An image of the fake plates. Engravings from a special engraver would generally be used to inscribe details in the black areas of the plate.
Fake vehicle license plates have been sold online, but counterfeits are likely easy to spot.
A spokesperson for the Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said online listings of counterfeit plates were removed from an overseas website quickly after concerns were raised.
Ken McAdam, operations manager for the Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association (LVVTA), said the counterfeits were easy to spot because they misspelled the vehicle so it read “low volume vehicle technical association”.
“There are some pretty obvious things, like coloring the plate,” he said.
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Claire and Chris Trundle are living their dream: to run one of the largest 4×4 modification companies in the country.
A Low Volume Vehicle Certification Plate is required whenever a light vehicle is modified, which includes suspension changes, upgrading to power steering, or modifying a braking system.
Even though the typo and coloring did not arouse suspicion, the NZTA spokesperson said the LVVTA no longer issues the type of counterfeit engraved certification plates, replacing them with a new circular electronic device containing a chip.
“The LVVTA is also working on additional certification protection where the public can self-check the accuracy of the plate information on the LVVTA website, i.e. when purchasing a a modified vehicle,” the spokesperson said.
McAdam said the same system will soon be available for older engraved plates, allowing buyers to verify that vehicle information matches the vehicle they are buying.
“Hopefully this will be up and running within the next three to four weeks, and this is a direct result of this counterfeit that has surfaced again.”
McAdam attempted to purchase one of the fake plates to compare it with the real thing, but it never arrived.
“They may have taken the money and never delivered it – who knows. It’s like everything, you get what you pay for,” he said.
McAdam said the plates, which were sold on AliExpress, cost $70 for four or one plate for $28.
McAdam said he was not yet aware of any vehicle owners being caught with the fake plates and AliExpress reported that few had been sold.
The NZTA spokesman said if a vehicle was found to have counterfeit plates, the police were informed.
If the NZTA were made aware of a vehicle with a counterfeit plate, the vehicle’s inspection record could be revoked, meaning the vehicle would need to be assessed and recertified by a low volume vehicle certifier before a new warrant could be issued. of aptitude can be issued.
“The LVVTA is also eager to hear from anyone who may have information,” the spokesperson said.
“When a vehicle is modified, it is essential that the integrity of the vehicle is not compromised and that it remains safe to drive.
“The certification process ensures that, and we encourage people to follow the process correctly and put safety first.”
McAdam said the last time there was a problem with fake plates was in 2013, which led to a Wellington-based auto mechanic being charged with fraud and 100 hours of labor. general interest.
A person found creating counterfeit plates could also be charged with forgery.