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Alf Ventress

Thoughts re VRM

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Alf Ventress

Car stopped on false plates. The original vehicle is NOT stolen when identified. Showed as being in trade and no tea likelihood of tracing actual owner/keeper...pool vehicle.


Driver has provisional ... DOTIAWAL.

No insurance.

No Mot.


In relation to the plates...theft never going to be proved...No IP. It is displaying another VRM. The owner of other vehicle has Not has their plates stolen. Vehicle seized 165.


Any specific offence re the plate? Driver pleaded ignorance and stated it was brought ‘a few weeks ago randomly on Facebook blah blah’ ...

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S44 Vehicle Excise & Registration Act, a person commits an offence who forges, fraudulently alters or fraudulently uses a registration mark. It's a recordable crime and unlike all the other offences you have it's either-way.

So how do we prove it against the facebook defence? Presumably he'll claim he never got a copy of the V5 or has lost it. If we're starting from the side of the road then I'd be inclined to lock him up, firstly as it'll make for a more effective investigation and secondly because how confident can I really be that a car on false plates isn't stolen without any proper enquiries?

If we're pursuing this offence then I'd consider getting a CSI to examine the plate. The side exposed to road grime might be no use, but the back of the plate or the sticky side of any tape used to misrepresent the VRM could carry useable prints - if you can show the driver was the one to alter it then you're onto a winner. I'd also consider a S18 search, for the V5 (we're helpful people, if he's lost it we want to help him find it don't we?), for invoices for the purchase of show plates online and for any devices used to complete the sale on Facebook, ideally a phone which can be examined pretty easily. Even if the offence is looking pretty difficult to run with, if he's a prolific criminal then the opportunity to search his house and examine his phone might be too good to pass up.

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I had something similar. I had him in for going equipped to steal. Not sure what the oitcome was

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More than a few times people have brought plates the legit way - taking V5 to supplier and still havevsring number made up.   Not uncommon for new vehicles, especially a fleet issue and just put warning plate to wrong chassis #   

Min the absence of any ulterior motive, looks like it would be the base line fail to display correct VRM 

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Often new cars do have the wrong plates. When at the car hire firm one our essential checks was that the VRM matched the VIN on the paperwork. About 1 in 20 either had the wrong plates, or the front and back plates were different. Dealers normally sort it before they go out of the gate, but direct supply from the factory are terrible.

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Going equipped I would suggest. Although a bit of discretion would be used if it was Mrs Miggins in her newly purchased car as opposed to the local scrote in a pool car.

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