Every year in the UK, thousands of people are affected by cloned private reg plates. Anyone who has ever gotten a penalty notice charge or a PCN in the post, knows how awful that feeling is. Getting a big fine because someone cloned your private number plate is something nobody wants to happen. But if it does happen to you, you should know what to do.
How Does Someone Clone a Private Number Plate?
Cloning a number plate is not as straightforward as printing out a plate that looks the same. Instead, people can get cloned plates from illegal suppliers. In order for the DVLA to know that you’ve paid your vehicle road tax and other fees like toll bridge crossings, it uses number plate recognition technology.
Cloned number plates can also be made by using the various social media platforms to look for photos people post of their vehicles. Criminals will use photos of private number plates to reproduce copies of them. This is why it’s never a good idea to post photos of your vehicle that show your number plate.
Number plate cloning involves a criminal making a copy of a plate and putting it on another car that looks similar to the car the original plate is on. These cloned plates are sometimes put on stolen vehicles. They’re even commonly used when carrying out illicit activities so the drivers of the cars can hide their identity.
What to Do if Your Private Number Plate Has Been Cloned
If you receive fixed penalty notices and speeding fines in your mailbox that you aren’t responsible for, it’s highly probable that your private number plate has been cloned. You should contact the appropriate authorities to report what has happened and to get the charges removed.
Once you’ve reported that your plate has been cloned, get a replacement plate from a reputable supplier asap. You’ll be asked to show the original documents that prove your name and address as well as some vehicle documents to prove you’re allowed to use the vehicle registration number.
To avoid becoming a victim of a cloned private number plate, play it smart and don’t post photos of your vehicle online. If you are cloned, be sure to report it and get a replacement number plate as soon as possible.