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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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peterguk
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 18:44
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QUOTE (creesteN @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 18:42) *
Is it possible that they will throw this matter away without even contacting me?


Always possible, but very unlikely.


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KH_
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 19:13
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So from your reg plate walk 22m away (using the largest diagonal, depends on the size of your letters) from the centre of your plate as if you were driving forwards.
So not at a 90 degree angle to the plate, but 90 degrees forward as if the car was driving in a straight line forward.

I think that once you go to the farthest corner offside your plate may not be visible as its on an angle away from the offside but you'll need to measure it out to be sure.
I tried drawing a pic but gave up with my shaky arms making a mess of it wink.gif
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andy_foster
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 19:51
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The worst point that the plate needs to be readable from would be 11 metres forward of the centre of the plate and 11 metres to the right (from the direction of forward travel of the vehicle). This would probably be easiest to measure in a quiet supermarket car par (ideally one not regularly used for cruises), due to the abundance of straight lines and other straight lines perpendicular to them.


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bill w
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 19:56
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Using the Advanced Search options in the Google site search, recently pointed to by Fredd on another post, led me to THIS THREAD, see post 34 for NewJudge's diagram.

This post has been edited by bill w: Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 19:58
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KH_
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 20:03
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QUOTE (andy_foster @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 19:51) *
The worst point that the plate needs to be readable from would be 11 metres forward of the centre of the plate and 11 metres to the right (from the direction of forward travel of the vehicle).

I think worst case would be 15.5ish metres. The side of a square is equal to the diagonal divided by the square root of 2
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notmeatloaf
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 20:50
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QUOTE (bill w @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 19:56) *
NewJudge's diagram.

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?s=&...t&p=1144568



This post has been edited by notmeatloaf: Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 20:52


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creesteN
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 20:58
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 20:50) *
QUOTE (bill w @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 19:56) *
NewJudge's diagram.

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?s=&...t&p=1144568



Provided I use this information and I find out it's visible - how do I prove it on paper? Do I just go to that exact point and take a photo, or do I have to photograph the measurements and everything else?
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notmeatloaf
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 21:24
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QUOTE (creesteN @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 20:58) *
Provided I use this information and I find out it's visible - how do I prove it on paper? Do I just go to that exact point and take a photo, or do I have to photograph the measurements and everything else?

Take it to an MOT garage, explain what you want checking, cross their palm with silver and ask them to document that your plate conforms with Regulation 6 of The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001 because the characters are easily distinguishable from all parts of the area detailed in the legislation in daylight. Because this would seem to go beyond the requirements of a standard MOT test make sure you get both of those elements in the documentation.

This post has been edited by notmeatloaf: Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 21:26


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NewJudge
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 21:33
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QUOTE (creesteN @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 20:58) *
Provided I use this information and I find out it's visible - how do I prove it on paper? Do I just go to that exact point and take a photo, or do I have to photograph the measurements and everything else?


Thanks to those who found my diagram.

I think the answer to your question is that you don't have to prove your plate is readable as required, the prosecution has to prove that it is not. They will have to provide the evidence that it is not and from what you say no such evidence exists. But the idea of taking it to an MoT station as suggested will help if you find you do have a case to answer in this respect.

One other problem you may encounter is that I’m not too sure your plate conforms with the detailed requirements relating to font, layout etc. The regs are quite detailed and I don’t really have the time to wade through them. Others may know them by heart.
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peterguk
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 21:40
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There seems to be two issues here. 1) plate visibility 2) plate conformity.

OP. You never answered my question:

QUOTE (peterguk @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 16:48) *
What is the actual offence on the TOR? "VRM not conforming" is only part of an offence.


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Slick
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 21:48
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 21:24) *
QUOTE (creesteN @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 20:58) *
Provided I use this information and I find out it's visible - how do I prove it on paper? Do I just go to that exact point and take a photo, or do I have to photograph the measurements and everything else?

Take it to an MOT garage, explain what you want checking, cross their palm with silver and ask them to document that your plate conforms with Regulation 6 of The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001 because the characters are easily distinguishable from all parts of the area detailed in the legislation in daylight. Because this would seem to go beyond the requirements of a standard MOT test make sure you get both of those elements in the documentation.



The MOT garage will tell you if your plate conforms to the regs........but wont tell you want you want to know as regards visibilty
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notmeatloaf
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 22:10
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QUOTE (Slick @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 21:48) *
The MOT garage will tell you if your plate conforms to the regs........but wont tell you want you want to know as regards visibilty

Only if the MOT garage is blind, illiterate or routinely turns down easy business.

