Why do TV shows Block License Plates? (Answered)

If you watch TV at all, you have probably noticed that the license plates on cars in shows are often blurred out or carefully blocked out entirely. This can seem really confusing to people watching TV if they do notice that this is going on. This has been the case for years, but many people are not even aware that it is so until they start paying more attention.

License plates are blurred on TV to protect privacy. Vehicle owners who keep their cars on the side of a street where filming is being done could be located and harassed by those who want to harm them. Vehicles that have been used for filming could be tracked down, and the personal information of the company or individual could be used for criminal purposes as well.

What Kinds of Information is Associated With a License Plate?

License plates carry more associated information connected with them than you might think. If you are able to access the full license plate number for a car, you can find out the driving record of the person who owns the car, as well as all of their personal information, like their full legal name and their address.

This kind of information can be used to steal someone’s identity, to locate their place of residence and attack them, or steal from them, or it can be used by stalkers who are trying to locate their victims. This is why it is so important for TV shows to block license plates in their final edit for distribution. You will often see a simple blur over the license plate when reality TV is being shot, but movies and TV shows will actually cover the license plates of all cars they are using for filming.

Another reason that you might blur the license plate of a car that you are using for filming is so that insurance companies cannot track the activities that cars are being used for. This is key for chase scenes or for TV about vehicle performance testing and racing. There are many reasons that you might need to keep the license plate information associated with a car under wraps.

License Plate Blurring is for Legal and Personal Protection

If you have just now started to notice that license plates are blurred in your favorite shows, or covered up completely, now you know why! There are many good reasons to take this precaution when you are filming a TV show, and even the cars that are owned by production companies are protected in this way. If you live on a street where TV filming is taking place, be sure that you confirm with the company that is doing the filming that your license plate will be blurred in the final production edit. This is for your own safety and well-being and is critical to confirm.

This article was last updated on January 17, 2023 .

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By Adam

The Display Blog staff account. We know display.