Car cloning has been hitting the news headlines again and causing concern for legitimate vehicle owners, the DVLA and law enforcement alike.
According to The Sun newspaper, there has been a significant rise in reported cloned car related crimes – up 156% for 2018/19.
The DVLA had 6,173 reports and enquiries about cloned car registrations resulting in 204 new car registration plates being issued to victims of car cloning. Vehicle owners usually only realise their vehicle has been cloned once they start receiving fines or charges that they shouldn't be getting.
Cloning is where the identity of a similar vehicle is duplicated. The deception occurs because the clone vehicle will exhibit the same vehicle registration on its number plates .
It is mandatory for all number plate suppliers to record customer details for any plate created and sold.
Number plate suppliers that do not request or record these proofs of entitlement and identity are breaking the law and the plates may be illegal. Any DVLA registered number plate supplier (RNPS) outlet found to be participating in this illegal activity runs the risk of being struck off the list, fined and prosecuted.
What To Do If You Suspect Your Plate Has Been Cloned?
If you suspect your car registration plate has been cloned, you should:
- Immediately return any correspondence (fines, charges, parking offences, court summons, etc) to the issuing authority, giving them as much documentary evidence as you can in order to prove your case.
- Write to the DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1ZA who will record your correspondence on the vehicle record for future reference.
- Contact the Police as they will need to document the case, trace and prosecute the offender.
Some Police authorities let you do this online. If the DVLA is satisfied that a genuine cloning case has been put forward, they may issue a new registration number to the vehicle.
What Is Being Done To Prevent Cloning?
DVLA has put measures in place to reduce the number of cloning cases each year. One of these measures is the introduction of the Registered Number Plate Supplier (RNPS) scheme.
Here at National Numbers, we offer legal replacement plates from an authorised supplier replacemyplates.com, who only supply through Registered Number Plate Supplier (RNPS) outlets that comply with the DVLA’s regulations on recording legal documents.
The RNPS scheme ensures greater traceability and control of those requesting number plates to be made. Registered suppliers keep records of every number plate sale. From these sales, documentary evidence of customer names, addresses and entitlements to registration marks, are stored and may be accessed by authorities to protect legitimate owners and detect criminal activity.
In response to the need for greater number plates security, one of the world’s longest established and the UK’s leading number plate manufacturers, Jepson & Co Ltd, has developed PlateSync®, the UK’s first GDPR compliant, secure plate-making software.
PlateSync enables outlets to conveniently and securely record details of every registration produced, by whom including where and when it was printed. It also prompts the plate supplier to record the documents submitted by the customer, ensuring compliance with DVLA legislation.
If the DVLA, the Police or Trading Standards visit the supplier’s premises, they will be able to present their records quickly and easily.
Jepson & Co has been campaigning to make PlateSync® the industry standard in number plate printing and anti-cloning software. Its notable success has earned well deserved recognition, achieving the Highly Commended award for Security Innovation at a recent Home Office Security & Policing Conference.
Managing Director, Peter Jepson, stated, “It is very positive and reassuring that PlateSync® is starting to be recognised as an essential part of the solution to car cloning in the UK.”
What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?
There are simple steps you can take to prevent your car from being cloned:
- Only buy your number plates from an authorised RNPS registered outlet
- Ensure the letters BS AU 145d are printed in the lower right-hand corner of each plate.
- Ensure the name of the RNPS registered outlet and their postcode is displayed in the middle of the plate.
A useful tip to help protect yourself from car cloners, is to take a close-up picture of the number plates on your car. This way, any individual marks such as GB flags, garage personalisation can be shown to differentiate one set of plates from another. In the event of suspected car cloning, your vehicle can be identified as legitimate whilst the cloned-car in question will probably be displaying slightly altered and illegal plates.
The physical theft of number plates is another problem. In this field, DVLA is developing an agreed voluntary standard for theft-resistant number plates.
To order a legal replacement number plate with click-and-collect to your local store, visit replacemyplates.com.
To find out more, check out our links below.