Two cars, one licence plate?

| 05/10/2016 | 6 Comments

Do you know if it is legal to have the same personalised licence (registration) plate on two different vehicles? I have recently seen someone driving two different vehicles bearing the same licence plates. I thought the licence plate was tied to the registration of the vehicle? Not to mention they would be avoiding fees to the Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing on one of the vehicles?


Auntie’s answer: It is definitely not legal. You are right to question the legitimacy of one licence attached to two different vehicles. That would strongly indicate that the person using the plates in question is either not playing by the rules or the original owner has been the victim of a crime.

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An official with the Department of Vehicle & Drivers’ Licensing (DVDL) explained that the registration plate is linked to the vehicle and should always remain with that car.

He said, “When registering a vehicle, the owner is issued two vehicle registration plates. These plates are assigned to the vehicle, as per the Traffic Law (2011) Section 6(4). That section states in part that the Director of Licensing, after ensuring that the relevant laws and regulations have been complied with, will register the vehicle by assigning it a serial, alphabetic or alpha numeric registration number, officially record that information and then issue the plates and certificate of registration.

Of course, if a vehicle does not have registration plates then it is not considered legally registered under the law.

About your question on avoiding paying fees on the vehicle, if someone removes their registration plates from one vehicle and places them on another, it may go undiscovered until it was time for the vehicle to be inspected again, but the DVDL would catch it at that time.

“During the inspection process, our inspectors would notice the discrepancy when entering the results of the inspection in our system,” the official said.

There is certainly a possibility that the person with the wrong plates could have purposefully switched them. If the plates had been stolen, the registered owner should have immediately notified the police and the DVDL.

I note that you mention the use of duplicate “personalised” (which I take to mean vanity) licence plates. Assuming that you are right and the two plates are exactly the same and not just similar, then you should report it to the DVDL.

The laws mentioned in this column can be found on the CNS Library.

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Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    One thing was left off of the original post, what was the plate info??? Something to keep in mind some letters and numbers look similar on plates. One could have plates that say COOL1 and C00L1 which on a plate looks the same but are not 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    I hope ‘Anon’ isn’t thinking of me, I just bought a new vehicle and Licencing allowed me to move the personalsed plate to the new car, issuing a new number to the old one.

    • satirony says:

      There are so many cars on the roads carrying just one license plate, American style, some with no plates at all, that it really looks as if the Police just don’t care anymore. It’s bizarre what you can get away with on Cayman’s roads. I’ve often wondered if I’d ever be pulled over, were I to remove both registration plates and the license disc, then decorate the vehicle with blue and green LEDs, blacken the front side windows, fit bald tyres, never use my indicator. and, for my final, desperate attempt at getting noticed, fit those long, spear-tipped wheel nuts, anodized in pink, designed to lacerate pedestrians on contact. Never, is the likely answer.

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