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Ever wondered why all car plates in Singapore look pretty much the same? Here are six obsessive-compulsive rules that explain why.

Category: Car Ownership Advice


Just like driving licences or NRICs, car number plates are unique markers used to identify registered vehicles in Singapore. As such, they are required, by law, to comply with several technical requirements as specified in the Road Traffic (Motor Vehicles, Registration and Licensing) Rules.

Here are six rules you must obey when it comes to your car plates.

No matter what type of car plate you have, you'll have to follow the following six rules or risk facing a fine

1. Measurements must be nailed down to a T

Talk about obsessive-compulsive. Here are some numbers you won't have to memorise but will have to adhere to when it comes to your car plates:
  • Letters and numerical figures must be 70mm high, 50mm wide and 10mm in length
  • The space between adjoining letters and between adjoining numerical figures must be 10mm
  • The space between the letters and numerical figures must be 20mm
  • A margin between the nearest part of any letter or numerical figure and the top or bottom of the number plate shall be 10mm
  • A margin between the nearest part of any letter or numerical figure and the sides of the number plate shall be 20mm
  • Where the letters and numerical figures are arranged in two rows, the space between the top and bottom row should be 15mm
Think it's fine to have Euro-style car plates even if you follow these dimensions? Think again

2. Euro-style car plates are subject to approval, with a catch

Technically, you can affix a Euro-style car plate to your vehicle, if you meet the requirements stated above. However, it's not as straightforward as you think. As with most modifications, your request for a Euro-style car plate approval will have to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) suggests that you send in a sample of your desired licence plate, with the vehicle registration number, if you require case-specific advice.
3. Don't put yourself in a sticky situation

The LTA does not allow vehicle owners to attach sticker-type car plates to their vehicles in place of the standard ones made out of aluminium or acrylic.

The only scenario where this is possible is when your vehicle does not have sufficient space for the placement of conventional licence plates (which is almost never). And, of course, this will have to be assessed on a, you guessed it, case-by-case basis.

Your car plates can only have black (above), yellow or white background colours

4. Once you go black, you never go back

Skittles tells us to taste the rainbow. The LTA, on the other hand, begs to differ. You only have two options when it comes to colours:
  • Letters and figures are white, silver or light grey on a non-reflective black background for both front and rear plates
  • Letters and figures are black on a white reflective background for the front, and on a yellow reflective background for the rear plate
5. Nothing rattles, nothing shines, no helmets

All vehicles have to be fitted with the appropriate mounting brackets for both the front and rear car plates. Vehicle owners are expected to mount their licence plates securely and permanently at the position identified by their vehicles' manufacturer.

No matter how fancy or expensive your car is, your plate must be properly and securely mounted

6. Light 'em up

Rear vehicle licence plates have to be lit with either a white or amber-coloured light between 7:00pm and 7:00am.


For a detailed rundown of licence plate regulations, check out the One Motoring website.
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