Sometimes it happens to cross cars and motorbikes with strange plates on the road. Visibly repainted numbers. Faded numbers. Numbers and letters illegible for dirt, or covered, as happens with motorcycles (due to a padlock or chain). Until the extreme cases in which a translucent film is applied which makes the numbers hardly visible (perhaps to escape the speed camera) or adhesive tape is placed to tarot the alphanumeric sequence (a C becomes G). But there are also the trivial cases in which the license plate is worn or damaged in an accident, and it is no longer read perfectly. In all these situations, at least there are risks of administrative sanctions, but the criminal complaint can also be triggered.


Identify the owner

With the plaque you don’t mess around, because it has a role of public faith. Affixed to the vehicle following registration, it has the task of making the owner immediately identifiable, i.e. the person in charge of traffic, both for infringements of the Highway Code and in the event of an accident. In certain cases, liability (jointly and severally) is attributed even if the owner is not behind the wheel at the time of the infringement or accident.


State property

Looking carefully at the plate you can see the symbol of the Italian Republic. The plates are in fact produced by the State Printing Institute. For the Highway Code (art. 100), the car must have the plate in front and behind. When the car is removed, the plates must be returned to the Civil Motorization. In other words: the plates are owned by the state and are given to the owner of the car for use.

No tampering

The plates are made of aluminum sheet, on which a self-adhesive retro-reflective film is affixed. These characteristics cannot be altered. Always the art. 100 of the Highway Code states that: Anyone who falsifies, tampered with, alters car number plates or uses tampered, falsified or altered number plates punished pursuant to the Criminal Code. So you don’t play with the plaque.

The anti-speed camera films

On the market there are films that make the plate invisible. One can think: since they are sold, they can be used freely. The smart ones use them to obscure the license plate to the speed camera and the Ztl cameras … Now, these films can be used to photograph the car in case you intend to sell it through an advertisement. There is no problem. But if the car comes out of the garage and runs on the road in those conditions, the owner risks a lot. Ending in the penalty and leaving the decision to the judge whether it is tampering or alteration.

The revision is not passed

Even in the event of damage to the plate, it is better to ask for a replacement. Because if the license plate is compromised, the car cannot pass the overhaul. What if the license plate is defective and the retro-reflective film comes off? You have to deliver it to the Civil Motorization and have a new one released.

Administrative penalties

Driving with a vehicle without a license plate means risking a fine from 84 euros to 335. If you drive with a plate that is not your own or counterfeit, that is, altered or modified, the sanction must be applied from a minimum of 1,988 euros to a maximum of 7,953 euros. If the plate is judged to be equivocal, that is, such as not to allow identification of the vehicle, the fine will go from a minimum of 25 euros to a maximum of 99 euros (therefore it is forbidden to apply inscriptions, badges or abbreviations on the plates that could create doubts in the identification). To these are added the additional administrative sanctions: the withdrawal of the license plate, the vehicle being stopped for three months and, in the event of repeated violations, the administrative confiscation of the vehicle.

Criminal penalties

If those who use counterfeit plates admit to be the author of the counterfeit, they also respond criminally as prescribed in art. 469 of the Criminal Code (Counterfeiting the fingerprints of a public authentication or certification) in competition with the offenses referred to in art. 477 (False material committed by the public official in certificates or administrative authorizations) and 482 always of the Criminal Code (False material committed by the private person). If, however, the motorist or owner of the car with inauthentic plates admits that he is not the author of the forgery, he is liable for the crime referred to in art. 470 of the Criminal Code (Sale or purchase of things with footprints of a public authentication or certification) in competition with those referred to in articles 648 of the Italian Criminal Code. (receiving stolen goods) and 489 C.P. (use of false act).

August 8, 2017 (change December 19, 2017 | 12:54)