The cloning of number plates cases is increasing each passing year. Several data reflect that the situation’s gravity and the vulnerability towards offenders. Anyone can be the next target of such offenders, and even your private number plates may get cloned. If you think about what you can do in such a scenario, then this guide will answer your queries.
What Does Vehicle Cloning Mean?
Vehicle cloning refers to putting the registration number of your vehicle into another vehicle. Criminals who do vehicle cloning mostly select the same model vehicle of the same colour, which will make it difficult to recognize that cloned car. It will also appear fully legal.
What Will Be The Consequences of Private Number Plates Cloning?
Most victims never realize that their private number plates have been cloned until they get penalty notices or speeding fines. If you ever find yourself in this situation, then you have to prove yourself innocent by reporting this thing to the right authorities. It is quite imperative to report this criminal activity as soon as you know; otherwise, you will be punished.
How A Vehicle Gets Cloned?
Generally, criminals find the car of innocent drivers similar to another vehicle they already have. They also go for the same manufacturing company, colour, and model. This makes it nearly impossible to differentiate the two vehicles. They may also steal the number plates or get the number plate printed from sellers that are not DVLA registered suppliers, and there they do not need documentation. After they steal the registration number and put it on their vehicle, then the criminals become impossible to track down.
As the number plate registration is related to the vehicle and address of the innocent party, he/she will be held responsible for the criminal activity done by the cloned one. It acts as a cover for the criminals to make dodgy dealings without the risk of getting arrested. Instead, the victim may receive speeding tickets, fines, or even be jailed.
What Can You Do If The Number Plates Get Cloned?
You may not be aware of your number plate getting cloned. Drivers most often find out after they receive the penalty notice associated with the parking ticket or speeding ticket, which they have not done. In some serious cases, police contact the driver. Here are a few steps you should consider if your number plate ever gets cloned.
1. Contacting the Fine Issuing Organisation:
If you suspect that your private number plate is cloned through penalty notice or fine, you should immediately contact the fine issuing organization and explain the entire situation.
2. Collect evidence:
Collecting evidence is the best way of proving yourself innocent if your number plate has been cloned. With the evidence, you can show that you had the vehicles with you and never stole fuel from the fuel station or did speed driving. If your vehicle is parked at a place for the duration when the crime was committed, there is a chance that it might have been recorded in any CCTV. You just have to request the CCTV footage and the CCTV footage, and it will make you free from the crime if you were not driving that vehicle during that time.
3. Contact Police and DVLA:
If you are the victim of private number plates theft, you should contact the police and DVLA. Both organizations must know that your registration plate has been cloned. By letting them know about the case will help in building your defence. Based on what crimes have been committed or what investigation is going on, informing police will help you.
It is crucial to change the number plate quickly so that you do not have to drive without plates. You can also ask your vehicle insurer for some help. The insurers have helplines that may provide extra advice, which will support you a lot if you have been charged with any driving offence.
4. Get Replacement of Private Number Plates:
Replacing private number plates is quite easy as a plethora of websites is available. However, it is important that you purchase your personalized number plates from reliable suppliers. Number plate providers who ask for proper documents and follow all law rules are trustworthy. There are certain good suppliers who ask the customer for supporting evidence or VRM and identity proof before delivering the number plates to the customer.
How to Avoid Purchasing a Vehicle with Cloned Registration Plates?
Checking the vehicle before buying it is the ideal method for avoiding the purchase of one cloned vehicle. The seller must provide you with all details like model, registration number, make of the car prior to your meeting. You can check the details in the online DVLA vehicle enquiry and get alerted if there is anything wrong. While purchasing the vehicle, take time to analyze whether the vehicle matches what you are actually expecting. Moreover, check the details like VIN and make sure it is the same in the logbook. After all these things, buy the vehicle if that deal is good.
It can be quite disturbing if your private number plate gets cloned, but there are many ways by which you can get out of the situation. The steps mentioned above will help you if you ever find yourself in such a situation.
Kent Charlie is associated with a vehicle registration agency that also deals with the personal number plate design. He has also been writing for many online publications on a freelance basis. Kent loves traveling and adventure riding, which he often does alone. Collecting heritage car number plates is one of his favorites and he takes pride in that. He takes inspiration from Plates4Less which sells number plates for vehicles.