Peeling, faded Manitoba licence plates target of RCMP project

If your licence plate is peeling or faded, it’s time to get it fixed or replaced, or face a possible fine.

Manitoba RCMP is in the middle of a two-month project aimed at paying extra attention to the issue.

“The laws have been on the books for several years, but I think we are just enforcing them a little more now,” RCMP Sgt. Mark Hume told CTV News Winnipeg.

Manitobans are required by law to have front and rear plates, and both need to be legible.

However, if an RCMP officer cannot read the plates with an automatic license reader due to fading, peeling, or some kind of covering on them, the plates can be considered obstructed and could result in a fine to the tune of over $200.

“Most, if not all of our traffic cars have automatic licence plate readers, so these are cameras that read the plates as we pass vehicles, and the legislation for several years now has said that plate has to be visible, but it has to be readable digitally by these various camera systems or red light cameras, any of the digital systems. So a peeling licence plate where the paint peels off it, these cameras can’t read it,” Sgt. Hume said.

He added while some peeling and fading on licence plates comes with normal wear and tear, some drivers are intentionally obstructing their plates to evade the system.

According to Hume, some licence plate covers have even been designed to create a reflection so police cameras can’t read them at all.


Manitoba Public Insurance told CTV News Winnipeg there are around 1.2 million active vehicle registrations in the province, and 25,000 plates are replaced annually due to peeling or discolouration.

The crown corporation said all plates are manufactured with reflective sheeting that should remain legible for 5 years.

However, if a plate was issued before then, it will be replaced at no cost.

If a plate is older than 5 years, a replacement can be purchased for $15.

MPI added the current plate series has been around since 1997, which is why some plates are fading.

– With files from CTV’s Jon Hendricks

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