Fitting your number plates to your vehicle

When driving on Northern Territory (NT) roads, it is your responsibility to attach your number plate issued to your vehicle.

Your number plates must be:

  • issued by the Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR) office
  • clearly readable - not altered, dirty, faded or damaged
  • illuminated by a white light when the vehicle tail lights are on.

Height from the ground

For cars, trucks and public vehicles (such as buses and taxis), you should attach it no higher than 1300mm from the ground at the:

  • front of the vehicle and
  • rear of the vehicle.

For motorcycles and trailers, you should attach a number plate at the rear of the vehicle at a height between 300mm to 1300mm from the ground.

Positioning and visibility

The number plates must be attached to your vehicle so that the characters are in an upright position, parallel to the vehicle's axles.

The characters on the number plate must be visible from a distance of 20 metres at any point within an arc of:

  • 15 degrees from the surface of the number plate above and 45 degrees to either side of a vehicle - that is less than 4.5 tonne gross vehicle mass or
  • 45 degrees from the surface of the number plate above and to either side of a vehicle - that is more than 4.5 tonne gross vehicle mass.

This is shown on the diagrams below.

Figure 1: Vehicle number plate visibility - side viewFigure 2: Vehicle number plate visibility - top view

Blocked number plates

It is an offence to block any character/s of a number plate.

Blocked number plates can be caused by any of the following:

  • protective covers on number plates
  • tow bars/balls
  • bicycle racks
  • bull bars
  • loads incorrectly carried on the vehicle
  • incorrect attachment.

For more information about number plates rules, read section 6 - vehicle registration of the Road Users' Handbook.

How to replace

You can have your number plates replaced or remade if your number plates are damaged, lost or stolen.

If you'd like to get a personalised number plate, read how to apply for personalised number plates.


For more information, email

Last updated: 11 January 2022

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