Vehicle cloning and plate abuse - growing
22 October 2012
The issue of vehicle cloning and plate
abuse is a concern shared by Bestplate, the BNMA and all parts
of the legitimate number plate industry as well as by the
government and its agencies. There are consequences in terms of
vehicle and other crime when plates are wrongly issued and
misused as well as the more personal issues at play when
innocent motorists are confronted with fines relating to vehicle
use when in fact their vehicle has been cloned. The introduction
of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) has brought this
issue more sharply into focus and it is in everyone's interest
that this situation is rectified.
The regulations covering the manufacture and supply of number
plates are complex. Regulations call up the British Standard (BS
AU 145d) which outlines the performance requirement of plates in
areas such as durability, reflective performance and impact
resistance. This consumer protection measure is designed to
reassure the motorist that the product they are receiving is of
adequate quality. To this end, Bestplate exceeds BS AU 145d.
Other regulations cover how the characters and other information
should be displayed on the plate. In addition, there are
separate regulations which determine how plate suppliers should
be registered and how they verify and record the information
necessary to guarantee that the plate is only supplied for the
vehicle entitled to that registration.
We think it is important that the motorist is easily able to
obtain a plate to which they are entitled and which is of the
right quality and design. The motorist should also have choice
in a competitive market place in order to get the best value for
money. However, a balance clearly needs to be struck - it is
important to acknowledge that the plate is a legal document and
is therefore a valuable item in its own right and if incorrectly
issued can have serious ramifications. Hence, measures need to
be put in place to eliminate the risk of abuse and
It is generally accepted that there is a case for reviewing the
content and operation of the standard and regulations governing
the manufacture and issue of plates in order to better meet
policy objectives and this is a process in which Bestplate, as a
Member of the BNMA is keen to play a full part.
Market update on
the supply of plastics used in number plate manufacture
20 June 2011
One of the main drivers for the increased
demand for Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) and its derivative,
Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA), has been the Flat Screen Monitor
Market which has taken a disproportionate share of PMMA output
over the last 12 to 18 months.
During May of this year, there are signs that
this market has slowed somewhat, but industry experts consider
it unlikely that demand will slow sufficiently to ease pressure
on prices as worldwide demand still outstrips production.
There are global plans to increase capacity of MMA and PMMA but
they are not projected to come on line until late 2012 and into
There are of course other factors which are continuing to impact
on contract pricing, such as a recent increase in Acetone of 25%
in addition to increase costs of energy, packaging and
distribution. These factors alone have increased costs by around
8% in the last month.
The Industry steps up its efforts to clamp down on plate abuse
5 April 2011
Despite legislative changes to extend the Register of Number Plate Scheme (RNPS) and a change to regulations regarding non-compliant ‘show plates’, the DVLA continues to identify and prosecute those number plate suppliers who flout the law.
In a recent DVLA communication to BNMA members, the DVLA highlights how the legitimate industry is being hit and is shedding labour as a result of this illegal activity, as well as the problems that plate abuse brings generally in the areas of vehicle and other crime.
Like other BNMA members, Bestplate supplies only to businesses registered under the RNPS scheme and all our employees are well aware of our obligations under the law. In addition to this, the BNMA is in the process of preparing a Code of Practice which will incorporate this.
Members are taking the opportunity to circulate the recent DVLA communication widely and as part of this process have supplied a copy of the letter which can be viewed by clicking on the link:
DVLA Letter - Register of Number Plate Scheme (RNPS).
As a Member of the BNMA, Bestplate and other legitimate players within the industry appreciate the DVLA’s efforts in addressing this problem and by stepping up our efforts to work together in conjunction with the DVLA, aim to eliminate plate abuse.
Important information regarding the acrylic market.
23 November 2010
extraordinary market conditions that are adversely affecting the
market for plastics and associated commodities.
Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) is used in the production of
Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA), which is clear, impact modified
material used in a wide variety of applications including the
production of number plates. The current situation is that
global demand for MMA has exceeded supply for several months and
this has had an adverse affect on the production of PMMA and as
a consequence there is a significant imbalance between the
supply and demand for PMMA products. Unfortunately Europe has
been the hardest hit with current estimates being that only 60%
of current and scheduled demand is being met. As a result prices
have become highly volatile with many users having confirmed
forward orders cancelled by suppliers who are simply unable to
meet demand. There is expectation that contract pricing will
become a thing of the past as early as the first quarter of 2011
being replaced by spot pricing.
There are several factors, which have combined to create this
extraordinary situation. In late 2008
and early 2009, manufacturers of MMA experienced a slump in
demand as the global recession hit. Many
of these manufacturers took capacity off line and others
scheduled major maintenance operations closing off production in
some cases for several months. It seems that manufactures were
taken by surprise when there was an unexpected resurgence in
demand. At the same time demand in Asia, and in particular
China, increased dramatically as manufacturers of LED and Plasma
TV's were forced to use acrylic instead of styrene.
Number Plate inspection
instructions from VOSA
8 July 2010
This link takes you to the latest
instructions issued by VOSA for the inspection of number plates
in the MOT test.
Vehicle registration numbers
- the next decade.
22 October 2009
The DVLA has
issued a flyer informing drivers of the new registration
number system that comes into effect beginning March
2010 and will remain effective for the next ten years.
