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3D/4D Number Plate Legalities

3D/4D Number Plate Legalities

Understanding the Legalities of 3D/4D Number Plates in Ireland

As car enthusiasts and motorists look for ways to customize and personalize their vehicles, 3D and 4D number plates have become increasingly popular. These number plates, with their distinctive raised characters, add a touch of modernity and uniqueness to any car. However, before you decide to make the switch to 3D or 4D plates, it’s essential to understand the legal requirements and regulations in Ireland.

Are 3D/4D Plates Legal in Ireland?

Yes! The plate must have a blue IRL badge along with the Irish county name displayed above the registration. The digits, being 3D or 4D, must be 70 x 36mm and only black in colour. By following these requirements, you'll ensure your plates are fully road compliant and will pass the NCT! Examples of these plates can be found in our NCT category!

What Are 3D and 4D Number Plates?

3D Number Plates:

  • These feature characters that are raised from the plate surface, often created using a gel or resin to give a three-dimensional effect.
  • The characters have a glossy finish and can appear more vibrant and eye-catching compared to traditional flat plates.

4D Number Plates:

  • These take the concept of 3D plates a step further by using laser-cut acrylic characters, providing an even more pronounced raised effect.
  • The characters are typically mounted onto the plate, creating a sharp, precise look.

Legal Requirements for Number Plates in Ireland

In Ireland, vehicle number plates must adhere to specific regulations set forth by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to ensure they are easily readable and recognizable. These regulations include:

  1. Material and Construction:

    • Plates must be made from a reflective material.
    • The background must be white, with a blue IRL logo to the left side of plate.
    • Characters must be black.
  2. Character Specifications:

    • The font type must be the standard Irish font, hyphens are not a requirement.
    • Characters must be a specific height, width, and spacing to ensure legibility. The height & width of characters must be 70x36mm.
  3. Plate Positioning:

    • Plates must be affixed in a manner that ensures they are clearly visible.
    • They must not be obscured by dirt or damage.

Compliance with Standards

The legality of 3D and 4D number plates in Ireland hinges on their compliance with the above-mentioned standards. The RSA has stringent guidelines to ensure that all number plates are readable by both humans and automated recognition systems (such as ANPR cameras).

  • Visibility and Legibility: 3D and 4D plates must maintain high visibility and legibility standards. 
  • Reflective Material: The plates must still be made from a reflective material to ensure visibility under various lighting conditions.


3D & 4D plates can add an extra touch to your car, it's important to understand prior to purchase that you understand some styles may need to be changed before the NCT test. Fully road legal & NCT complaint number plates can be found in our NCT category! 

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