LawTalk Blog

Bike racks on cars

bike racks on cars

If you have a bike rack attached to your car, you need to ensure that the number plate of the vehicle is not obstructed.  To do this, you may need to:

  • display a bicycle rack number plate on the rack; or
  • take the rear number plate off your vehicle and attach it to the bike rack.

If you attach a standard number plate to the bike rack you must not  have a standard number plate on the rear of your vehicle as well.  So you can have a standard number plate on the rear of the vehicle and a bike rack number plate on the bicycle rack but NOT a standard number plate on both. A home-made number plate is also not legal.

You can apply for a bike rack number plate from the Ezyplates website.  If you get one, you need to apply for the registration number of the vehicle it will be attached to; therefore the bike rack number plate cannot be used for more than one vehicle.

If you have a bicycle rack number plate it must be displayed so:

  • the whole of the number plate is visible from the rear;
  • the bottom edge of the number plate is not less than 30 centimetres above the level of the ground and in such a position that every letter and figure of the registered number is upright; and
  • every letter and figure on the number plate is:
    1. legible from left to right on a plane level with the ground;
    2. clean and legible at all times;
    3. clearly visible in daylight to a person standing on the same plane as the vehicle at any point not less than 3 metres or more than 18 metres from the plate looking at the plate along an imaginary line approximately at right angles to the plate.

Between sunset and sunrise or during periods of poor visibility, the number plate on the rack must be illuminated with a white light, making the number clearly visible from a distance of 20 metres. This light must not project light from the rear of the vehicle, other than reflected light.

When you are carrying bikes on your rack, if the brake lights on the vehicle are not visible from a distance of 200 metres under normal weather conditions, you must attach an additional brake light to the rack, which is visible from 200 metres.

If you obscure or distort a letter or figure on a number plate when the plate is viewed or photographed from any particular angle day or night, the maximum penalty in the Motor Vehicles Act Regulations is $2,500.  The on the spot infringement fine is $400 plus a $60 victims of crime levy.


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Get in touch with today's blog writer:
Ryan Thomas

Partner in Family Law  and  Criminal and Police Matters

Please note, this Blog is posted in Adelaide, South Australia by Andersons Solicitors. It relates to South Australian legislation. Andersons Solicitors is a medium sized law firm servicing metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia across all areas of law for individuals and businesses.

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