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RAM 3500 Number plate bulb replacement
Do I legally have to replace a blown number plate bulb on my RAM 3500?
If you drive on Australian roads, your RAM 3500 must have official number plates fitted and if you were issued with two number plates then both need to be attached to the vehicle.
It is also the owner's responsibility to ensure the number plates are in good condition and clearly readable. This is so the vehicle is identifiable should it be stolen or involved in a traffic infringement.
You can be penalised if the number plate is unreadable from 20 metres away. If your number plate bulb has blown and you’re driving in poor light conditions or at night you could be issued a fine.
When your RAM 3500 headlights or parking lights are turned on, the number plate light (also known as the rear registration plate lamp or ‘illumination device’) should also be on. If it doesn’t turn on, you may have a blown bulb.
Some vehicles have more than one bulb illuminating the rear number plate. If none are working then it may require the replacement of a couple of bulbs or there may be an electrical problem.
To illuminate the number plate there are light bulb fitments situated next to - above, below or beside - the number plate. The bulbs must emit a minimum light flux for the device.
Bulb manufacturers must ensure number plate lights meet the minimum luminance values by testing at one minute and 30 minutes after illumination. They classify these as road legal bulbs.
A number plate bulb will typically push into the number plate light socket or electrical connector and there is usually a light fitting that covers the bulb to protect it from the elements.
Number plate bulbs are typically a 12v 5w wedge globe and the light must be colourless to ensure the number plate doesn’t appear to be a different colour. When purchasing bulbs, ensure they are road legal and the correct fitment. You can check your vehicle owner’s manual to get the correct bulb specifications.
Check the lights on your RAM 3500 regularly and if you catch the number plate light showing these signs of failure, get it checked out:
- Light is flickering on and off
- Lights don’t come on when the lights are turned on
- The light is very faint
- The bulb is fogged over
It’s a good idea to use a cloth to handle the bulb. Try to avoid touching the glass.
Make sure the lights are switched off when replacing the bulb and make sure replacement bulbs are road legal and correct fitment for your RAM 3500.
If you have multiple number plate bulbs but only one has blown, you should still replace the faulty one as the number plate will not be illuminated effectively.
It is a legal requirement to have your number plate illuminated and visible up to 20 metres away. If you don’t want to get into trouble and receive a fine, spending a few dollars on a bulb is a wise option.
If you’re unsure which bulb to purchase, when you book your RAM 3500 in for an AutoGuru service have the professionals replace the number plate bulb for you.