The concept of bicycle number plates has become a relevant, controversial topic in recent news. You may have heard in the news recently that bicycles may be required to mount a rear bicycle number plate. Although this may be an eyesore for bike riders, one would argue that it may be for the greater good. However, this movement could also be a way for Government to increase revenue by implementing ways for cyclists to start paying road tax which is currently the cheapest form of transport after walking…

What hasn’t been mentioned, however, is the legal minimum size of bicycle number plates. It may be assumed that the size of bicycle number plates would be the same size as motorcycle number plates as there is no legal guidelines, yet, over these requirements. This could be left open to interpretation that bicycles and riders could in fact utilise show plates on the rear of their ‘vehicle’. However, if you want a smaller but legal motorcycle number plate then fear not as we can produce those, as well!

Show plates are deemed as not being road-worthy on motorcycles and cars. Show plates also generally come in the following sizes:

8’ x 6’

7’ x 5’

6’ x 4’

Due to the legal minimum sizes of characters on number plates, the above sizes are not road legal. However, due to there being no clear cut guidelines within legislation for bicycle number plates, it could be interpreted that any size number plate will suffice. Not only this, but here at JDM Plates we are currently unsure as to what documentation a cyclist would need to provide in order to acquire their own bicycle number plates made up and what format the registration plate will be. Although, we are sure all registered number plate supplies will be enlightened in the foreseeable future!

What is Bicycle Registration?

Currently, you can already register your bike under the BikeRegister scheme with your local police department which adds your bike to a national database so that in the event of your bike being stolen, your bike can be traced back to you using a security marking kit. Furthermore, in Switzerland, all bikes were required to have a ‘license sticker’ until 2011. Prior to this, from 1892-1988, all bikes in Switzerland which travelled faster than 25km/h and/or were electric-assisted had to include bicycle number plates on them, until it was deemed ‘uneconomical’ without further debate.

When it comes to current laws mandating that bicycles need to have physical number plates on them, as opposed to stickers or other physically less noticeable forms of ownership/certification, North Korea is the only state in the world where a number plate law on bicycles is imposed. With the UK potentially following suite, it will be interesting to see to what extent the government decides how far the physical invasiveness of bicycle registration plates will go in the UK.

At JDM Plates, we are able to produce number plates of all legal sizes, and are more than capable of creating new bicycle number plates of which could potentially be of completely different sizes compared to number plates on motorbikes, using our in-house precise laser cutter.

We can produce smaller show plates, in the sizes aforementioned above although our 4D motorcycle number plates need to make in the legal sizes. The above bicycle number plate sizes are typically used on mobility scooters as there is no direct law that governs the size of those too! The above show plate sizes can be found on our motorcycle show plates product page.

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