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Registration Numbers

Volume 403: debated on Monday 10 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the matter of cloned number plates on vehicles; what action in relation to it is planned; and if he will make a statement. [101215]

We are extremely concerned about the apparent increase in vehicle cloning in order to avoid road traffic enforcement cameras. We are taking action to tackle this difficult problem.Since 1 January 2003 it has been a requirement for suppliers of number plates to be registered with DVLA. To date over 26,000 outlets have registered. This will ensure that in future number plates are only sold by registered suppliers to a purchaser who can show proof of entitlement and identity. Records will be kept of all sales for inspection by the police and local authority trading standards officers. Plates already have to be marked with the details of the producer.In addition, in order to prevent the theft of number plates from vehicles for the purpose of cloning, consideration is being given to the use of additional security features designed to establish a clear and visible link between a number plate and the vehicle on which it should be displayed. The use of more secure fixings is also under urgent investigation.