The side-view of this licence plate cover shows how it is designed to defeat intersection and security cameras. Photo: RCMP

Covering up your licence plates could net a hefty fine

The only thing between your plates and other traffic should be fresh air

Licence plates come in a pair for a reason, and the RCMP are reminding car owners that the only thing between your licence plates and other traffic should be air.

“When it comes to after-market licence plate covers and having no front plate, we sometimes issue warnings instead of a ticket,” says Corp. Michael McLaughlin of the Coquitlam RCMP. He adds that there is no good excuse for not having a front licence plate, and that using a cover that is deliberately designed to defeat red-light and security cameras will likely get you a $230 fine.

The BC Motor Vehicle Act is quite clear on the subject. Section 3.011 reads “Number plates issued for a vehicle under the Commercial Transport Act or Motor Vehicle Act must be attached (a) one plate to the front and one plate to the rear of the vehicle, if 2 number plates are issued for a vehicle.”

Section 3.03 covers obstructions to the visibility of licence plates. “A number plate must be kept entirely unobstructed and free from dirt or foreign material, so that the numbers and letters on it may be plainly seen and read at all times.”

Don’t think that because a cover is for sale at a legitimate retailer, auto dealer, or repair shop that it is legal in B.C. Canadian Tire, for example, offers several licence plate covers for sale, noting that they are designed to protect your plates from the elements. However, the product description also notes that people should “check local regulations regarding use”.

One purchaser commented “I received a ‘strong warning’ from an RCMP officer in B.C. for having these on my vehicle. I was informed that I was lucky that he was a ‘nice’ officer as the fine would have been $230.00 for ‘plate obstruction’. He said that they can sell whatever they want but it is up to the consumer to know that it is illegal to obstruct your plate in any way… unless you feel like arguing in court, save your time and money.”

McLaughlin advises car owners just to put both plates on your vehicle and leave them the way you got them from your insurance broker. And having a licence plate propped on the front windshield is not a good strategy, unless you really enjoy attention from police.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Embrace growth or risk losing incorporation, says Cache Creek mayor

Public hearing on rezoning raises concerns about increased traffic and noise

Year in Review: Cache Creek homicide, Merritt church arson, and a fire engine fundraiser

Plus Citizens of the Year, a new bus service, a surprise birth, a forgotten treasure, and more

Ashcroft Santa Parade attracted hundreds of happy onlookers

Three lucky shoppers won ‘Ashcroft Bucks’ to spend in downtown businesses

Local News Briefs: The CP Holiday Train is coming

Plus the Jrush Dance winter recital, free live music in Kamloops, an Escape Room, and more

‘Hi Santa: Remember when your elves called me a monster?’

Letters to Santa from Ms M. Marlow’s Desert Sands Community School Grade 3/4 class

B.C. woman charged in connection to stolen vehicle smash-up in Kamloops

Kersten Ina Peters was arrested in the Fraser Valley on Friday, Dec. 6

BREAKING: RCMP say no survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash

The Island is located about five kilometres east of Vancouver Island

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Truck with body inside found at bottom of lake near Kootenay ferry

Investigators believe no foul play is expected but are unsure how the vehicle ended up in the Arrow Lakes

VIDEO: Calgary man narrowly escapes from avalanche while running at Lake Louise

Bryon Howard caught the entire wild experience on camera

Most Read