Before setting off, you may find that your bike rack is blocking the license plate. Are you afraid of being run over and getting a ticket?
If your bike rack blocks your view of your license plate, it may be illegal, depending on the situation.
While some states have exemptions that allow bike racks to partially obscure the license plate, many states do not allow blocking. You should check the laws in your state to see if the law applies to you.
Types of bike racks that can block the license plate
If you decide your state has laws against blocking your license plate with a bike rack, you need to know what types of bike racks it applies to. This is especially important if you haven’t bought the best bike rack before, or if you don’t need to buy a new one to comply with state laws.
Recommended: types of bike racks
1. Trail-mounted bike rack
Towbar-mounted bike racks attach to the back of your car and extend upward. Since repossession is the focus of your car, it is usually in front of the license plate.
This type of bike rack is most commonly used to block the license plate. While they usually don’t completely block the license plate when it is empty, they hide parts of it depending on your viewing angle.
Towbar-mounted bike racks usually block the larger license plate when the bikes are loaded. Depending on the law in your state, this can lead to the police.
2. Bicycle rack
The rear bike racks are secured with foam contact points and lashing straps.
While this type of bracket doesn’t lock up the license plate as often, some trunk mount luggage racks have contact points on the top of the license plate. This means that it can be completely or partially hidden, even without bicycles on the luggage rack.
There are bike rack variants mounted in the luggage compartment that are specially designed to prevent the license plate from jamming, which are described below. You should always check the laws in your state as the license plate can still stick when loading bikes.
Bike rack that doesn’t block the license plate
There are a number of bike racks that are designed to prevent the number plate from jamming. The license plate always sticks at some point when loading the bikes when using a rear bike rack, but there are also bike racks that avoid this problem completely.
Bike rack for roof mounting
Roof mount bike racks mount on the roof of your car, not the back. This is the only way to prevent the license plate from being completely blocked under all circumstances.
Roof bike racks allow you to keep the rear of your car clear of obstacles as the bike rests on top of the car.
If your state has strict license plate blocking laws, this type of bike rack is best for you.
Some bike suite supported
Some trunk bike racks are designed so that the license plate is easily visible, especially when the bikes are unloaded.
Here are some of the best bike racks in stock that won’t block license plates.
1. Saris bones
The contact points of the Saris Bones bike rack are on the outside of the license plate and are therefore clearly visible.
Saris Bones is a very popular and safe bike rack for luggage. The rack is made of high quality materials and has a very curious and compact design. It fits most cars and cleans subtle spoilers.
Saris Bones is available in 3 bikes and 2 bikes.
2. Hollywood F1B race
The Hollywood Racks F1B bike rack also has contact points outside of the license plate area. This is a fantastic bike rack that can hold up to 3 bikes and is suitable for most types of cars.
The strap mechanism is not as durable as with the Saris Bones, but the bike rack is cheaper. Think about your specific situation; How often you use it or how long you commute so you know which bike rack is right for you.
How to fix a bike rack that is blocking the license plate
If your state has laws against blocking a bike license plate, you’ll need to fix it so it doesn’t fall off due to police and fines.
1. Find a provisional paper number
In some states, you may have a different license plate number to stay visible when using a bike rack. You usually have to pay a small fee and attach the temporary plate (made of paper) to the rear window.
This allows police officers to see your license plate while your bike rack is attached and stocked with bikes. This temporary plate must be removed with the bike carrier when you no longer cycle.
2. Move the license plate
If the license plate is not visible and your bike carrier is located, you can move it to make it visible again. The movement process depends on the type of vehicle and the carrier of the bike, but it can be done with a few changes.
This can be easy, but some states also require that the license plate be lit at night. This means you will need to make a system to keep the light on the plate while driving at night.
You should also check other laws in your state regarding the proper adhesion and visibility of the license plate.
Buy a new bike carrier
If you can’t move the license plate properly or get a temporary one, you may just need to buy a new bike carrier for the police to fine you.
By purchasing a bicycle carrier that does not block the license plate, you can completely avoid this problem. You don’t have to worry about getting a temporary plate or moving the license plate to be visible.
For many people, this may be the best long-term solution. Read the section above about bike racks that will not obstruct your license plate.
Other Ways Your Bike Rack May Be Illegal
Blocking the license plate may not be the only way your bike rack can break the law.
Some states require the removal of bicycle racks when not in use. This means you should not drive around with an empty bike carrier. Check your state’s law to see if it applies to you.
In addition, an unsafe bike carrier can lead to legal problems.
While an insecure bike carrier is not in itself illegal, a poorly sponsored carrier can break the law if something goes wrong. If your bike rack breaks, the bikes will fall on the road and may damage other cars or injure others.
Unsecured loads on your car will result in costly fines and even jail time! Unsecured fines in the United States range from $ 10 to $ 5,000, and 16 states include jail time as a possible punishment (source). While some states may not vigorously enforce these laws, it is important to think twice before hitting the road.
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