Police Markers: What are they and Should You be Concerned?

June 22, 2021 by Zoe Hicks – 2 mins read

You may or may not have heard of the term, but Police markers could be concerning when you’re searching for your next vehicle. But don’t get too stressed, as Motorscan is on hand to give you all the information you need on what they are and what to look out for when buying your next car.

What is a Police Marker?

In a nutshell, a Police marker is fundamentally a red flag registered on the Police National Database against a vehicle’s registration plate. It flags up that the car could be of interest and is, therefore, more likely to be pulled over by the Police. Since ANPR cameras were invented, it’s now so much easier for Police to identify cars with registered markers.

Why does a Car get marked?

There are several reasons why Police markers are assigned to vehicles, from a car being involved in anti-social behaviour to a vehicle that has previously been caught carrying drugs. The reasons can therefore vary as follows:

–     A vehicle that’s been used in anti-social behaviour

–     Vehicle that is stolen

–     Cloned vehicle (false number plates)

–     Failing to stop

–     A vehicle that’s been used in criminal activity

What is a Section 59 Marker?

A section 59 warning is issued in the specific circumstances where vehicles are found to have been used to cause distress, alarm or annoyance or used in an anti-social manner.

Can I Check if my Car has a Police Marker on it?

Unfortunately, there are no free resources through which you can check a vehicle for any Police markers. However, through Motorscan’s paid for vehicle check service, it’s possible to check if a car has been registered as stolen or has any Police interest markers attached to it—we’ll be able to alert you if the registration has been marked on the Police National Database.

Can you get a Police Marker Removed?

If you unwittingly find you’ve purchased a vehicle that has been Police marked, although challenging, it is possible to have this marker removed. You should contact your local police force to get the mark removed, and if you provide the proper evidence and make a good case, it is certainly possible. For example, you will likely need to provide proof of new ownership, valid tax, MOT and insurance documents.

However, it’s always advisable not to get involved in buying a vehicle that has a marker attached to it, as removal can be problematic. Motorscan makes it easy to avoid these pitfalls by offering our premium vehicle check service, where you can check a vehicle for the following:

  • Finance check by Experian
  • Vehicle Keeper History
  • Write-off;
  • Stolen;
  • Scrapped;
  • Imported/exported;
  • Plate/colour changes
  • 50+ other datapoints

How long does a Police Marker Stay on your Car?

There is no specific time limit on how long a marker can remain attached to a vehicle. Some markers can expire automatically after a certain period, and if the offence was relatively minor, then this expiry can be in as little as six months. However, other markers can remain with the vehicle for its entire life on the road. Police forces will usually review markers periodically, but this depends entirely on the specific Police force. Reviews typically range from 28 days to one year, with average reviews being held monthly to ensure continued relevance.

Can I Sell a Vehicle that has a Police Marker?

Legally, there is no reason why you can’t sell a vehicle that has a registered marker; however, it’s likely to be flagged up if a potential buyer runs an HPI style check. Therefore, you’ll likely find it extremely difficult to sell without first removing the marker. Additionally, the morality question may also persuade you to get the marker removed first, too!



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