Tinted Number Plates – Road Legal Or Not Road Legal?

Tinted Number Plates – Are They Legal?

You’ve just bought your new pride and joy; whether this is a motorcycle or a car – you love it. Within days, the modification bug starts to eat away at you and soon after – BAM – the first modification has been done!

You start looking around your vehicle and start creating a list of modifications you would like to do next. You notice the big, horrible and bland number plates to which you decide; I want some nice tinted number plates now!

In fact, tinted number plates are unfortunately illegal to be used on the UK highway which is a shame as darker number plates provide a unique and cool stealth look to any vehicle. Mounting tinted number plates will soon get you pulled over and fined; fines can be up to £100 and repeat offenders could be fined even more! We completely advise against using tinted number plates but we do provide them for show use only!

Tinted Number Plates Continued…

Tinted number plates generally have a tinting film applied over the top of the number plate itself; whether this is motorcycle number plate or a small legal number plate for cars – using film usually produces poor quality as the tinting film peels over time.

The other option is to use smoked acrylic. Having tinted number plates that utilises smoked acrylic creates a significantly higher quality number plate as there is no film which peels over time and the quality is maintained for the life of the number plate! Here, at JDM Plates, we do offer smoked acrylic tinted number plates for show plate use only! If you would like to order some tinted number plates; please get in touch using a contact form on the website!

However, as previously mentioned, darker number plates aren’t road legal, we therefore advise against using them altogether and instead, to use the next best thing which is the smallest legal number plate suitable for your vehicle and registration number! Find more on this here!

The reason as to why tinted number plates are not road legal is due to the number plate properties being directly affected with regards to the amount of light being reflected. However, some people argue that when a tinted number plate is subject to a flash, the registration number can still be clearly seen. In the eyes of the law this is unfortunately not the case. A number plate needs to meet a minimum reflective value (see below) to comply with BSAU 145d and when a number plate is subject to tinting film or a number plate that utilises smoked acrylic, the retroreflective values are significantly compromised.

Not only this, but tinted number plates affect the colour of the reflective vinyl too. The reflective materials luminance factors will also be compromised and the colours will be made darker than legally required due to the smoked acrylic or tinting film.

With law enforcement officers and the legislation starting to clamp down on number plates; particularly with regards to the spacing of characters and size of number plates – it simply isn’t worth the risk to mount tinted number plates when driving on the UK highways. When attending shows however, there is no legal obligation to use legal number plates as your vehicle will essentially be on private land and not on the UK roads therefore mounting those tinted number plates is not an issue – just remember to take them off when leaving the show!

For an all-round best compromise of number plates for your pride and joy, here at JDM Plates we recommended the smallest legal plates which can be seen in our visual builder or shop. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but you can use them on the UK roads as well! We supply a range of styles and sizes such as 4D Number Plates, 3D Gel Number Plates, and Printed all in the smallest legal number plate sizes. We also offer the smallest legal motorcycle number plates too! Read our article on the smallest legal motorcycle plates!

On the other hand, if you’re adamant that you want some high quality tinted number plates; we can provide them too! Just remember, they’re not road legal!

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