Automotive

How do you maintain your licence plates in good condition?

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 27th, 2019 10:03 pm
[OP]
Member
Jan 13, 2007
440 posts
318 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario

How do you maintain your licence plates in good condition?

I just started noticing both my front and rear licence plates starting to discolour. The plates are about 5 years old and are otherwise in good shape (i.e. not bent, not delaminating) but around the outside edge, they seem to be turning brown or yellow. I've tried washing it and scrubbing the discolouration off but it seems to be permanent.

Figuring I probably won't be able to make them look new again, I was wondering what one can do to prolong the appearance of your licence plates. Do the licence plates simply deteriorate over time due to the harsh winter environment? Does road salt affect the finish of the plates? How helpful would those plastic licence plate frames be? Are full licence plate covers a good option?
72 replies
Deal Addict
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Jul 26, 2007
4698 posts
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Toronto
I used a license plate covers since I could remember but decided to not use few years back. Now my newer plate on 2nd car is peeling and has rust. Put some covers over it now but too late I guess.

However, my 15 year old plates still looks brand new.
Sr. Member
Jan 20, 2012
636 posts
294 upvotes
Toronto
The Bxxx plate have quality issue. I replaced 2 of them in the last 10 years. Both of them peels off. The BAxx was protected by cover, then changed to BHxx plate which was uncover. Both seem to having the same peeling problem with 3 years.
Deal Guru
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
I have covers on but technically they are illegal. If you don't like the look of the damage, just touch it up with some paint.
[OP]
Member
Jan 13, 2007
440 posts
318 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
peteryorkuca wrote: ...
Put some covers over it now but too late I guess.
...
I'm not a big fan of those covers but I think I will certainly consider them moving forward. If i had to, I'd definitely opt for clear ones though.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
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Brampton
engineered wrote: I have covers on but technically they are illegal. If you don't like the look of the damage, just touch it up with some paint.
Which is also illegal.

It's ok Just put some smoked license plate covers on. They're all over york region and the YRP don't seem to Care.
Just make sure OPP or TPS doesn't see your clear plate covers or they'll pull you over.
[OP]
Member
Jan 13, 2007
440 posts
318 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
Great. Confused Face After reading a little more, it seems like some of those licence plate covers may be considered illegal since they make it difficult for officers to see the plate number at times. Seems somewhat subjective to me but it's all in the interpretation of the Highway Traffic Act.

For reference, from the Ontario Highway Traffic Act: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90h08#BK40

A CBC article from 2015 for reference: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ ... -1.3064957
Deal Guru
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Oct 23, 2008
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GTA, ON
tebore wrote: Which is also illegal.

It's ok Just put some smoked license plate covers on. They're all over york region and the YRP don't seem to Care.
Just make sure OPP or TPS doesn't see your clear plate covers or they'll pull you over.
Way I see it, better to have it a little painted so that it's readable versus it being completely peeled and unreadable. Unless you paint it another colour/shade from the original white & blue (Ontario plates), then a cop from a distance won't be able to tell the difference between original paint versus touch-up paint. However they will notice if they can't read it at all.
Tis banana is IRIE :razz:

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
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Brampton
chimaican wrote: Way I see it, better to have it a little painted so that it's readable versus it being completely peeled and unreadable. Unless you paint it another colour/shade from the original white & blue (Ontario plates), then a cop from a distance won't be able to tell the difference between original paint versus touch-up paint. However they will notice if they can't read it at all.
Unless it's the old 6 digit plates. It's very easy to spot touched up plates. Especially the newer B series. Cops will easily be able to tell based on the reflective laminate that was originally on there vs paint.

I figured I'd mention it because I knew some people who touched up their plates and got warnings from cops that they need to just swap their plates as painting over it is illegal.
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Oct 23, 2008
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@tebore

I get what you're saying, and I agree, it's illegal, just saying it's better to have it readable versus not readable. The right thing to do would be to replace them.

What's criminal is that the MTO charges you to swap plates even if it is their fault for issuing shit quality plates to begin with.
Tis banana is IRIE :razz:

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!
Deal Guru
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
tebore wrote: Which is also illegal.

It's ok Just put some smoked license plate covers on. They're all over york region and the YRP don't seem to Care.
Just make sure OPP or TPS doesn't see your clear plate covers or they'll pull you over.
Yup. I'm sure it's also illegal to drive with a deteriorated plate, so lose-lose. FWIW, I've been driving with a clear cover for 15 years, no problems.
Deal Guru
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
tebore wrote: Unless it's the old 6 digit plates. It's very easy to spot touched up plates. Especially the newer B series. Cops will easily be able to tell based on the reflective laminate that was originally on there vs paint.

I figured I'd mention it because I knew some people who touched up their plates and got warnings from cops that they need to just swap their plates as painting over it is illegal.
You could give it a spray with reflective paint if you wanted the original look.
https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/albe ... 2250p.html
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Jul 26, 2007
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engineered wrote: Yup. I'm sure it's also illegal to drive with a deteriorated plate, so lose-lose. FWIW, I've been driving with a clear cover for 15 years, no problems.
Been using smoked covers for 20+ years. No one cared. Got pulled over few times and they got the plate correctly each time.

I also painted the newer plates and they look so shitty up close. Might be better combo with painted and smoke covers.
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Oct 23, 2008
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Fortunately the cops are too lazy to pull people over with touched up plates anyways. There's already so many cars on the road with peeling plates, bare metal plates, and missing tail lights & brake lights, that you know cops just don't care.
Tis banana is IRIE :razz:

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
11182 posts
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Brampton
chimaican wrote: @tebore

I get what you're saying, and I agree, it's illegal, just saying it's better to have it readable versus not readable. The right thing to do would be to replace them.

What's criminal is that the MTO charges you to swap plates even if it is their fault for issuing shit quality plates to begin with.
Actually I believe plates have a 5 (or was it 2) year warranty on them (I can't remember exactly but I had to do a swap once).
For the B series they've pretty much turned the other way on how long you've had them if you bring in peeling plates.
chimaican wrote: Fortunately the cops are too lazy to pull people over with touched up plates anyways. There's already so many cars on the road with peeling plates, bare metal plates, and missing tail lights & brake lights, that you know cops just don't care.
Just don't pass any board YRP cruisers at night.

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