You're taking it to an MOT garage because they are a business with standing and knowledge of how to test vehicles. Therefore their evidence carries greater weight in court than the OP taking DIY photographs.

You're not taking it there for an MOT test, you're taking it there to obtain an "expert" statement - which is why it's so important to ask them to include the points I detailed about.

This post has been edited by notmeatloaf: Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 22:10


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creesteN
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 22:11
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QUOTE (peterguk @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 21:40) *
There seems to be two issues here. 1) plate visibility 2) plate conformity.

OP. You never answered my question:

QUOTE (peterguk @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 16:48) *
What is the actual offence on the TOR? "VRM not conforming" is only part of an offence.



That's all it says. Offence: VRM not conforming. Offence code: 400.

I just measured and checked visibility. I was able to make out what the registration is from that location, it wasn't exactly clear, but it's visible.

What's the issue with plate conformity?
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peterguk
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 22:23
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QUOTE (creesteN @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 22:11) *
QUOTE (peterguk @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 21:40) *
There seems to be two issues here. 1) plate visibility 2) plate conformity.

OP. You never answered my question:

QUOTE (peterguk @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 16:48) *
What is the actual offence on the TOR? "VRM not conforming" is only part of an offence.



That's all it says. Offence: VRM not conforming. Offence code: 400.

I just measured and checked visibility. I was able to make out what the registration is from that location, it wasn't exactly clear, but it's visible.

What's the issue with plate conformity?


The issue the cop had with conformity re. postcode, plate maker and BS logo. (I'm not saying he was correct in that respect)

IMHO, a MOT tester is no more qualified to do a visibility check than my next door neighbour.

You'll just have to see what, if anything, arrives in the post.

This post has been edited by peterguk: Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 22:25


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andy_foster
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 22:24
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QUOTE (KH_ @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 20:03) *
QUOTE (andy_foster @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 19:51) *
The worst point that the plate needs to be readable from would be 11 metres forward of the centre of the plate and 11 metres to the right (from the direction of forward travel of the vehicle).

I think worst case would be 15.5ish metres. The side of a square is equal to the diagonal divided by the square root of 2


If you were to go 11 metres forward and 11 metres to the right, how far from your start point would you be? And how would you measure/judge 45 degrees from a line parallel to the sides of the vehicle?


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Millenial (noun): a person who is offended at being told "Suck it up, buttercup"
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Churchmouse
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 22:27
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Pressed metal numberplates can definitely be conforming. There is nothing in the regs that prohibits them, per se. I have them on my own vehicles, not so much to "attract attention", but because the 1970's technology of the standard plastic garbage everyone else has disgracing their vehicles in this country has does not appeal to my obviously highly advanced sense of aesthetics... cool.gif

That said, the plates still need to conform to the letter dimensions and spacing requirements. I wasn't sure about two-row plates on automobiles, but they do not appear to be prohibited by either the regs quoted in this thread previously, or by the DVLA information leaflet INF104.

Most likely, the attitude test was not passed...

--Churchmouse
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creesteN
post Fri, 17 Mar 2017 - 00:11
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Would this fine, if accepted or guilty, be on my record (the online one, say) and visible to future insurers etc?
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peterguk
post Fri, 17 Mar 2017 - 00:19
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QUOTE (creesteN @ Fri, 17 Mar 2017 - 00:11) *
Would this fine, if accepted or guilty, be on my record (the online one, say) and visible to future insurers etc?


Why consider pleading guilty? If you are happy you are not guilty, then put the prosecution to proof of the offence.

If convicted, your insurance company would know about it as you'll have to declare it either at time of conviction or on renewal.

This post has been edited by peterguk: Fri, 17 Mar 2017 - 00:21


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southpaw82
post Fri, 17 Mar 2017 - 00:32
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QUOTE (creesteN @ Fri, 17 Mar 2017 - 00:11) *
Would this fine, if accepted or guilty, be on my record (the online one, say) and visible to future insurers etc?

I don't know what online record you're thinking of but if an insurer asks you about convictions or fixed penalties accepted and doesn't exclude minor offences such as this you'd generally need to tell them.


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Logician
post Fri, 17 Mar 2017 - 01:13
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It will not be on your Driving Licence record at the DVLA, if that is what you are asking, the court will have a record but no one else. Nevertheless if an insurer asks you about convictions you will have to declare it of course.


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