Dodgy detail in Aussie's number plate could attract $900 fine

The latest Australian number plate drama follows dozens of reported problems with various vehicles around the country.

After a controversial number plate was ordered off the road in one state, authorities have reminded the public it's a serious offence to alter or obstruct plates in any way and hefty fines are in place for those caught doing the wrong thing.

Earlier this week, an Adelaide resident posted a blue and white number plate to social media which looked as though it had been modified. The plate reads "TIAR" and is covered in splashes of paint around the edges and over the top of some of the characters. An "SA" stamp can be seen to the left of the plate.

A blue and white South Australian number plate altered with white paint and tape to read TIAR.
The South Australian "number plate" has been criticised by authorities who said it was highly illegal. Source: Reddit

Dodgy plates raise eyebrows in South Australia

On Reddit, people questioned whether it was legitimate and if the vehicle should be allowed on the road. When Yahoo News Australia went to check, a spokesperson for SA's Department of Infrastructure and Transport confirmed confirmed they were in fact altered and highly illegal.

"The number plate in the image provided appears to be altered," the spokesperson said.

"Under the Motor Vehicle Act it is an offence in South Australia to drive a motor vehicle without a prescribed number plate. A number plate must not be rearranged, altered, or displayed so that they are hard to read."

The penalty for obscuring a number plate or driving with false plates, the spokesperson continued, is a fine of up to $906 ($807 plus a $99 Victims of Crime Levy).

Number plate dramas all over Australia

Similar penalties are in place all over the country when it comes to modifying number plates. In NSW for example, drivers can be fined up to $2,200 for offences relating to altering plates.

Number plate dramas are rampant on Aussie roads, authorities say, with just a few months ago a Sydney driver caught sporting not one, but two plates.

A NSW ute driver sporting two number plates, with a yellow and black one hanging loose to reveal another plate underneath.
This ute driver could attract a fine of almost $800. Source: Reddit

Global headlines were made recently when antisemitic plates were spotted in Sydney, appearing to reference the date of a brutal massacre.

A few years ago in Victoria, a wannabe "criminal mastermind" was caught out by police after they spotted his suspicious-looking number plate. While giving credit for his "8/10" colouring in, police were not as impressed by the driver’s choice of canvas, with the motorist caught having literally drawn on numbers on the plate.

Drawn-on plates in Victoria showing a spelling error, The Edgucation State.
Police earlier shared photos of a driver's embarrassing spelling mistake on this makeshift licence plate. Source: Facebook/Wyndham Police Service Area

The plates were revealed not only to be false, but to actually be crafted with a blue marker on a white sheet of paper. In an embarrassing attempt to create a Victorian licence plate, the opportunistic driver had also misspelled the word "education".

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