Most registered owners don’t realize their licence plate has been stolen or even swapped with another stolen plate until they are contacted by police. Please, look at your licence plate every day and make sure it’s yours.
Don't underestimate the cost of a stolen plate
Licence plates are used by thieves to conduct criminal activity under the disguise of someone else. Not only can this lead to issues for the registered owner of the plate, but the criminal activities that thieves conduct vary from dangerous driving and frauds to identity theft and break and enters. These activities end up putting more innocent citizens at risk.
From January 1 – May 21, the Edmonton Police Service reported 1240 licence plate thefts. Since 2017 (to May 21, 2019), 8236 licence plates have been reported stolen in Edmonton.
Get into a routine of walking behind your vehicle so you can read your plate every time you go to your vehicle.
There are ways to make it more difficult for someone to take your licence plate. You can go to a nut and bolt store/hardware store and purchase screws to fit your vehicle’s make and model. Some retail stores sell specific licence plate lock kits.
Note: aluminum and stainless steel screws are less likely to rust.
When officers know a licence plate on a vehicle is stolen, we can make tailored decisions on how to take the suspect into custody, which can also reduce the risk to public safety. Also, if your plate is stolen and you receive an automated enforcement ticket (like photo radar or red light camera ticket), you will held accountable if you haven’t reported your stolen licence plate.
In many cases, in order for any automated traffic violation tickets to be withdrawn by the courts, a police file number or a copy of your police report that indicates your licence plate was stolen will be required. This means if you do not report your stolen licence plate to police, you are likely to be held accountable for these violations.
If your plate has been stolen, contact police immediately at 780-423-4567 or come into a police station.
Note: If you only report a stolen plate to a registries office, police are not notified, so please contact police too!