In short, yes, it’s illegal to obscure your license plate in any way, including having your bike rack cover it. Calgary police are warning drivers they can get ticketed if their bike rack is covering the license plate. While it’s rare to get ticketed for covering your bike rack with a license plate, the risk exists.

If you’re worried about covering your license plate, here are a few tips to avoid this situation. First, let’s take a look at what type of bike racks would cover a license plate.

Hitch-Mounted & Trunk Bike Racks

Due to the simple fact that these types of bike racks hold bikes at the rear of the vehicle, hitch-mounted and trunk bike racks would naturally cover your license plate.

Hitch-mounted bike rack

A hitch-mounted bike rack is a type of bike rack that is designed to be attached to the hitch receiver of a vehicle, typically located at the rear. It provides a secure and convenient way to transport bicycles.

These racks are specifically designed to fit into the receiver hitch, a square or rectangular opening beneath the rear bumper of many vehicles. The hitch receiver is designed to accommodate a trailer hitch, but it can also be used for attaching various accessories, including a bike rack hitch.

Trunk bike rack

Trunk bike racks typically consist of a metal frame with adjustable arms and straps that secure the rack to the vehicle’s trunk or rear hatch. The arms extend outward and downward to support the bikes. The bikes are usually secured in place using straps or cradles that hold them by their frames, and additional straps are often used to secure the bikes to the rack and prevent them from shifting during transit.

Tips For Keeping Your License Plate Visible With a Bike Rack

Opt for a roof rack – Choosing a roof bike rack is a great option for those who want to ensure their license plate remains unobstructed during transportation. By placing the bikes on the roof of the vehicle rather than at the rear, a roof rack eliminates the possibility of the license plate being covered and eliminates the risk of receiving a ticket for that reason.

Use a license plate mount – If you have an existing hitch-mounted or trunk bike rack, using a license plate mount is a practical solution to avoid covering your license plate. By utilizing a license plate mount, the plate can be securely relocated to a visible and legal position on the vehicle. This ensures that the license plate remains unobstructed, maintaining compliance with regulations and preventing a potential fine.

Find What You Need at the Calgary Hitch Shop

When it comes to finding the right bike rack equipment for your vehicle, Calgary Hitch Shop has you covered. With our extensive range of products and knowledgeable staff, they are your go-to destination for all your hitch and accessory needs. Call us today for more information or visit us at one of our locations, and one of our team members will be happy to help.