Is number plate customisation legal?

A cloned number plate is illegal, and if left unchecked, it will result in the wrong person being punished for the actions of remorseless and despicable criminals. But how do you report a cloned number plate? Is there more than one way?

In this blog, we will show you how to report cloned number plates to police.

Bespoke Plates is a renowned and legally certified registration platemaker and installer, with options of 3D Plates, 4D Plates, Show Plates, regular / Electric Vehicle Plates and more. We are the one-stop shop for all things registration plates!

Whether it’s a Private Plate, Gel Plate, Standard Registration Plate or plating accessories, we have you covered.

As a certified and experienced team of plate fitters and makers, our plates are installed to the specification of UK law, provided alongside the appropriate paperwork you require. (The only exception to this is show plates).

Why and how do people clone number plates?

Why and how do people clone number plates?

Cloned number plates are illegal, so why do people choose to use them? There are a few reasons, neither of which are commendable or recommended at all.

  • Due to the rise of ANPR cameras, which are used to enforce traffic regulations, amongst other things, criminals would rather drive with impunity without consequences. To avoid any charges their recklessness can create, they use a number plate that is not there, which is not only illegal, but essentially a type of identity fraud.
  • Career criminals use clone plates to disguise the identity of their vehicle, which can help them navigate their criminal activity slightly more easily. By using a different identity via the number plate, it causes the police to take longer to identify the actual culprit.

How number plates are cloned

Although the word cloning can indicate a copy being created, regarding number plates, a ‘cloned plate’ can be obtained through the following methods…

  • A common method involves the theft of a number plate from a legitimate vehicle. This must be done carefully to avoid any damage to the number plate. There are various means of removing a number plate. This method is also the one that can be reported to the police the quickest, simply because it will be discovered much more quickly than the following methods.
  • Some criminals create forged plates from scratch. By using readily available tools and software, they can replicate the look of a legitimate number plate, the only issue they face is where they obtain the registration details to use on the plate.
  • In some instances, a criminal may alter an existing number plate by modifying existing characters, resulting in a new registration number, or one that is already owned by a legitimate vehicle.

How to report cloned number plates to police

How to report cloned number plates to police

Reporting a cloned number plate to the police can be done in more than one way. Dialling 111, the non-emergency number, will allow you to report your number plate, in addition to any other relevant information required by the authorities.

Alternatively, your local policing authority may have a dedicated reporting service known as a vehicle cloning form. This can be found online.

Aside from reporting this to the police, you must also report it to the DVLA, and if you are leasing your vehicle, to the lease provider too. Failure to report this can lead to you being the recipient of charges you did not commit. Unfortunately, this is sometimes the first instance that someone realises their plate has been cloned.

How do I know my plates have been cloned?

There are a few ways you can tell if your vehicle has been cloned, this includes…

  • You receive fines that you are not responsible for. This can include parking fines, driving fines and more. These will usually come to the vehicle’s allocated address, some fines have pictures of the charge in question.

Never ignore these fines, or get rid of them, especially if you were not responsible. Keep them handy as they will be vital evidence you have or your plate being cloned.

  • The police get in contact with you. Although this can be daunting, if your plates have been cloned, it can actually be helpful that the police have visited you directly. As it gives them an opportunity to investigate, give you guidance and prevent further fines being attributed to you.
  • Online records can indicate if your plate has been cloned or not, as there will be discrepancies that you know you are not responsible for.

How do police know if a plate has been cloned?

Understandably, if you are the victim of having your number plate cloned, you may be wondering what steps the police may be taking in order to quash this crime from being carried out. ANPR systems are a helpful tool used by the police, if the vehicle with the cloned plate is the exact same make, model, and colour as the original vehicle, it can prove to be more difficult.

Some unsophisticated criminals use cloned plates on any of their vehicles, making it easy for their vehicle to be spotted by ANPR, especially if they are driving recklessly.

Does a customised plate avoid it from being cloned?

Does a customised plate avoid it from being cloned?

In some cases, yes. Though this depends on the method of cloning. If your plate has been copied, and if the customisation isn’t on the cloned plate, or isn’t the same as your plate, then it can be proven that it has been cloned a lot easier.

If your custom number plate is stolen, the advantage you have is that after reporting, you can easily use your original number plate, depending on the guidance that the authorities provide.

Although there aren’t many practical methods for protecting your number plate, a car tracker can be a way to help you provide your location against charges if your plates are ever cloned.

How to get a custom number plate

Whether it is a private plate or a standard plate, getting your own bespoke custom number plate is relatively simple. In most cases, you can even do it from the comfort of your own home! If you opt to use Bespoke Plates, you can order a custom number plate directly from our website.

Let us walk you through the process of choosing your plate through us.

  1. Head to the Bespoke Plates website
  2. Select the plate style you want under the “Build Your Plate” tab. Alternatively, you can follow this link.
  3. Enter your registration (You can press ‘preview’ to see your registration with all the modification options you have selected.)
  4. When selecting your chosen plate, you can opt for 3D/4D options, a Hex plate, and whether you want a legal plate or a show plate.
  5. Select preferred optional accessories.
  6. Decide if you are collecting with installation, or if you want it to be delivered.
  7. Confirm your order!

Installing through Bespoke Plates ensures the best service & secure installation for your number plate, along with guidance for any questions you may have.

Invest in your number plate today

In this blog, we have highlighted our plate options and the information you need to obtain our stylish customisation options for your vehicle. We aim to have confidently shown you how to report cloned number plates to police.

We hope that we have provided all the right answers and options for all of your plate modification needs.

Bespoke Plates has all the options you can ask for, as an approved registration vendor we can guarantee your modification abides by the DVLA rules whilst offering same-day collections and full fitting service.

To get in touch and discuss the full fitting service we offer with our plates, you can talk to one of the members of our team by:


Phone 0333 006 7878

Visit in-store

36A Broughton Street,


M8 8NN

discount popup bespoke-plates

Great! Use coupon code below at checkout for 5% discount