Could someone tell me what the law states with regards to the illumination of number plates in the UK? (i.e. number of lights, intensity in mcd (milli-candella)?)

I have installed a reversing camera on my car in the place of a number plate lamp holder and no longer have enough space to reinstall a bulb so I want to replace both lamp holders with 'LED Bolts' similar to this:

enter image description here


But all of these products are sold for scooters and motorbikes and I want to make sure my car would still be road worthy.


The rules you are after are the road vehicle lighting regulations 1989 (link).

Particularly this page.

Unfortunatly, as usual, they are pretty vague:

Such that the lamp or lamps are capable of adequately illuminating the rear registration plate


An approval mark

I can't see any minimum rating there - I don't think any are specified in candela, it's usually a wattage IIRC.

  • I suppose vague is good in that it doesn't rule them out! I'll install and see how they look (illuminate) compared to other cars and hopefully that will be OK. That site looks very useful; Thank You!
    – sebf
    May 31 '11 at 19:13
  • Strange. "Adequate" is a pretty subjective matter. Nov 19 '15 at 13:08

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