Restricted Number Plates And Reg Plates News
The Police in FCT on Monday constituted a six-member taskforce on the abuse of Supernumerary (SPY) number plate and siren by unauthorised persons in the territory. The Inspector-General of Police recently directed all holders of SPY number plate and siren to return them to the Force Transport Officer (FTO) and apply for re-validation.
He also said that a Task Force would be formed at the command levels by state commissioners of police to ensure compliance. A statement by the Command’s spokesman, Anjuguri Manzah, stated that the task force headed by Yahaya Gambo would ensure arrest and prosecution of off enders.
He said the task force was mandated to also check road users without number plates on their vehicles. The spokesman reiterated the commitment of the Command to protect lives and property. While soliciting for the cooperation of members of the public, Manzah advised those with SPY number plates to revalidate them.
How do you know if the number plates on your vehicle, motorcycle, trailer or caravan are legal? The Automobile Association (AA) has a quick guide to help…
There are only three legal number plate sizes and each must be embossed with alphanumerics of a specific size.
520 mm x 113 mm – embossed with 75 mm high alphanumerics
520 mm x 205 mm – embossed with 75 mm high alphanumerics
250 mm x 165 mm – embossed with 60 mm high alphanumerics
Because there are vehicles on which the front and rear number plate apertures are the not the same size, two different size number plates can be used on the same vehicle.
Apart from an SABS sticker, a number plate must also bear a certification mark, which contains the name or trademark and batch number of the supplier.
Embossers myst use the font that was specifically designed for the local number plate industry. The use of any other font is illegal.
Attaching a number plate with double sided tape is illegal. By law, number plates must be attached to the vehicle with 4 mm rivets or one-way self-tapping screws.
If you prefer not to rivet the plate directly onto your car, there is also the option of a number plate carrier or holding bracket. Such holders must comply with legal requirements and be approved by the National Department of Transport.
Remember that all vehicles must have a number plate both front and rear. Motorcycles, however, require only one plate, at the back.
It is important to note that on regular passenger cars and SUVs the number plates must not be higher than 1.5 meters from ground level.
If the front design of the vehicle is such that it can’t accommodate a number plate right in the middle as is the norm, it can be mounted to one side.
The rear plate may not be obscured by a permanent fixture such as a tow bar. However, if the obstruction is considered to be temporary – as with a removable bicycle rack for instance – a second number plate must be attached to the rack to ensure that it is clearly visible. Such racks must be removed when not in use.
Each province of South Africa has a different background design for number plates. Visit SANA to see examples for each province. Anything other than these designs are considered illegal and could result in a fine.
Also remember that no advertising is allowed on number plates and you could be forced to remove and replace plates that do not comply.
Once your vehicle has been registered with the licensing department you will receive a printout of the registration paper. You will need to produce this document, as well as your ID document, before an embosser will make your number plates.
According to the South African Number Plate Association any embosser who does not request this documentation should be avoided.
To ensure you are dealing with a reputable embosser, you should also enquire whether they are approved by the South African Bureau of Standards.
If you would like to get personalised plates for your vehicle, bear in mind that there is an additional cost involved. This can be anything from R600 to R10 000 depending on how many alphanumerics (anything from one to seven) you want.
Only letters and numbers are allowed and any symbols such as %, &, @ or $ are illegal. Vulgar language is not allowed and blatantly vulgar or offensive numbers will not be allocated. Members of the public may lodge complaints with the metro police department if they deem a number plate to be offensive.
Interestingly, a personalised number plate is property of the owner and can be transferred from one vehicle to the next. Such plates can even be transferred to a beneficiary when the original owner passes away.
To get a personalised number plate you need to apply at your local traffic registry office and supply a certified copy of your ID document, a vehicle registration certificate and proof of residence.
If the application is approved you will receive an order letter giving the embosser of the plate permission to prepare the personolised plate, a licensing letter and a certificate confirming the approval.
Although no roll-out date has been confirmed, new laws on number plates are on the cards, aimed at standardising number plates across the country.
The proposed changes include the inclusion of the national flag in the top left corner, with the name of the province underneath it.
Different coloured letters and figures will identify different types of vehicles; black for public transport, red for government vehicles, green for diplomatic vehicles and blue for personal vehicles.
A personalised number plate can be something of a status symbol for many, a way of showing off and leaving others in no doubt as to who is behind the wheel.
There are a number of different registrations that have been banned by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), however, on the grounds that they are offensive or vulgar.
While all of the obvious expletives and blatant slurs are banned long before they are allowed anywhere near the road, there are a number of subtle plates that you may think will not cause an issue that actually do.
A DVLA spokeswoman told us “There’s nothing scientific about it, it’s all done by taste, and if some slip through and we get a complaint, we take the feedback on board.”
Before a new set of number plates are rolled out, the DVLA will hold a meeting in which they will decide which plates will not be made available to the general public, with combinations banned for a number of reasons, ranging from racial grounds to discriminatory words, while any plate ending with BNP is also banned.
If you find yourself on the road with a plate that is later deemed offensive, the agency has the power to force you to replace your registration, a law that applies to both standardised and personalised plates.
Some other plates that have been banned in recent years include:
How close a series of letters or numbers are to a real name of word: if the match quality is high (and the numbers and letters are very convincing in making a popular word), the value of the registration plate will be higher. This means that a match like 5IMON, for the name Simon, will be worth a lot more than a more obscure set of letters and numbers that are not as convincing a match, such as S17 MMM for the name Sam.
The style of the plate: this means establishing if it is a new-style plate, an older-style format or if it is dateless or Irish, for instance. Other options are that it is a prefix-style plate or a suffix-style plate. New-style number plates, which have been produced since 2001, tend to be the least valuable because they are a bit less appealing to some collectors, plus the rule about not having plates that are newer than your car can also come into play, putting people off from buying a newer-style plate for their older car. Prefix-style number plates, which were in production between 1983 and 2001 can be more popular as more vehicles are entitled to have those licence numbers, and they may have fewer characters in total. Suffix-style plates, issued from 1963 to 1983 are relatively rare, which means they can attract higher prices than prefix-style plates and newer designs. Dateless number plates, also known as cherished number plates, were produced between 1903 and 1963 and are nearly always the most valuable number plate configurations; they have fewer digits and their dateless nature means that people can hide the age of their car. Irish number plates are similar to dateless number plates, especially because they don’t have a year identifier. They also tend to be cheaper than other types of vehicle registration plates.
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