Defaced Number Plates Laws New South Wales

For most people, it’s common sense that if you’re going to drive a vehicle, it must have a legitimate number plate.

Indeed, should an accident occur on the road and the vehicle be involved, this would be required to officially identify it – the details of which would also need to be exchanged with the other parties implicated in the matter.

But for one driver in Alberta, Canada, common sense certainly did not prevail as they decided they would drive around with a number plate made using paper.

That’s right, a number plate simply printed off at home on a piece of paper and stuck to the vehicle.

To make matters worse, the number itself was also made up.

Unfortunately for the driver, much like the paper, their luck wore thin when they were spotted by local officers from Royal Canadian Mounted Police upon driving the fake-plated car along Highway 2 near Leduc.

According to reports from Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the traffic member who initially stopped the car actually did so after noticing the use of a tinted licence plate cover.

However, it seemed upon running the plate, another issue arose.

The officer discovered that the licence plate number did not actually exist in the police data bank.

Then, when the officer addressed the matter with the driver, they “immediately admitted to not having registration or insurance and that the plate was actually a piece of paper”.

Oh dear!

It was then revealed the driver printed the number plate on a piece of paper at home, using a phoney number.

The driver then placed the image onto an “I (Heart) My Car” vanity plate and hid it behind the tinted licence plate cover.

Ultimately, the fake plates saw the driver slapped with a whopping $2,100, while they will also have to face court, not simply for using a piece of paper as a number plate, but also for driving with no registration or insurance.

If they get convicted, they could be hit with another fine of at least $2,875.

Community Left Dumbfounded Over News of DIY Number Plate

As news circled the community of the driver and their dodgy DIY number plate, viewers were left both amused and astounded of the antics.

“Oh my Lord,” one woman wrote on social media, a sentiment echoed as others labelled the effort into printing the plate as “astounding” and “hilarious”.

“Creativity shouldn’t be punished!” another user jested, while the comment, “The art of finesse” was returned.

One user pointed out the person’s savings having constructed their own number plate.

“Three years he must have been running that… Not bad. Wonder how much he saved, probably thousands,” they said, laughing.

Continuing on this theme, one man joked, “Probably still cheaper than insurance!”

Defaced Number Plates Laws New South Wales

Generally speaking, by law, a vehicle’s number plates should not be defaced, obscured or otherwise illegible.

If you are in NSW, this is set out in Clause 25 of the Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Regulation 2017, which discusses law on defaced number plates and number plate visibility.

Specifically, according to clause 25, in NSW it is a requirement that a vehicle’s number plates must not be defaced.

Similarly, they must not be obscured or otherwise illegible, while the numbers themselves on the licence plate must be clearly visible from any point that is up to 20 metres from the number plate, and within an arc of 45 degrees from the surface of the number plate above or to either side of the vehicle.

Additionally, if you are going to place a cover on your number plate, it must be clear, clean, untinted and flat over its entire surface.

It should also not be reflective or possess other characteristics that would prevent the successful operation of a device approved for use under a law relating to the detection of traffic offences.

In NSW, if you are caught using defaced or obscured number plates, there is a whopping $464 fine and 3 demerit points in place.

When you pay this fine, your case will be concluded.

However, if you choose to finalise the offence in court (by court electing the fine) in order to avoid accruing demerit points, the maximum penalty you can receive if you are found guilty is a fine of $2,200.

By Sahar Adatia.

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