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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 12-23-2009, 01:46 PM   #1
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License Frame covering Insurance Decal. Illegal?

I just bought a set of license plate frames and i didn't think it would cover my insurance decal on my rear plate. Needless to say i was totally wrong and you can barely see the decal. Is this illegal even though i have the decal on my car and the time hasn't expired? Thanks
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:10 PM   #2
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:29 PM   #3
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:53 PM   #4
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You can try to heat up the decal with a hair drier or heat gun, and see if you can move it up a bit to clear the frame. There is no law about where exactly the decals have to be on the rear plate, they just have to be there and visible. Make sure the letters and numbers of the plate itself are not obstructed either.
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:14 PM   #5
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What they said. The valtag is considered part of the plate and "can" get you a $196 ticket for obstructed plate. Cop's gotta take time to run the plate because he can't see the expirey dates. If I have to type, I'm gonna write.
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:47 PM   #6
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If I have to type, I'm gonna write.
Pithy. They teach that kinda humor at depot?
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:56 PM   #7
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Actually it is the education gained from the "school of hard knocks" and 28 years in the gutters trying (sometimes) to save humanity from itself...specially when it doesn't want saving. Not bitter, just experienced, with the calloused heart to show for it.
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Old 12-26-2009, 08:10 PM   #8
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Would you ticket a driver of a car where the dealer has installed frames that block the insurance decal or give them a warning and tell them to remove the frames?
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Old 12-26-2009, 09:16 PM   #9
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Sorry, completely off topic but sebberry, did you know that your petition only has 2 people signed?

And as for your original question, I think it would depend (like it would for most situations. How long has it been since the dealer installed the frames? If the can prove it was the day of or even a day or few after, I think the police will cut you a break.

If not, ignorance to the law is not an excuse. If you see something illegal on your car and don't do anything about it, it is breaking the law even though you did not do it yourself but because the car is in your possession.

But it would depend on the Officer and IMHO, the time between the car is in your possession.
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Old 12-26-2009, 09:24 PM   #10
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^And maybe what sort of attitude you give the cop.
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Old 12-26-2009, 10:36 PM   #11
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Having just bought a car from a dealers myself , I told them no thanks to their advertising on my car. Do not install the holders which obstruct my valtag. Its easy to see if they do this before you leave the lot. In the end, the driver is responsible for what happens with the vehicle.

I carry a leatherman with me. If there was no attitude displayed, and If I had the time, I would give the driver a chance to remove the brand new bolts and frames at roadside. I can tell from the registration sheet when the car was insured, by looking at the timecode. When it comes right down to it though, the length of time since you started breaking the law really makes no difference. I seldom ever wrote for just an obstructed Valtag...sometime they got that instead of something more serious, usually as part of a deal. Either that with no points instead of maybe a 6 point due care or $483 excessive...that sort of thing, attitude permitted me to enforce the laws with discretion and that means go either way...up the $$$ or down the $$$.

The last guy I wrote for obstructed ValTag involved a 200kmh plus journey from Parksville to Courtenay with weaving in traffic and unsafe passing. It took a roadblock to finally stop him. The last of the 6 charges I wrote was for an obstructed ValTag. He contested them in court and was convicted of all charges. The JP also was not impressed.
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:37 PM   #12
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is there something in the L/N book about having the valtag fully visible? if its not, i dont think it should be a ticket-able offense. and pretty low of the cop to write a ticket.
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:23 AM   #13
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I'm sure there are lots of laws that are not in the learner's handbook, doesn't mean you can break them.

It's a shame that drivers do not have to memorize the entire Motor Vehicle Act the same way pilots have to memorize the Canadian Aviation Regulations. It would be much safer if they did.
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:01 AM   #14
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Plates to be unobstructed
3.03 A number plate must be kept entirely unobstructed and free from dirt or foreign material, so that the numbers and letters on it may be plainly seen and read at all times and so that the numbers and letters may be accurately photographed using a speed monitoring device or traffic light safety device prescribed under section 83.1 of the Act.


"number plates" means the number plates issued under this Act as well as validation decals for attachment to number plates issued under this Act;

Often when stopped, the reason the driver had the ValTag obstructed was to hide the fact that it had expired. If it is not visible to you then you also may overlook renewal...and that costs way more than $196.
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:19 AM   #15
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I'm sure there are lots of laws that are not in the learner's handbook, doesn't mean you can break them.

