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Illegal Registration Plate, VRM not conforming
creesteN
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 16:44
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Good Afternoon,

I have recently received a traffic offence report for the reason of offence code 400, VRM not conforming. Let me explain the situation first:

  • I have arrived at a council, public access, free to use (at that time of the day) car park. I met my friend there and parked beside him. The place was known for various car meets which have been shut down by the local police and council. No event was happening that evening. With only me, and my friend being there in the other car, we have been chatting outside our cars for a few minutes. Two foot police show up; they write our registration down. I question it, they say they have no issue with us, it's only for the record if there is any antisocial behaviour. They told us we can stay.
  • 10 minutes later, a marked police car shows up, tells us to leave with no discussions as there is a dispersal order in place. I ask if I can repark my car on the other side of the car park and stay on foot, go across the road to a shop, etc. They immediately get out and look for a reason to fine me.


I then receive a telling off about my license plate as the other officer looks for more issues (finds none). I get told to get in the car and present my ID. When I question the officer as to why I'm getting the ticket, I get the response: "VRM not conforming". I ask him to be more specific, he says - I have no stamps with BS, postcodes, etc. I tell him to check again, he comes back telling me they're not visible. I tell him they don't have to be. He then adds onto that telling me the material is not reflective (it is, I have photos of the light bouncing straight into my camera), the letters are not smooth (they are pressed), and the position is not in the middle.

I have not argued about the letters as I wasn't sure. I checked the rules, I can't see anything prohibiting it. Position, I argued, mentioning the plates on Alfa Romeo. His reason was 'it's legal because it's standard, your car doesn't come like that'. I'm not satisfied and waiting for correspondence to come from police now.

What should my course of action be? I can send photographs if required.

Thanks!

This post has been edited by creesteN: Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 16:46
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post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 16:44
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Logician
post Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 00:39
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It seems not to be available online but there are references to it such as:

DVLA Bulletin 21/11 (21/2011) (partly reproduced below)

Misrepresented Number Plates
Please be aware that the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency ( DVLA ) has been dealing with an increased number of enquiries dealing with raised lettering or metal number plates. DVLA,s position is that there is nothing in the British Standard ( BS AU 145d) or in the Road Vehicles ( Display of Registration Marks ) Regulations 2001 that specifically excludes raised lettering or metal plates.

Although pressed metal plates are not excluded, the plate must not be treated in any way which impairs its recognition by a camera and film or any device. The Font must not be altered from the specified Charles Wright Font.


--------------------



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superSmiffy
post Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 07:04
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One of the issues with raised characters is not the font being incorrect but that the material used to create the font is reflective, some are retroreflectice and both are proscribed.

The characters that fake the look of 3D text are also proscribed because they are made of characters that have more than one stroke, i.e. they have black and grey and sometimes no colour sections within the character. This also makes the characters less recognisable to a camera, especially illuminated IR because the characters appear with less of the character being non-reflective.

Raised characters are allowed but they must be non-reflective and they often are not.
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creesteN
post Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 08:14
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QUOTE (superSmiffy @ Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 08:04) *
One of the issues with raised characters is not the font being incorrect but that the material used to create the font is reflective, some are retroreflectice and both are proscribed.

The characters that fake the look of 3D text are also proscribed because they are made of characters that have more than one stroke, i.e. they have black and grey and sometimes no colour sections within the character. This also makes the characters less recognisable to a camera, especially illuminated IR because the characters appear with less of the character being non-reflective.

Raised characters are allowed but they must be non-reflective and they often are not.


I have a message from the supplier saying "we don't make our registration plates that way. The letters are not reflective.". And I also have a photo where the plate bounces light back but not the lettering.
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superSmiffy
post Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 08:28
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QUOTE (creesteN @ Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 09:14) *
QUOTE (superSmiffy @ Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 08:04) *
One of the issues with raised characters is not the font being incorrect but that the material used to create the font is reflective, some are retroreflectice and both are proscribed.

The characters that fake the look of 3D text are also proscribed because they are made of characters that have more than one stroke, i.e. they have black and grey and sometimes no colour sections within the character. This also makes the characters less recognisable to a camera, especially illuminated IR because the characters appear with less of the character being non-reflective.

Raised characters are allowed but they must be non-reflective and they often are not.


I have a message from the supplier saying "we don't make our registration plates that way. The letters are not reflective.". And I also have a photo where the plate bounces light back but not the lettering.

That's good then.
Did you ever put a picture of your plate on? Part of it would hide your ID of course.
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samthecat
post Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 09:26
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Are you in possession of the officers statement and can you post it on here (with personal details redacted)?

I may have missed something but was the issue not originally to do with the location of your number plate rather than its construction?



