Police stop ‘fraudulent behaviour’ after driver changes number plate with felt tip pen

Derbyshire Police tweeted how one van owner “got creative” by deciding to exchange the lettering on his number plate with a felt tip pen. The driver convincingly changed his J to a U using blacl pen but this appeared legitimate from a distance. 


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The driver expected police to believe the vehicle was insured with his friend’s policy but officers didn’t believe them. 

Derbyshire Police shared pictures of the deceiving number plate on social media yesterday. 

The force tweeted a picture of Disney favourite Nemo with an art face after highlighting the crime was committed on a Citroen Nemo van. 

The tweet said: “Owner of this Nemo got creative with a felt tip pen changing the J to a U on the registration plate. 

“After this fraudulent behaviour expects us to believe it’s insured on his “mates traders policy”. 

“Van to the pound, day in court for him soon. #Seized #Chancer #OpSublime.”

Motorists reacted furiously to the Tweet with one social media user claiming he had “no sympathy” for the driver who was caught “cheating”

The user added: “Might seem amusing but this is deliberate fraud, and costs the legitimate road users extra. And having no insurance compounds the issue.”

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Another motorist added: “Why aren’t ‘traders policies restricted better?

“Should ALWAYS have to display trade plates and carry paperwork. Too easy for ‘certain groups’ to manipulate a system.” (sic)

According to GOV.UK motorists must always show their registration number correctly at all times. 

Motorists are told they cannot rearrange their numbers or letters on their plates and must not alter them in any way so they become difficult to read. 


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Road users are warned they could be fined up to £1,000 if they drive with number plates which are incorrectly displayed. 

Drivers are also likely to fail their MOT test which will result in drivers being unable to use their vehicles. 

Number plates are legal requirements and must be kept visible for law enforcement purposes at all times. Sers at risk of picking up a £1,000 fine. 

To avoid being caught out, motorists have been urged to check and clean their number plates regularly.

Experts say this could even be necessary every day when conditions require such as during a period of damp weather., 

GOV.UK warns vehicle number plates must meet strict guidelines to avoid penalties. 

Number plates must be made of a reflective material and cannot feature any background pattern. 

Lettering must be black on a white background for a front plate and a yellow background for a rear plate. 

Characters on the number plate need to be a certain height and size to be allowed for legal road use.

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