Number Plate Offences

It is an offence to drive or own a vehicle that:

  1. has the incorrect size of lettering/numbers and/or correct layout. The precise regulations with respect to layout and size are vehicle specific.
  2. does not have a number plate fixed to it;
  3. has the registration mark obscured, e.g. so dirty that you cannot read it;
  4. does not have the number plate lit at night

Do I need an NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution) for number plate offences?

No, there is no requirement for an NIP for number plate offences.


Fine up to £1,000 for each offence.


Any Defence will usually be related to whether it was reasonable to have your number plate obscured, unlit or not affixed to the vehicle. However, the police do not always get the regulations right and you may find yourself being prosecuted when you did not actually commit an offence. Photographs and measurements can help, but some Defences can also depend on expert analysis of the particular circumstances.

If faced with any of these offences we recommend that you consult us for advice.

Disclaimer The contents of these pages are provided as an information guide only and are limited to offences committed in England and Wales. No responsibility is accepted for any errors, omissions, or misleading statements on these pages or any site to which these pages connect, including any feature or aspect of such site or pages, whether provided by Motor Defence Solicitors or by any organisation, company or individual. No mention of any organisation, company or individual, whether on these pages or on other sites to which these pages are linked shall imply any approval or warranty as to the standing and capability of any such organisations, company or individual on the part of Motor Defence Solicitors.