--------------------
If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.
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creesteN
post Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 15:31
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QUOTE (superSmiffy @ Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 09:28) *
QUOTE (creesteN @ Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 09:14) *
QUOTE (superSmiffy @ Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 08:04) *
One of the issues with raised characters is not the font being incorrect but that the material used to create the font is reflective, some are retroreflectice and both are proscribed.

The characters that fake the look of 3D text are also proscribed because they are made of characters that have more than one stroke, i.e. they have black and grey and sometimes no colour sections within the character. This also makes the characters less recognisable to a camera, especially illuminated IR because the characters appear with less of the character being non-reflective.

Raised characters are allowed but they must be non-reflective and they often are not.


I have a message from the supplier saying "we don't make our registration plates that way. The letters are not reflective.". And I also have a photo where the plate bounces light back but not the lettering.

That's good then.
Did you ever put a picture of your plate on? Part of it would hide your ID of course.

If you mean the photograph where the light bounces, I can do so as soon as I get back home tonight. I'll do it ASAP.

QUOTE (samthecat @ Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 10:26) *
Are you in possession of the officers statement and can you post it on here (with personal details redacted)?

I may have missed something but was the issue not originally to do with the location of your number plate rather than its construction?


"On ... at ... a vehicle, namely ... VRM ..., on a road namely, ...., when the registration mark required to be fixed on the front and rear of the vehicle failed to comply with the Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001 in that the plate was pressed metal with raised lettering on both the front and rear of the vehicle, no supporting documentation to suggest plate has been tested against British standard BS AU 145d. Contrary to section 59(1) of the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994."

This was written in the case on my court summons. I have some other documents somewhere at home with other statements, witness statement (second officer), and descriptions. They all seem to mention the same thing.

The issue was never with the location. It was mainly the fact that it is "non-standard", as the officer said in many locations and that the letters are "raised".

This post has been edited by creesteN: Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 15:34
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Jlc
post Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 15:50
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Yup, location was discussed but isn't the 'issue'.

Looking back through the thread the plate does have BS145 mark but wasn't the officer's 'liking'?


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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creesteN
post Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 18:27
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QUOTE (Jlc @ Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 16:50) *
Yup, location was discussed but isn't the 'issue'.

Looking back through the thread the plate does have BS145 mark but wasn't the officer's 'liking'?


It does. So does it have a postcode and a supplier name.
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disgrunt
post Thu, 12 Oct 2017 - 11:20
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Have you asked the supplier to provide evidence for your defence, say a sworn statement or even turn up in person to defend their firm's reputation?

How much was the plate? If it was over £100 and you paid on a credit. Are I'd be asking oth the credit card company and supplier to be defending their product and would be reminding them that if they have sold me an illegal plate that I would be expecting all children she s incurred their be reimbursed by them, i.e. Fine and increased insurance premiums
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peterguk
post Thu, 12 Oct 2017 - 11:40
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QUOTE (disgrunt @ Thu, 12 Oct 2017 - 12:20) *
If it was over £100 and you paid on a credit. Are I'd be asking oth the credit card company and supplier to be defending their product and would be reminding them that if they have sold me an illegal plate that I would be expecting all children she s incurred their be reimbursed by them, i.e. Fine and increased insurance premiums


That's funny biggrin.gif


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disgrunt
post Thu, 12 Oct 2017 - 11:44
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Fantastic predictive text / auto correct!

But agreed that is very funny.
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creesteN
post Thu, 12 Oct 2017 - 19:36
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QUOTE (disgrunt @ Thu, 12 Oct 2017 - 12:20) *
Have you asked the supplier to provide evidence for your defence, say a sworn statement or even turn up in person to defend their firm's reputation?

How much was the plate? If it was over £100 and you paid on a credit. Are I'd be asking oth the credit card company and supplier to be defending their product and would be reminding them that if they have sold me an illegal plate that I would be expecting all children she s incurred their be reimbursed by them, i.e. Fine and increased insurance premiums


I have initially! Apart from a message of along the lines of "they are made to be legal", I received no more. It was about £14, not £100.

This post has been edited by creesteN: Thu, 12 Oct 2017 - 19:38
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creesteN
post Wed, 18 Oct 2017 - 21:19
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Another response by the supplier, unfortunately this is all I got:

QUOTE
Hello,

these plates are reflective and are road legal.


I have a few questions. I would appreciate your help.

  • I think I lost my initial documents that had witness statements and such on them when I first received the charge. Will they be vital to the case? I still have the case summary stuff from the court summons.
  • What actually happens in court? What can I expect? Every post on the forum is regarding speeding or parking charges. They're all very specific.
  • Where can I find the DVLA Bulletin 21/11?. DVLA has not responded back to me.


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Pensioner
post Wed, 18 Oct 2017 - 22:13
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QUOTE (creesteN @ Wed, 18 Oct 2017 - 22:19) *
Another response by the supplier, unfortunately this is all I got:

QUOTE
Hello,

these plates are reflective and are road legal.


