Why are license plates blurred on TV, online and in movies?

License plates – also known as number plates or vehicle registration plates – are unique identifiers for motor vehicles. Most cars have plates with a random series of numbers and letters. Others display vanity plates with personalized phrases, acronyms or slogans. On TV shows, online and in movies, license plates are usually blurred — so you can’t see the numbers and letters. Why is this?

What is the purpose of a license plate?

Blurred-out license plate Mike Hindle via Unsplash

Before we get into the reasons for blurred-out license plates in various media formats, let’s cover why cars even have license plates in the first place. The purpose of a license plate is to give a car a unique identifier. This is similar to a driver’s license, social security number, and passport.

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