The New British Standard for UK number plates, BS AU 145e

As you are aware there will be a change in the British Standard for all United Kingdom number plates.

As the leading manufacturer of number plates in the UK, it is our responsibility to inform you of the background for these changes, the reasons for the change and the implications to your business.  We have provided a number of documents which set out very clearly the imminent changes, the actions that have to be taken and what is not changing.

Since the publication of the last standard in 1998, the number of ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras has dramatically increased. Now there are around 27 million “reads” a day in the UK with 1.2 million plates being misread.  Authorities now heavily depend on ANPR cameras to police tax evasion, crime and road tolling. This has put an emphasis on number plates being manufactured to the highest quality so that they’re readable and remain readable for longer.

As a member of The British Number Plate Manufacturers Association, Hills can also assure you that all our products have been tested to meet the new e-standard.  This has involved significant product and software development and has been in process for a number of years.  The tests are extensive and have been carried out by an independent testing house to ensure we meet the standard. Consequently, all products supplied from Hills will conform and carry the e-standard logo as soon as the legislation is passed. In the case of self-assembly it is now absolutely vital that only our components are used in combination with our printing and lamination equipment in order to ensure that the product conforms to the new standard.

Timescale for implementation

When the legislation to implement the new standard comes into effect there will be a “run out period” until the new standard becomes mandatory.  We currently expect the run out period to be 5 months meaning that all printed materials with the ‘BSAU 145d’ mark will have to be used within 5 month.

Next steps

Your Area Sales Manager will visit you and related multi-sites on a pre-arranged basis to present the new e-standard training and implementation package. During this visit your Area Sales Manager will make the necessary changes to Hills number plate software, printing systems and licence agreement if you have our equipment.

The changes


Plate guide


Legal number plate


More information

0121 623 8050

Please note the anticipated date for the legislation to be passed is the first quarter of 2019. This provides Hills a five month “run out period” to educate customers on the new BS AU 145e standard and get them set up for making plates to the new standard.