There are a surprising amount of rules and regulations regarding your L-plates. They have to be a specific size and be displayed in a certain way to be considered legally valid. Failure to meet the government’s requirements could result in you getting points on your licence before you’ve even passed your test!
Correct L-plate size in the UK
L-plates must consist of a 178mm x 178mm white square with a bold red L in the centre. The L must have very specific measurements, shown below. Any text other than the L being present on your L-plates would render them invalid. (Please note, the L-plate below is for example only.)
Proper L-plate placement in the UK
L-plates must be displayed on the front and rear of a vehicle in positions as close to vertical as your vehicle’s design allows.
There are no rules specifically forbidding attaching L-plates to your windows. However, you are supposed to have a completely unobstructed view out of the windscreen, making the presence of L-plates a potential problem.
The Directgov website simply states that learner drivers “must display ‘L’ plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) in a conspicuous position on the front and rear of the vehicle you are driving”.
When you're with your driving instructor during driving lessons, they'll take care of this for you. But if you're planning on putting in some time on the road outside of lessons, you'll need to take care to get your L-plate placement right.
The illustration below shows our recommended L-plate placement.
When to take off your L-plates
- You should remove or cover your L-plates whenever a properly-qualified/non-learner driver person is driving the vehicle.
- You may remove your L-plates or replace them with P-plates when you pass your driving test.
- You may remove your L-plates after you have parked your car (but remember to replace them before you get back in).
L-plates are prone to coming loose and disappearing forever, especially the magnetic ones. Being caught driving without the proper plates displayed can lead to a conviction for Driving otherwise in accordance with a licence, an offence that could earn you three points and a hefty fine. Be sure to keep a spare set of L-plates in your car and attach your main set to the vehicle as securely as possible.