With just a few days ahead of our next camping trip, it’s time to start checking our gear, finalising itineraries and planning activities. One of the items in our ‘to do’ list is biking. That said, we’ll be bringing our bikes with us on a 250km drive. This brings me back to my old blog about my bike rack and how I missed an important aspect — number plates.

I’ve been ferrying my bikes around without a bike rack number plate just because I wasn’t really sure if it was necessary. In fact, I can see a few cars on the freeway with their bikes blocking their number plates, just like mine. Number plates should be visible at all times, that’s what common sense and logic tell us — I just have a knack for defying them.

Anyway, considering that we’ll be on the road for at least 2 1/2 hours, I’m not taking any chances. I don’t want to get slapped with hefty fines and demerits.

Let’s do some research.

Victorian Rules

Below is an excerpt of VicRoads’ webpage:

“If you have a bicycle rack fitted to your vehicle, you must ensure that the vehicles’ number plate is still clearly visible from a distance of 20 metres.

If the rear number plate of your vehicle is obscured because of a bike rack, you can either:

  • obtain a bike rack number plate from VicRoads and attach this to your bicycle rack (a fee applies)
  • attach the rear number plate from your car to your bicycle rack when it is in use and then return it to your vehicle when you are not using the bicycle rack.

Hand-painted plates are not permitted to be used.”

Obtaining a bike rack number plate

Getting a new bike rack number plate isn’t really mandatory as per option 2 above. However, it’s too much work moving the car’s existing number plate around, especially if you have anti-theft screws. Option 1 is the way to go.

So I went to the nearest VicRoads office to place an order and my plate arrived in about a week’s time. Pretty fast considering it’s the Christmas season.

Number Plate Holder

If your bicycle rack has a built-in number plate holder then you’re all set. For bike racks like mine, or similar, we’ll need another accessory — a number plate holder.

So, the idea is to screw the number plate on the plate holder and attach the plate holder onto the bike. You get the picture. 🙂

Anyway, here’s something I found online, the Yakima PlateMate:

Bicycle rack number plate holder
Yakima number plate holder
Number plate holder
Bike rack number plate holder
Not my actual number plate but the real one is of this size — smaller than the regular number plate.

Some important notes

Though the general rule around number plates discussed in this blog may apply to most states and countries, there are a few things to consider:

  • Different states will have slightly different rules and regulations.
  • Regulations can change time and again, so it is best to check your state’s website for more accurate and up-to-date information.

Helpful Links

Yakima has done a great job of collating all related information for all Australian states, so check it out right here.

If you’re interested in the Yakima PlateMate, you can purchase it here. It’s currently unavailable in Amazon unfortunately.

Now we’re ready to hit the road. See you on the next adventure!