There are three legal number plate sizes and each must be embossed with alphanumerics of a specific size:

  • 520 mm x 113 mm – embossed with 75 mm high alphanumerics
  • 250 mm x 205 mm – embossed with 75 mm high alphanumerics
  • 250 mm x 165 mm – embossed with 60 mm high alphanumerics

As some vehicles have different size number plate apertures on the front and rear ends, different size number plates can be used on the same vehicle.

A number plate must have an SABS sticker and a certification mark, which contains the name or trademark and batch number of the supplier. Only the font that was specifically designed for the local number plate industry may be used.

Number plates must be attached to your vehicle with 4 mm rivets or one-way self-tapping screws. Another option is to attach it with a number plate carrier or holding bracket that complies with legal requirements and is approved by the National Department of Transport.

Your vehicle must have a number plate on the front and rear ends. Motorcycles need one plate, which is at the back. For regular cars and SUVs, the number plates must not be higher than 1.5 metres from ground level.

If a vehicle design cannot accommodate a number plate in the middle, the number plate can be mounted to one side.

The rear number plate may not be obscured a tow bar or other permanent feature. If it is obscured by something considered to be temporary, like a removable bicycle rack, a second number plate must be attached to the rack to ensure it is visible.

Each province of South Africa has a different background design for number plates and these need to be used. No advertising is allowed on number plates.

To get your number plates printed, you will need to produce your vehicle registration document from the licencing department and your ID document.

Personalised plates have an additional fee, ranging from R600 to R10 000 depending on how many alphanumerics (anything from one to seven) you want. Only letters and numbers are allowed and symbols such as %, &, @ or $ are not permitted. Vulgar language is not allowed and blatantly vulgar or offensive numbers will not be allocated. You can transfer a personalised number plate from one vehicle to another, or to a beneficiary when you pass away.

To get a personalised number plate you need to apply at your local traffic registry office and supply a certified copy of your ID document, a vehicle registration certificate and proof of residence. If the application is approved you will receive an order letter giving permission to prepare the personalised plate, a licensing letter and a certificate confirming the approval.

Our number plates meet the Department of Transport’s specifications and are SABS approved. Speak to us about printing your number plates!

Information in this article was sourced from the AA