I have a few questions. I would appreciate your help.

  • I think I lost my initial documents that had witness statements and such on them when I first received the charge. Will they be vital to the case? I still have the case summary stuff from the court summons.
  • What actually happens in court? What can I expect? Every post on the forum is regarding speeding or parking charges. They're all very specific.
  • Where can I find the DVLA Bulletin 21/11?. DVLA has not responded back to me.



https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/syste...207546/V796.pdf

And

DVLA Bulletin 21/11 (21/2011) (partly reproduced below)

Misrepresented Number Plates
Please be aware that the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency ( DVLA ) has been dealing with an increased number of enquiries dealing with raised lettering or metal number plates. DVLA,s position is that there is nothing in the British Standard ( BS AU 145d) or in the Road Vehicles ( Display of Registration Marks ) Regulations 2001 that specifically excludes raised lettering or metal plates.

Although pressed metal plates are not excluded, the plate must not be treated in any way which impairs its recognition by a camera and film or any device. The Font must not be altered from the specified Charles Wright Font.


BS AU145d

In the specification it states in the Scope : NOTE. retroreflecting number plates may be manufactured from any material which performs satisfactory in service, providing the requirements of this standard are met.

Sec 3.6 - retroreflecting number plate
A plate exhibiting the registration mark of a vehicle in which only the background to the registration mark consists of retroreflecting material.

Note:- ANY MATERIAL
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creesteN
post Thu, 19 Oct 2017 - 00:15
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Where is the source of this DVLA Bulletin? I know the text, it's just that I can't find it anywhere online.
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Logician
post Thu, 19 Oct 2017 - 01:19
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QUOTE (creesteN @ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 - 01:15) *
Where is the source of this DVLA Bulletin? I know the text, it's just that I can't find it anywhere online.


I looked and cannot find it, just many examples of it being quoted. That suggests to me that it is not available from DVLA.



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bill w
post Thu, 19 Oct 2017 - 09:41
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QUOTE (Logician @ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 - 02:19) *
QUOTE (creesteN @ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 - 01:15) *
Where is the source of this DVLA Bulletin? I know the text, it's just that I can't find it anywhere online.


I looked and cannot find it, just many examples of it being quoted. That suggests to me that it is not available from DVLA.



It seems you are not alone in enquiring, See an earlier thread on here and also the thumbnail attachment on the subsequent post 17

Bill
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creesteN
post Thu, 19 Oct 2017 - 21:24
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QUOTE (bill w @ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 - 10:41) *
QUOTE (Logician @ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 - 02:19) *
QUOTE (creesteN @ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 - 01:15) *
Where is the source of this DVLA Bulletin? I know the text, it's just that I can't find it anywhere online.


I looked and cannot find it, just many examples of it being quoted. That suggests to me that it is not available from DVLA.



It seems you are not alone in enquiring, See an earlier thread on here and also the thumbnail attachment on the subsequent post 17

Bill


Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!! smile.gif Can anyone give me an insight into how the court case looks like? How do I address people? When do I say what? How much law / how much personal talking, etc.
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superSmiffy
post Fri, 20 Oct 2017 - 07:46
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QUOTE (creesteN @ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 - 22:24) *
QUOTE (bill w @ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 - 10:41) *
QUOTE (Logician @ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 - 02:19) *
QUOTE (creesteN @ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 - 01:15) *
Where is the source of this DVLA Bulletin? I know the text, it's just that I can't find it anywhere online.


I looked and cannot find it, just many examples of it being quoted. That suggests to me that it is not available from DVLA.



It seems you are not alone in enquiring, See an earlier thread on here and also the thumbnail attachment on the subsequent post 17

Bill


Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!! smile.gif Can anyone give me an insight into how the court case looks like? How do I address people? When do I say what? How much law / how much personal talking, etc.

There will be a bench of 3 magistrates or a district judge.
There will be the legal advisor/clerk of court in front of them.
A prosecutor and you if you are not represented.
The prosecutor opens the case then calls for the witnesses. They will present evidence that you should already have been given 7 days or more beforehand.
When the prosecution Witness has finished their evidence you can ask that Witness some questions about what they have just evidenced.
The prosecotor can re-examine any points you have raised with the Witness.
All witnesses finished, prosecution will close.
You get to give your evidence and you can be questioned.
You get to close your case.
Decision is made.

Call the magistrates or DJ sir or madam.

The decision is returned with reasons then the penalty is decided. You get to speak if you want to make representations about what the penalty should be if you haven’t put in a written statement of means but you should put that in anyway.
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southpaw82
post Fri, 20 Oct 2017 - 07:55
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QUOTE (superSmiffy @ Fri, 20 Oct 2017 - 08:46) *
The decision is returned with reasons then the penalty is decided.

If you’re convicted! Obviously no penalty if you’re not.


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Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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