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February 18, 2014

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Police warn car owners about temp plate risks

POLICE are warning car owners of the risks associated with buying temporary license plates online.

The demand for full license plates is so high that there is now a thriving online market for the temporary versions. But not all of the plates on sale are authentic, police said.

Anyone caught driving on counterfeit or altered plates faces up to 15 days’ detention and a fine of 2,000 yuan (US$329.73) to 5,000 yuan, they said. Points will also be deducted from the guilty party’s driving license.

Between 8,000 and 9,000 Shanghai license plates are auctioned off each month. Demand typically outstrips supply by between 5 and 6 to 1.

Owners of new cars who fail to secure a plate at auction can apply for one of two kinds of temporary plates. The first allows them to drive on Shanghai’s roads for 15 days, while the second, the cross-province temporary plate, permits the use of roads into and out of Shanghai for 30 days.

Both types of temporary plates cost only 5 yuan and drivers can apply for them up to three times. That means a temporary Shanghai plate can be used for a maximum of 45 days, while a cross-province plate can be valid for up to three months.

A Taobao shop owner surnamed Guo told Shanghai Daily he sells Henan Province temporary license plates for 400 yuan. He also owns a shop in Minhang District that provides second-hand and temporary plates.

“I have friends in government departments so I can guarantee the authenticity of the plates,” he said.

People can buy as many temporary plates as they want as long as they are used on a vehicle that has never been granted a full plate, Guo said.

“Compared to the price of a full Shanghai license plate, 400 yuan to keep your car on the road for a month is pretty reasonable,” he said.



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