If you’re going to carry bikes on the back of your car, either with a hitch mount, ball mount or clip on style bike carrier, you’re going to need to have a look at the below.
If your bike rack obscures your rear number plate in any way, local traffic authorities (such as the RMS in NSW) require you to purchase and display an auxiliary number plate. No you can’t make a copy on an old piece of cardboard and tape it on the back. These won’t show up on speed cameras and hence are not legal.
Don’t take my word for it, see the actual law below:
"Clause 61(2)(b) of Schedule 2 of the Regulation re
quires that a number-plate is not obscured, defaced
or otherwise not legible.
Clause 61(2)(c) of Schedule 2 of the Regulation re
quires that a number-plate must be visible at a
distance of 20 metres from it and within all the
areas described by an arc extending at an angle 45°
above the top of the number-plate and 45° forward of
See also from the NSW Police Facebook page:
"We stop people who have made a number plate out of plastic, cardboard or paper with their registration written on it, but that doesn't comply with the NSW Road Transport legislation. The number plate must be issued by the relevant authority in that State or Territory.
The fixed penalty for driving a motor vehicle with an obscured number plate is $405 and a loss of three demerit points.
For NSW registered vehicles an 'auxiliary number-plate' must be purchased. You can order auxiliary plates from a registry, by calling 13 22 13 or online at NSW Roads & Maritime Services - my plates. The fee is $39.00
For ACT registered vehicles a bike-rack number plate must be purchased. To purchase a bike-rack number plate you can attend Canberra Connect Shopfront or place your order via telephone by calling 13 22 81. Licence plate fees start from $36.20.
Note the $400 plus dollar fine and loss of three points!!
The last thing is that you will need to know is that you will need to illuminate your rear plate if driving at night and you are also not allowed to obscure brake lights, indicators etc.
The Thule Product designed to make you 100% legal is called the BA 976 Lightboard and will plug into any seven pin flat or seven pin round electrical outlet on your car. It simply attaches to the outside bike via two simple to use straps.