License Plate for Bike Rack: Requirements and How to Attach It!

This article will provide tips and tricks on installing a license plate properly following rules.
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Last updatedLast updated: June 19, 2022
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A bike rack is a must-have for anyone who loves to go on adventures with their bike. If you are going on an inter-state adventure, you need to be aware that some states are pretty strict about driving with loaded bike racks, especially if they block the license plate. Rear bike racks are notorious for this. They block both the license plate and the rear lights because of where they are mounted. In some states, you will get pulled over by the police and get slapped with a ticket. You can mount your bike rack anywhere on the vehicle as long as it doesn’t cover the license plate. Alternatively, you can get the bike rack and a supplementary number plate from the state. Do not make the mistake of making the number plate yourself, as the law forbids DIY plates. In this article, we delve deeper into what the law requires you to do regarding getting a license plate for your bike rack.

Can the bike rack cover the license plate?

License Plate for Bike Rack: Requirements and How to Attach It!

It is unlawful to drive with your license plate obscured in a way that compromises the visibility of your residing jurisdiction.

In most states, the police will pull you over and give you a ticket. Some states like New Jersey will let you go only if part of the plate is obscured. You can get a different type of bike rack or get a bigger track to be on the safe side of the law. At least every state in the United States has some laws for the safe transportation of bikes on vehicles. Since the states vary in how they treat license plates and bike racks, the police officers may also be different. In some states, the police may pursue you and give you a ticket; in others, you may drive freely without getting in trouble. To be safe, ensure your license plate is visible. Here are a few license plate and bike racks laws in different states. In almost all states, it is a requirement to have the taillights and license plates visible to other drivers on the road. For this reason, you must get a supplementary license plate for your bike rack if it obscures your vehicle’s license plate. In Virginia, it is illegal to obscure a license plate with a bike rack or anything else, and the state’s law is very clear.

In Utah, obscured license plates are not an issue. You can have a wheelchair, bike rack, or any other cargo-carrying device covering the license plate, and no one would pull you over, provided they are installed properly. As strange as it sounds, it’s real, but for the sake of other road users, just try and keep your license plate visible. Michigan and New Jersey also have license laws amended to allow bike racks to block license plates as well. Check out Buy Radar Detectors Trusted Source State License Plate Laws Before you pick out a license frame or cover, check the state license plate laws. There may or may not be restrictions, depending on the laws in your state. www.buyradardetectors.com for more information about the other states’ license plate laws.

Can you make your number plate?

It is illegal to make your number plate for a bike rack. You can make a number plate holder and then use it with the state-issued number plate. To get a supplementary number plate for your bike rack, you need some money to pay the required fee and a driver’s license. You also need to be the owner of the vehicle.

A supplementary number plate is different from the standard one in size. Moreover, it comes with the word supplementary written on it. Once you have attached the plate to the bike rack, you must always ensure it is visible even from a far distance. It should never be obscured by mud or dirt.

Is it illegal to make your own number plate?

A DIY number plate sounds fun and quick, but it is illegal. Making your own number plate is against the law because it will be different from the ones issued by the state. You will be risking a heavy fine or a good amount of time in jail. Most people make DIY plates with cardboard and then use colorful paints to paint them. You can also get a private plate, but you would have to dig deeper into your pockets. Keep in mind that it is unlawful to get a private plate for the wrong reasons, like hiding your vehicle’s age. Read this article by ThePrivatePlateCo Trusted Source Getting Personal in the USA with Vanity Plates | The Private Plate Company Personalised plates are also popular with some of our most beloved characters in the movies. The infamous De Lorean from Back To The Future bore the plates “OUTATIME”, while Tom Selleck’s mustached Magnum PI had “ROBIN1”, “ROBIN2” and “ROBIN3”. www.theprivateplateco.co.uk to have a clear understanding of personalized plates and how to get them.

How to attach a license plate to a bike rack?

Compared to buying a different rack or upgrading to a bigger vehicle, getting a supplementary plate for your bike rack is a better alternative. Attaching a license plate to a bike rack is no big deal, and there are two ways to go about it. The first option is to get a license plate relocation kit and then mount the plate bracket on the rack. This will allow you to attach your vehicle’s number plate to the rack when you have it on. Alternatively, you can use a dual hitch adapter to place the rack on the receiver tube on top, then place the license plate on the receiver tube on the bottom with the relocation bracket. If you use either method to attach the license plate to the bike rack, do not drive at night as the light won’t show on the plate.

License plate holders with light

If you want to drive at night and avoid fines or tickets, use a license plate holder with light. The bad thing is most bike racks in the USA don’t have light, but you can retrofit yours. You can buy the rack, lights, and license holder separately. Some bike rack brands make license holders for their racks. If you are in the market for bike racks for your SUV, Jeep wrangler, or Subaru outback and have no clue where to look or what to get, read our articles on the best bike racks for Jeep wrangler, best bike racks for SUV no hitch and best bike racks for Subaru Outback.

One of the best-rated bike racks in the market currently is the popular Thule 963PRO Spare Me 2 Bike Spare Tire Bike Carrier. It offers solid frame protection and stability with its anti-sway cages and stay-put cradles. Another prime option is the Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks. It is an outstanding choice because of its dual compound tie-down cradles and quick set straps that secure and protect bikes individually.

Are there bike racks that don’t cover license plates?

There are multiple brands and types of bike racks that don’t cover the license plate on your vehicle. One of the key things to consider when choosing a bike rack is its mounting position. A good bike rack doesn’t cover the vehicle’s license plate because that means more expenses. Any kind of rear-mounted bike rack will obscure the license plate in some way, if not all the way. Surprisingly, rear bike racks are more popular because they are easy to attach and can be swung around easily to allow access to the vehicle’s rear. Nonetheless, you can consider other bike racks like roof-mounted and trunk-mounted units that are less likely to obscure your license plate.

Roof-mounted bike racks

Just like their name suggests, roof-mounted bike racks are mounted on the roof of the car, leaving the rear, where your license plate is, open and visible. The only downside of roof racks is that you may have difficulty driving in windy conditions or in areas with trees and other height restrictions. These types of bike racks should be your prime option if you live in a state with laws that don’t condone obscured license plates.

Trunk-mounted bike racks

Some trunk-mounted bike racks obscure the license plate, but the majority of them offer clear visibility for your plate.

Final thoughts

It is not okay for a bike rack to cover a vehicle’s license plate. In most states, it is illegal and attracts a fine or time in jail. The states have different laws and ways of dealing with license plates and bike racks. Some states have even amended license plate laws to allow obscuring a vehicle’s license plate with a bike rack. To be on the safe side, just ensure you have your license plate visible to other road users. You can get a supplementary license plate for your bike rack if you can’t imagine getting another suitable rack. Roof-mounted racks and trunk-mounted racks are the second-best alternatives to ensuring your license plate remains visible when transporting your bikes. Although rear bike racks are the best convenient option, you can consider the other options for legal purposes.

References

1.
State License Plate Laws
Before you pick out a license frame or cover, check the state license plate laws. There may or may not be restrictions, depending on the laws in your state.
2.
Getting Personal in the USA with Vanity Plates | The Private Plate Company
Personalised plates are also popular with some of our most beloved characters in the movies. The infamous De Lorean from Back To The Future bore the plates “OUTATIME”, while Tom Selleck’s mustached Magnum PI had “ROBIN1”, “ROBIN2” and “ROBIN3”.
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