It's a shame that drivers do not have to memorize the entire Motor Vehicle Act the same way pilots have to memorize the Canadian Aviation Regulations. It would be much safer if they did.
Pilots know big chunks of the CARs but nobody ever knows 100%. Don't forget that rules change too. With that said, every pilot (not sure if it's mandatory but you would if you knew what was good for you) keeps a copy with them in the cockpit.
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Old 01-16-2010, 11:02 PM   #16
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Yea for sure, except I dont really read my CARs, its almost common knowledge.
Although it always does make a good reference when you want to make sure you are right before you argue some aspects of airlaw with some douche "sunday flyers"

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Old 01-16-2010, 11:53 PM   #17
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^ The other thing is there are no douchebag unsafe pilots located higher than 6 feet below ground.
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:17 PM   #18
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You can try to heat up the decal with a hair drier or heat gun, and see if you can move it up a bit to clear the frame. There is no law about where exactly the decals have to be on the rear plate, they just have to be there and visible. Make sure the letters and numbers of the plate itself are not obstructed either.
Attachment of validation decal
3.012 If a validation decal is issued under the Commercial Transport Act or Motor Vehicle Act for attachment to a number plate, it must be attached

(a) in the case of a motor vehicle licensed under the Commercial Transport Act that has a licensed gross vehicle weight exceeding 5 500 kg, to the place provided on the front number plate, or

(b) in the case of any other vehicle, to the place provided on the rear number plate.

At the bottom of the plate there is an indented area in the plate. This is the place provided.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:19 AM   #19
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^ my bad. Last time I searched for it, that sub-section did not exist. It was just added in 2006.

You could argue that 'the place provided' is any open or clear part of the plate. I dont think that section of the MVA contains a specific definition for the term 'the place provided' as 'the indented area on the plate' .. and when getting into a subjective arguement like that in a courtroom or traffic court setting, you could then argue why the validation sticker was not 'exactly' within the indentation.

But I digress... Any officer who stoops to the level of harassing a motorist for moving the validation sticker to a more visible area, needs to have his head whacked with a baseball bat.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:38 AM   #20
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Pilots know big chunks of the CARs but nobody ever knows 100%. Don't forget that rules change too. With that said, every pilot (not sure if it's mandatory but you would if you knew what was good for you) keeps a copy with them in the cockpit.
Carrying a copy of the CARS is not mandatory, and you really should not be flying at all if you think you might need to reference it while in flight. I have never carried one in flight nor had to ever reference one during flight in my 13 years of flying. Although I have often referenced it before flights to check if what I was going to be doing was legal or not.

The only literature you *must* carry are "current aeronautical charts and publications covering the route of the proposed flight and any probable diversionary route for night VFR, VFR Over-The-Top and IFR flights."
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:21 PM   #21
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^ my bad. Last time I searched for it, that sub-section did not exist. It was just added in 2006.

You could argue that 'the place provided' is any open or clear part of the plate. I dont think that section of the MVA contains a specific definition for the term 'the place provided' as 'the indented area on the plate' .. and when getting into a subjective arguement like that in a courtroom or traffic court setting, you could then argue why the validation sticker was not 'exactly' within the indentation.

But I digress... Any officer who stoops to the level of harassing a motorist for moving the validation sticker to a more visible area, needs to have his head whacked with a baseball bat.
The ICBC envelope that the validation decal comes in has directions (a diagram) on where to apply the decal. ICBC issues the licence plate, the validation decal and the directions. Therefore I believe that the place provided is the location where ICBC states to apply the decal.

I do not believe that threatening to whack someone on the head with a baseball bat is an appropriate comment on this forum.
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:01 PM   #22
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@spc, if ICBC wants it in a specific spot, then they can meet me at a place of my choosing, and they can install it where they want, until that time, i will place it on the plate where i want, as long as it doesn't cover the plate and is visible. i know my local insurance broker, not only will he call me when renewal time is happening, but he will meet me to install it, and provide me with my new documents
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:03 PM   #23
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Autoplan road agents will come out and meet you to do insurance, but they aren't going to be the ones who get in trouble if you run into a nit-picking cop who doesn't like where you've got your decals.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:25 PM   #24
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My corolla has the ValTag covered. I guess its really a hit or miss. since i purchased aftermarker lincense plate covers off ebay they would block the valtag.. Now i know ive been checked by cops lots lately but because its a corolla i guess they dont think i'm a problem.. Ive even been through road blocks with my rolla reaking like weed, and they just let me pass through and didnt even talk to me, they just waived their flashlights..
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:40 PM   #25
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Ive even been through road blocks with my rolla reaking like weed, and they just let me pass through and didnt even talk to me, they just waived their flashlights..
Nice to know the police are keeping our roads safe like this.
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