Is it illegal for your hitch mounted bike rack to cover your license plate?

Words:  Alison McPherson

I’ve recently heard of a few instances of people having some issues regarding their hitch-mounted bike rack covering up their license plate and being ticketed.  I wanted to get to the bottom of this to try to spread the word in hopes of this not happening to any fellow outdoor enthusiasts.

So I called Calgary Police and asked for the rules.  The bottom line is that yes, if your license plate is covered, you can get ticketed.  However, if you actually have a bike on your rack and are clearly headed to-or-from a ride, they probably won’t ticket you.  It may be a little bit of a hassle to take your rack off in between rides but it also may be worth it to avoid getting ticketed.

The officer I spoke with also mentioned that it’s pretty unlikely that they will ticket you for having a bike rack covering your license plate.  They’ve got bigger fish to fry and you’re probably not high on their radar – unless you’re driving around with your license plate covered AND running stop signs, speeding, etc., then you may be a higher target.

I also confirmed that it is legal to move your license plate to your bike rack itself, ensuring your license plate is still always visible.  However, this was not highly recommended as your chance of license plate theft will increase.

In summary, covering your license plate with a bike rack may grant you a ticket; however, it’s pretty unlikely if you’re practicing all other good driving habits.  So don’t let that deter you from getting out there and getting after it!

If you’re interested in checking out our bike rack line-up, CLICK HERE.