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Hitch Rack Obscuring License Plate -> $230

Nov. 5, 2019, 10:17 p.m.
Posts: 1080
Joined: May 4, 2006

So, if I was driving a car with the license plate obscured but the bike rack is being used, that's legal?

But if the bike rack isn't being used (ie it doesn't have a bike on it), that's illegal?

What about if I'm driving to pick up my stranded wife whose bike has just had a puncture/mechanical? No bike on rack but it's obviously impractical to store it in the back of the car and only put it on at the side of the road when I pick her up!

Another question: if my rack folds down (eg hitch mounted tray style rack) and the plate isn't obscured when down (without a bike on it), is that legal to drive around like that? That would make parking a pain in the ass and make the rack vulnerable to someone running into it but maybe a way around the issue?

Nov. 6, 2019, 10:50 a.m.
Posts: 1498
Joined: Aug. 6, 2009

The letter of the law is:

Plates to be unobstructed

3.03 A number plate must be kept entirely unobstructed and free from dirt or foreign material, so that the numbers and letters on it may be plainly seen and read at all times and so that the numbers and letters may be accurately photographed using a speed monitoring device or traffic light safety device prescribed under section 83.1 of the Act.

Arguably, you could be given a ticket anytime your plate is obscured, whether rack is empty or loaded, if an officer wanted to do so.


 Last edited by: PaulB on Nov. 6, 2019, 10:54 a.m., edited 3 times in total.
Nov. 6, 2019, 12:10 p.m.
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct. 23, 2019

Rear plates are obscured by trailers by the nature of their operation, but don't require the license plate to be relocated. While a trailer does have a license plate its not necessarily associated with the vehicle towing it.


 Last edited by: wingelabs on Nov. 6, 2019, 12:11 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Nov. 6, 2019, 12:26 p.m.
Posts: 117
Joined: June 17, 2016

I've never really understood why hitch-mounted bike racks in North America don't have their own plate and duplicated lights like they do in Europe.

Nov. 7, 2019, 6:11 p.m.
Posts: 248
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

A friend just got pulled over in Victoria for having their license plate obscured by their rack. They didn't get a ticket just a warning. My GF's car has the same issue. She's been running a hitch rack for 10yrs no issues so far.

Nov. 8, 2019, 7:53 a.m.
Posts: 17792
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

Posted by: niels@nsmb.com

I've never really understood why hitch-mounted bike racks in North America don't have their own plate and duplicated lights like they do in Europe.

Right?!   Although they are a bit overboard IMO. 

https://youtu.be/ZDk7QK4brpI

Skip to 1:20 unless you like machining factory action.

Nov. 8, 2019, 7:57 a.m.
Posts: 17792
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

Just be glad we dont need the half metre square metal warning sign they do in Italy!  I’ve seen this contraption bungy strapped to bikes doing 130 kph on the autostrada.  Scary  

https://youtu.be/71Whq9qgb-k

Nov. 11, 2019, 9:06 a.m.
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

I ran into the same problem in Surrey, only got a warning. Had the Yakima Hold-Up on. Recently changed to the Saris Superclamp EX2. 

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