Correct display of license plates – Lake Cowichan Gazette

The humble license plate has only one job, positively identifying the vehicle to which it is attached. Without license plates, how would we know who owns the vehicle? How would you complain about an erratic driver or report your stolen vehicle? The application of intersection safety cameras (ISC) and automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) would be blocked and even the simple parking ticket would have difficulties.

Most vehicles in British Columbia receive two license plates. Also called license plates, these must be attached “one plate at the front and one plate at the rear of the vehicle”.

In some cases, ICBC will only issue one plate. Motorcycles, trailers, and demo plates would be the three most common examples that come to mind.

Effective May 1, 2022, ICBC will no longer issue license plate validation stickers. This change was made to facilitate online license and insurance renewal. You can remove the validation sticker after this date if you wish.

To support the transition, British Columbia is making a one-time investment of $1 million in RAPI program enhancements to help law enforcement identify uninsured drivers without relying on decals.

License plates must be visible

A number plate should be kept completely unobstructed and free of dirt or foreign objects so that the numbers and letters on it can be clearly seen and read at all times and the numbers and letters can be photographed with precision using a speed monitoring device or traffic light safety device.

Bike racks seem to be the most common obstruction, but anything that gets in the way could result in a $230 fine.

A license plate must be mounted horizontally unless attached to a motorcycle. Then it can be fixed in a vertical position on the left front fork of a motorcycle, with the first number or letter at the bottom of the fork.

The rear registration plate must be illuminated by a lamp capable of displaying only white light so that the registration plate numbers are legible from a distance of 15 m behind the vehicle. The lamp must not cast light backwards and must be marked SAE/DOT L.

License plate rules for vehicles registered under the Off-Highway Vehicles Act are similar to those for on-road vehicles. Two exceptions are that no license plate light is required and the plate can be displayed on the front, rear or left side of the vehicle.

Some vehicle owners try to excuse their choices, especially when it comes to the front license plate. Looks ugly, I don’t have a mounting bracket, the bolts are too rusty. Throw it on the dash, wire it to the bumper, apply decorations on top, the list seemed endless. There is no legal justification to avoid a violation.

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