DRIVERS who have had their number plate illegally cloned should get some sympathy from President Hollande – because journalists from car magazine Auto Plus have managed to make a copy of the plate for his own Citroën DS5.
Although car dealers are required to ask for the carte grise registration document before making a new number plate, Auto Plus discovered that three-quarters of internet sites failed to do so – as did half of plate-making shops.
Drivers who have had their number plate cloned face being fined for offences they did not commit – and have enormous difficulty proving their vehicle was not involved. That could now also happen to President Hollande as the magazine managed “without difficulty” to get a copy of his number plate and stick it on an identical car.
High street garages, auto-centres and key-copying shops all refused to make the plates without the registration document.
Latest figures available date from 2011 show that 20,296 fines were imposed for theft or use of false plates, 50% up on the 13,574 registered in 2010.
• Last week the mayor of the Vosges village of Saint-Jean d'Ormont in Lorraine revealed he had received a penalty notice for a parking offence for his tractor - in Montpellier several hundred kilometres away. Similarly, a farmer in La Murette, Isère, has received a parking fine for leaving his tractor in a street in the 18th arrondissement in Paris.
Screengrab YouTube CitroenColefabian