Both number plates must be clean and readable at all times


Drivers are being warned about the importance of keeping number plates clean to avoid being punished.

When driving, both the front and rear number plate must be readable by police officers and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras. Not ensuring they’re kept clean whilst on the road could result in a hefty fine of up to £1,000 if caught.

There is a particular offence under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 of “obscuring or allowing a registration mark to be not easily distinguishable” explains the DVLA.

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Driver Warning: Keep your car number plates clean at all times or face a hefty £1,000 fine if caught! © Copyright Michael Trolove and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Whilst it might not be against the law to drive around in a dirty vehicle, when it comes to number plates it’s a different story, as these must be kept clean and clear at all times to allow for easy readability by the police, enforcement agencies and members of the public.

You risk being issued with a £1,000 fine if caught with dirty number plates that prevent them from being read clearly. The vehicle must be easy to identify as and when required and this is done using the vehicle’s registration plates.

It’s a good idea to get in the habit of cleaning your number plates regularly to avoid being punished. Wet and windy weather is just around the corner now that September is upon us, so all the more reason for getting into the habit of wiping the dirt off your number plates in the morning.

Also during this time of year, it’s worth checking that your front and rear lights are clean and free from dirt before driving to stay safe on the roads.



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