What to do if your licence plates are stolen?

automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) Cars

Unfortunately, criminals target reg plates as an easy way to clone information and commit fraudulent activities. Typically there are around 25,000 licence plates stolen every year, according to the AA. It can be difficult to know what to do if this type of theft happens to you, so we’ve created this easy-to-follow guide so you’ll be prepared should you find your licence plates stolen. 

Why do people steal licence plates? 

There are many different reasons why individuals steal registration plates from cars and other vehicles. Criminals typically steal licence plates for 

  • Burglaries and armed robberies 
  • Stealing petrol or diesel (not paying and driving off at a petrol station) 
  • Avoiding speeding fines or traffic without being pursued 
  • Altering the identity of a car to sell it – usually this happens with stolen vehicles to sell onto unsuspecting buyers

As registration plates are linked to a particular individual and/ or address, having one stolen can negatively impact your personal life and cause you to receive fines or traffic tickets from reckless driving. Because of this, it’s vital to report your stolen registration plates as soon as you realise they are missing in order to avoid being accused of driving or legal offences that you haven’t committed. 

What should you do if your registration plates are missing? 

As soon as you notice your reg plates are missing from your vehicle, you need to report the issue to either the DVLA or your local police department. It would be ideal to inform both the police and DVLA, as this would alert the authorities to potential illegal actions involving your missing plates.  

You mustn’t drive your car without the appropriate reg plates. There is no excuse or emergency allowances for driving a vehicle without registration plates on UK roads. You could face a hefty fine and potentially points on your driving record. 

Once you have reported your stolen licence plates to the appropriate authorities, it’s essential to order replacements as soon as possible. Typically when ordering new registration plates, its important to ensure that you have a record of the police report in order to prove that you have had your registration plates stolen or damaged. 

If you have a personalised number plate that is stolen, you should contact the police and DVLA as well as apply to retain the specific number. It’s good to note that once you have reported the issue to the police, it counts as evidence should you need to provide a crime reference number and paperwork to the DVLA. 

Is there a way to prevent having your number plates stolen? 

Unfortunately, suppose an opportunistic or professional criminal wants to steal your licence plates. They are more likely to succeed if you park your car on an unattended or poorly lit street. If you are lucky enough to have a driveway or parking garage, it’s a good idea to store your car off the road; this way, any potential thieves are less likely to walk past your car and attempt to steal your reg plate. 

prevent your licence plate from being stolen by parking in a well lit area.

When parking in public, aim for a CCTV monitored or managed car park. Alternatively, you can use an anti-theft screw kit for reg plates. Although these can’t stop a determined thief from taking your licence plate, they will be a strong deterrent. Try to use common sense when parking your car in public or at home. Try to make it difficult for opportunistic thieves to take your plates rather than inviting them to be stolen. 

Replacing your stolen plates 

As mentioned previously, it’s important to replace your stolen licence plates as soon as possible. Without doing so, you will be unable to drive your vehicle on UK roads legally. At Reg Plates, we can help you find an ideal personalised number plate to make an impression and locate your ideal number plate with our smart search feature. Contact us today to get started.