Drivers risk £1,000 fines and instant MOT fail for simple number plate tweak

MOTORISTS are being warned tweaks made number plates could lead to being slapped with £1,000 fines or an instant MOT fail.

Cops issued a stark warning to drivers that officers will be cracking down on illegal number plates over the weekend to tackle organised criminals using Northumbria’s roads across Northern England and south-east Scotland.

Northumbria cops have warned a crackdown on illegal number plates will be launched over the weekend

“We’ll be targeting all vehicles using false number plates, a tactic often by some criminal groups to avoid detection,” the station’s Twitter posted to social media.

“We’ll also be taking action taken against drivers who have illegally altered their plates aesthetically – with offenders facing fines of up to £1,000.”

Local cops also urged driver’s to not be caught out.

“Please take time to check your number plate is lawful,” they said.

A similar operation ran by the same force last year saw more than 70 vehicles stopped.

Dodgy number plates are common, as people try to personalise their cars or attempt to avoid detection.

But motorists with non-standard plates are putting themselves at risk of hefty fines if they get caught out.

Here are the important rules and regulations to bear in mind when you customise your plates.

Is your number plate legal? 

While buying an approved personalised registration is fine, carefully placed bolts or tweaking the spacing to spell out a message is illegal.

For example, a number plate with “11” in it would become illegal if someone tried to turn the two numbers into an ‘H’ by placing a black screw head between them.

Under law, plates must be legible and conform to a set standard so they’re easy to read as they provide essential info about your vehicle to insurers, cops and other drivers.

Failing to do this can land you with the hefty fine, a failed MOT and the loss of the plate.

In a bid to cull the numbers of drivers out on the roads with dodgy plates, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and traffic officers are cracking down.

What are the mistakes that could get you fined?

To help drivers stay on the right side of the law, has outlined the five mistakes that drivers commonly make with number plates.

1.The wrong colour 

Using the wrong colours. Number plates should have black characters on a white background on the front of your car, and be on a yellow background on the back.

2. Incorrect spacing 

Using the wrong spacing. As the example in the picture above shows, the correct spacing should read AC55 ABC.

3. An illegal background 

Using a non-conforming background that isn’t a plain colour, or stickers which interfere with the plate’s legibility.

4.The wrong font 

Only the standard “Charles Wright” font is acceptable.

5. An invalid flag 

Only flags of EU, the UK and the British nations are allowed.

Getty - Contributor
Motorists with non-standard plates are putting themselves at risk of hefty fines if they get caught out[/caption]

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