Why Do Bikers Flip Their Plates?

Riders/Cyclists flip their plates regularly when they want to escape from a police chase or to hide the information used to register the bike plate from mosey eyes. 

Naturally, your license plate is meant to be visible for everyone to see. But when you have your plates hidden or flipped, that means something is wrong or the rider is avoiding something. 

Preventing number plate theft is one of those reasons the rider might be avoiding. This is because getting a fake license plate and registration is quite easy. When you use fraudulent information on a stolen bike, it will look legitimate.

In this article, we’re going to examine the meaning of a flipped plate and the type of trouble you can get into for having a plate flipped. 

What Is A Flipped Plate?

A flipped plate is a situation where your plate number has been flipped 180 degrees to either change plates or cover the existing plates for reasons best known to the driver. 

Why Do Bikers Flip Their Plates

This plate flipping can be done manually by the bike rider or bike engineer. It can also be done electronically with a plate flipping device which flips and interchanges your number plates by 180 degrees with a push of a button. 

The automatic plate flipping mechanism uses a single motor to fulfill these flipping motions in your plate number holder. This motor flips on a set of linkages. 

One end of the linkage is connected to the motor, while the other end is connected to the reciprocating part. These parts are enclosed in a dome with internal grooves in them. 

The design of the groove helps the reciprocating part to move back and forth while rotating around its axis. The reciprocating part is connected to the flipping plate so that it moves every time the reciprocating part does.

Why Do Bikers Flip Their Plates?

There are many reasons bike riders attribute flipping their plates. However, whatever reason you were told sounds legitimate because there’s usually a reason behind that action. 

We are going to look at some of these reasons so you can be aware when next you see a bike rider flipping their plates or if you have any reasons to flip yours.

Riding In The Rain

Many people believe the reason an automated plate flipping device was made is for riding in the rain. They think you can wipe off water from your plates by flipping it a few times which makes the parts distortion free. 

Escaping The Police

While escaping the police, bikers can flip their plates so it can’t be seen during the chase or to fit into a new environment after escaping the police. They can also use it to escape a traffic violation. 

Prevent License Theft

Some riders say you can prevent your license plate number theft by using these flippers. You can flip your plate to a false license plate so it reflects no data when searched. 

Anonymity On The Internet

People flip their plates to continue maintaining a low profile online in case they uploaded a photo on their bike or mistakenly posted information that compromised their plate number. 

What Kind Of Trouble Do You Incur For Having Plate Flippers? 

You can be punished in all states of America if you tamper with your license plate to avoid being noticed or to conceal your identity from the authorities. Even if you don’t have any pre-existing charges, you can still face hefty punishments if you do it.

The state of Washington, for example, made it unlawful for an individual to use technology to flip license plates, install license plate flipping devices, or change the appearance of plates. It is also illegal to sell. 

Some states do not have a specific law banning flipping your plate number like Georgia but they have a law that, unless you’re permitted, all plates have to be positioned at a location and not flippable.

It must be legible at all times. It will not be covered with any material, shall not swing and be visible, and many more laws that make it impossible to use a flipper or cover your plates with a low-tech device.

If you’re considering attempting this on your bike with the hope that you can go unnoticed, you will be unlucky one time and you will be caught.

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As you can see, using flippable plates is illegal in the country. When you find someone using it, you have to understand that they are up to no good and will be in a lot of trouble if caught.

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I’ve been riding (bicycles) my entire life and am passionate about everything that comes along with it. I wouldn’t call myself a true “roadie”. I’m just a guy that loves riding because of the pure joy it brings.