Ontario driver ticketed 3 times for licence plate covers

A GTA driver is issuing a warning to other motorists Thursday after a little-known licence plate law cost him over $300 in tickets.

Dealer plate covers also getting drivers in trouble

Dealer plate covers also getting drivers in trouble 1:40

A GTA driver is warning other motorists after a little-known licence plate law cost him over $300 in tickets.

Chris Rowe said he's been ticketed by police three times because of a clear plastic cover over his licence plate. Rowe's cover doesn't block the plate's characters or stickers, but it's still enough to get him stopped.

"I've learned that it's illegal to have anything touching your plate, obstructing it or covering it," Rowe told CBC News.

Ontario's Highway Traffic Act states licence plates must be clean and there can't be anything on them that prevents them from being identified by photo-radar systems.

Rowe's plate, however, is not dissimilar to the covers commonly given out by auto dealerships.

Jason Baxter, the owner of the traffic ticket-fighting company X-Copper, says he gets about 60 complaints like Rowe's each year.

His clients are upset, Baxter said, "because they've been given this dealer cover for their plate and they're not aware that they're doing anything wrong at all and now they've got a fine of $115."

Essentially, Baxter said, you could be facing a fine if you have anything on your licence plate that's not government issued.

While Rowe is upset with the tickets, he said he's keeping his plate cover to protect his personalized licence plate.

"Because it's a vanity plate I wanted to protect it from the elements," he said, adding his plates have corroded in the past.


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