Custom number plates have witnessed a boom in popularity in recent years. In 2020, Britons owned a staggering £3 billion worth of personalised number plates!
Have you ever seen a picture of a vehicle online, and noticed that the registration plate is blurred out? Well, there is a reason for this.
In this article, we will discuss the question, why do they blur out number plates?
Why do they blur out number plates?
Images and videos of vehicles often have their registration plate blurred out or pixelated. You will notice this on websites, on social media, in films, on television, in advertisements, in newspapers, and in media outlets.
So, why do they blur out number plates?
The biggest reason as to why do they blur out number plates is because of privacy reasons.
Your vehicle’s registration plate is actually information that you should keep as private as possible. Yes, people will read your number plate as you drive your vehicle around, but you should never draw unnecessary attention to your number plate, for example, by posting pictures and videos of your car to your Facebook account, without blurring out the number plate.
Sharing images and videos online of your number plate can be dangerous. For instance, it leaves your vehicle accessible to vehicle identity theft. Vehicle identity theft, also known as number plate. cloning, is when criminals copy a car’s registration number and assign it to another car.
The criminal might steal your registration number because they have already committed a crime, so they want to continue to drive around, without getting caught. Or, a criminal might clone a green number plate and pretend that they have a zero-emission car, to avoid paying a penalty in a Clean Air Zone.
Criminals and scammers often target vehicles with a ‘clean’ history, with no track record of penalties and crimes. So, you should be careful, as it could be your vehicle which is targeted next.
That is why blurring out a number plate is a smart idea, as it offers you protection from criminals, who are increasingly developing sinister methods of exploiting number plates for nefarious purposes.
To protect oneself in vulnerable situations
Additionally, blurring out a car’s number plate can be very helpful to a driver in a vulnerable situation. For instance, it is a form of protection against stalking and harassment.
Victims of distressing and violent crimes often report that their attacker was able to stalk them due to their car’s registration plate.
Looking up someone’s number plate can reveal lots of sensitive information about them, such as their name, address, date of birth, vehicle history, photographs, and even medical conditions, as well as that of any other registered drivers of the vehicle.
Hence, blurring out the number plate is a great way to keep these personal details as private as possible.
To avoid being sued
Films, television programmes, newspapers and media outlets often pixelate or blur out number plates because they want to avoid a lawsuit.
For instance, let’s say a woman has been pulled over by the police. A newspaper decides to ‘name and shame’ the woman in an article, and publishes a picture of her number plate.
The woman has not been arrested or convicted of a crime. She may be able to sue the newspaper for defamation, because they have falsely reported her as having ‘bad character’, and shared her registration number in the media, which is personal information that makes her identifiable to others.
Hence, blurring out number plates is good practice for media outlets, who have legal requirements to abide by.
How do I know if my number plates have been cloned?
Sometimes, you may not realis that you are a victim of number plate cloning, because the criminal has not physically stolen them from your vehicle.
Watch out for these signs that your number plate has been cloned:
- Speeding fines and fixed penalty notices start arriving for you, even though you haven’t committed them.
- The police have contacted you, pulled you over, or imposed a penalty on you, believing that you have committed a motoring offence.
- Your vehicle documents have disappeared (such as your V5C logbook.)
- Your insurance provider has imposed sanctions on you for an offence, which you didn’t commit.
- You may have bought a car that turns out to have cloned number plates, so it could be seized.
What do I do if my number plate has been cloned?
If you, or someone you know, has become a victim of number plate cloning or vehicle identity theft, you should take these steps:
- Contact the police as soon as possible.
- Collect as much evidence as you can that you are not responsible for any fines, penalties, or criminal activity.
- Inform the DVLA that a criminal has duplicated your number plate, so they can advise you of your next steps.
How do I stay safe when buying a used car?
Used cars can be targeted for number plate cloning. You might buy a used car and have no idea that its number plates have been stolen or exploited by criminals.
- Ask the seller as many questions as possible about the used car before you buy it, and ask to see any documents.
- Look up the car’s MOT history online.
- Read the Government advice on buying a used car here.
- Use the DVLA’s vehicle enquiry service and contact them if you have any questions or concerns.
How can I keep my vehicle safe from thieves?
- Secure your personalised number plate with tamper-resistant screws.
- Never leave your car unlocked and unattended, even for just a minute or two.
- Always park your vehicle in a well-lit area.
- Never leave valuables inside your vehicle or on the roof-rack.
- Never share your number plate, registration number, or V5C logbook reference number with anyone, especially online.
- Invest in a dashboard camera, which can serve as evidence if anything happens to your car.
- Invest in good security alarms, a vehicle tracker and a vehicle immobiliser for your vehicle.
- Don’t keep your car keys hanging near your front door, as a thief can easily access your keys through the letterbox. Store your car keys in a safe location.
- Consider tinting your vehicle windows, to give you more privacy and security.
Where can I buy a personalised number plate for my vehicle?
Customers are increasingly going for our 3D and 3D number plates, as these offer a sleek, three-dimensional appearance, which gives any vehicle an instantly contemporary finish.
If you need a number plate which is road-safety compliant, then there’s no need to worry: at Bespoke Plates, all of our custom number plates are 100% legal for use on the road.
Looking for a decorative, promotional number plate instead? Well, our number plates are available in show form, so this is for you!
For each of our products, as a custom number plate maker, we have all bases covered as far as your customisation options are concerned. Our product pages, therefore, let you choose the style, tint, border, badges, and type of plate with choices for both legal and show plates.
Purchasing a Number Plate from Bespoke Plates
At Bespoke Plates, our process is very straightforward:
- Head to our website, and choose between 3D or 4D plates under the ‘build your plate’ tab
- Enter your registration for a preview of the plate
- Specify whether this will be a legal plate or a show plate
- Choose your style
- Select whether your plate will be for the front and back of your car or just one of them
- Select your size
- Select additional customizable options
- Have it delivered to your home
What documents do I need to purchase a number plate?
When purchasing a number plate, you must prove that you are the registered vehicle owner. Hence, you will have to provide us with either:
- the V5C logbook
- the V5CNI logbook
- V5C/2 or V5C/2NI new keeper slip
- the V778 certificate
You must also bring a document to confirm your name and identity. These could be your:
- driving license
- current passport
- National identity card
- utility bill/Council Tax bill from the last 6 months
- bank statement from the last 6 months
- bank card/ credit card
- financial statement from the last 6 months
About Bespoke Plates
As one of the established number plate makers in the UK, we at Bespoke Plates have all the options you can ask for. From 3D plates, 4D plates, standard number plates, and gel plates, we offer outstanding craftsmanship with every plate we produce.
So, what are you waiting for? Browse our options today to get the plate that speaks to you, and speaks for you, with Bespoke Plates.
We hope to have provided valuable information, whilst also answering the question ‘why do they blur out number plates?’
Want to read more about all things custom number plates? Check out our blog here.
- Email – email@example.com
- Phone – 0333 006 7878
- Visit in-store –36A Broughton Street, Manchester, England, M8 8NN.