommended to be used on a public road…

We did manage to find some companies that can offer bespoke number plate services such as FourDot. FourDot were able to supply smaller UK number plates but were not able to supply smaller JDM number plates; not to mention that are relatively expensive! From this point on, we knew we were entering a niche market and could even try and compete in the smaller UK number plate market too!

It is mandatory to have all the correct legal marking on a number plate which is to be displayed on any UK public road. These markings consist of: the company name and postcode of the company that printed the number plate; the BS AU 145d British Standard code and the proper registration mark of the vehicle. It is also mandatory to have the correct character spacing, character margins and character sizes printed onto the number plate. However, we have covered all bases for you and for a range of number plates on our ‘Number Plates & Accessories’ page. If you want to see what we have to comply with, read our article on smaller number plates. We can even produce bespoke number plate so long as the legal sized characters and legal markings do not encroach onto the minimum reflective area required…

Anyways, away from the legal jargon… As soon as we realised that we had the opportunity to enter a niche market; we wanted to offer the best customer service and best quality number plates for all UK customers. From experience, we have noticed a lack of customer support and lack of knowledge with regards to the legality of a number plate on UK roads. For instance, number plate sellers in Ireland are not under the DVLA’s jurisdiction and therefore Irish sellers are not obligated to comply with the rules set by the DVLA and UK legislation. Some UK consumers have actually been fined up to £100 for these illegal number plates, who believe they are actually fully legal due to the misinformation (or lack of information), given to them by some sellers. We issue a Declaration of Legality with all small legal number plate orders to prove your plates are within the law.

Here at JDM Plates, we have trialed many manufacturing methods and its safe to say our process is now finalised. All of our number plates use BS AU145e compliant materials and are fully UV protected. If you want to read about our 4D number plates and legal aspects then feel free to read our articles; ‘Are 4D Number Plates Legal?‘ or whether ‘Imported size number plates can be legally used on UK spec vehicles‘. However, the carefully specified materials are UV stable; weather and abrasive resistant; humidity, chemically and corrosion resistant and have a class 1 fire rating. Not only this, but our number plates are impact and bend stable and have been tested to British Standards Institution (BSI) specifications; we can assure this as we source our materials from British Number Plate Manufacturers Association (BNMA) registered suppliers! The materials consist of very high tack values therefore our shorter number plates are also not prone to peeling over time.  As we use a high quality materials and have a solid plastic surface; there will be no surface bubble unlike cheaper laminated plates. FACT.

Contact JDM Plates Today For Short Number Plates

JDM Plates offer the smallest legal number plates on the market; fact. For more information about the highest quality plates we have available, you can check out our blog for helpful advice.

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.

For all short number plate enquiries, you can call us on 01493 230023. Alternatively, please feel free to leave us a message using the contact form below.

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