Bicycle rack number plates

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.

The bike carrier rule has changed

From 1 July 2017 drivers can drive with empty bike carriers. Here's some more info on how to use them safely.


What is the law?

You can be fined if:

  • the correct number plate is not attached on a bike rack and the vehicle number plate is obscured by the rack
  • the number plate is illegible
  • the bike rack number plate is not illuminated at night and clearly visible from 20 metres away. Illumination kits are available from most bicycle retail outlets.

A bicycle rack is usually fitted to the towbar or attached to the boot of your car.

Bike rack attached to the vehicle’s boot.

Bike rack attached to the vehicle’s tow bar.

Safety tips

  • The sharp edges of the bike rack number plate can be covered by surrounding the bike rack number plate with a protective soft trim surround. These are available from VicRoads (a fee applies).
  • Stoplights, tail lights and vehicle indicators must not be obscured by either the rack or the bicycle(s).
  • Make sure that the rack and its attachment to the vehicle (usually the towbar) are strong enough to carry the bicycle(s). (Check with the towbar manufacturer).
  • If the bike rack is fitted to the towbar, ensure the towbar is securely attached to the vehicle.

Do not overload the vehicle by carrying too many bicycles.

Overloaded bike rack attached to the vehicle’s tow bar.


Bike rack plate fees

Check the fee for bicycle rack number plates.

Order a bike rack number plate

To order your bike rack number plate:

Once ordered, your bike rack number plate will be mailed to you. Allow 14 days for delivery.

The dimensions of a bike rack plate are 252mm x 96mm.

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