Number Plate New Legislation - Display of National Flags
4 June 2009
Earlier this year the government
issued an amendment of the Road Vehicle (Display of Registration
Marks) Regulations 2001.
The regulations do not apply to Northern Ireland where the only
legal option is the European Flag
Legal Flags are:
Union Flag – Cross of Saint George – Scottish Saltire – Red
Dragon of Wales
In addition to the flag one of the following can be
Great Britain or GB – United Kingdom or UK
England or Eng – ENGLAND or ENG
Scotland or Sco – SCOTLAND or SCO
Cymru or Cym – CYMRU or CYM
Wales or WALES
All flags are printed onto the reflective and supplied in 10’s.
To view the full amendment, click here to see the PDF.
New Number Plate Legislation and How it Affects You!
11 August 2008
There are some important changes to
the regulations affecting companies involved in the supply of
number plates. If you have not already done so you should be
receiving a letter from DVLA advising you about these changes.
Please read the following information carefully.
A clarification of regulations first introduced in 2001, may now
require a change to the personalisation on your number plates.
Number plates must display the supplier’s name and postcode in
the bottom centre of the plate but from 1st November 2008
it will no longer be allowed to include company or
manufacturers’ logos, web addresses or telephone numbers. There
is no restriction in the style of font or colours used and a
coachline will still be allowed.
The Bestplate BS AU 145d must be shown in the bottom right
corner of the plate.
Should you wish to continue to display your web address,
telephone number etc, Bestplate can provide you with 3
1. Bestplate Lipped Plates;
2. Bestplate Advertising Frames; and
3. Bestplate Advertising Strips.
Enclosed are brochures detailing the above products, please
contact your Bestplate Area Manager or our Customer Services on
01253 348634 for samples and costs.
Please ensure that existing stocks of pre-printed materials
or plates are used in good time to avoid any unnecessary
Prosecution for Supply of Non-compliant Number Plates
It is currently an offence to display plates on a vehicle which
do not comply with the current requirements. With effect from
1st November 2008 it will also be an offence to supply
non-compliant plates. In the eyes of the law it will no longer
be acceptable to advise customers that their plates should not
be used on the road or are for show or display purposes only. If
a plate displays a registration mark issued by DVLA, then it is
deemed to be a number plate and must therefore comply with the
The maximum penalty for an offence will be a fine of up to
£2500 and/or suspension from the Register of Number Plate
Suppliers for up to 5 years.
Extension of the Register of Number Plate Suppliers to
Scotland and Northern Ireland
The Register of Number Plate Suppliers (RNPS) was first
introduced in England and Wales in January 2003 in order to
regulate the supply of number plates and make it more difficult
for criminals to obtain number plates for the purpose of
criminal activity. This legislation is now being extended to
Scotland and Northern Ireland from 1st August 2008.
All businesses in Scotland and Northern Ireland involved in the
supply of number plates, with the exception of some outlets
which are deemed exempt, must now register with DVLA between
1st August and 31st October 2008. At the time of
registration there is a one-off fee of £40 per place of
business. If your business has more than one location involved
in the supply of plates, then each location must register and
the fee will be payable for each site.
There may be businesses in England and Wales who will now need
to register branches in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
To comply with the legislation you must register with DVLA
before 31st October 2008. Registration can be completed by
telephone on 0870 600 1016 provided payment can be made using a
debit or credit card. Alternatively you can download form V940
and/or V940/1 (additional locations) from the DVLA website at
On registration, DVLA will provide details of record keeping
requirements together with a list of acceptable documents.
Bestplate can provide a record keeping software package which
will guide you through the process of identifying acceptable
documents and recording the sale legally. Please contact
Customer Services for more information.
If you have any queries about any of the above information,
please contact our Customer Services on 01253 348634 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you may wish to
call DVLA direct on 0870 600 1016.
DVLA gains additional powers to combat the supply of
illegal number plates
28 August 2007
New powers gained under the Road
Safety Act 2006 mean that DVLA Number Plate Enforcement Officers
will step up the enforcement effort against number plate
suppliers who break the law.
The existing requirement is for all number plate suppliers in
England and Wales to register with DVLA, request sight of
specific documentation from customers and keep records for 3
years following a sale. This will apply to traders in Scotland
and Northern Ireland later in the year.
Failure to request evidence of entitlement to a particular
registration mark through the production of suitable
documentation (e.g. registration certificate) and proof of
identity (e.g. photocard driving licence) is an offence.
DVLA officials now have the authority to enter premises, seize
records and prosecute offenders. This will supplement the powers
used by police officers and trading standards officials.
Police spokesman Superintendent John Wake said: “The police
welcomes this DVLA initiative. It increases the pressure on
rogue number plate suppliers who provide criminals with the raw
material to clone motor vehicles.
“We fully support DVLA bringing their own prosecutions and we
will continue to work closely with DVLA to cut off the supply of
illegal number plates and bring those involved in car cloning
before the courts.”
Jonathan Hartley of the British Number Plate Manufacturers
Association (BNMA) said: “The vast majority of number plate
suppliers who comply with the requirements of the law have
nothing to fear. The BNMA fully endorses measures taken by DVLA
to bear down on illegal number plate suppliers, who undermine
legitimate trade and take business away from BNMA members.”