Do You Need A Lightboard For A Bike Rack? Know The Rules Of The Road

Do you need a lightboard for a bike rack?, or is it just an accessory that some people like to use? Get your answers here.

You cannot reach every destination by bike. Sometimes you would want to carry your bike in a car. For instance, if you have a mountain bike, you want to carry your bike to the trails by car and then ride your bike. But Unfortunately, a car does not have sufficient room for carrying bikes. So, you have to mount your bike on a bike rack. 

In the market, you will find different bike racks like hitch mount racks, trunk mount racks, roof racks, and others. But carrying a bike on a bike rack comes with several questions in mind. One of the common questions is, do you need a lightboard for a bike rack? Read on to find out more.

Do You Need A Lightboard For A Bike Rack

Do You Need A Lightboard For A Bike Rack? 

Your bike rack will only need a lightboard if it obstructs your car’s number plate or rear lights. You can also use a lightboard on a bike rack to have better visibility at night, preventing accidents.

However, you don’t have to worry about the lightboard if you carry a bike on the roof rack. If you are transporting a bike on a hitch-mount rack or any rear rack, then you need to think about getting a lightboard.

This article will tell you when you should get a lightboard on a bike rack, which will help you safely carry your bikes from one place to another without getting stopped by cops.

You might like to read: How High Is A Car With Bikes On The Roof

When Do You Need A Light Board On Your Bike Rack?

Before you invest in a lightboard, you should know it’s not necessary to have one on your bike rack. That’s why I have listed below some reasons for using a lightboard on your bike rack.

#1. Bike Rack Blocks The Registration Number Of Your Vehicle

In the United States, most states will expect you to ensure your vehicle’s registration number is visible while running on the road. 

But when you use a rear bike rack like a hitch-mount rack, it may obstruct your vehicle’s number plate, which is a criminal offense, and you will get a ticket for it. 

For example: 

  • In Nevada and North Carolina, the numbers on your vehicle’s number plate should be readable from 100 feet. 
  • In Texas, your number plate must be free from any foreign material like dust and dirt, and it should be readable. 

So, the laws may slightly differ from one state to another, but the essential thing is your number plate should be visible to everyone.

So, when you have a bike rack that obstructs your number plates, you should use a lightboard on your bike rack.

It’s best to use auxiliary bike lights, which will have a plate holder and a safe Led light. 

#2.Bike Rack Blocking The Rear Light Of Your Vehicle

If your bike rack is obstructing the rear light of your vehicle, then you need to use a lightboard on your bike rack. This will improve visibility during the night and prevent unexpected accidents.

But here, you don’t need to install an auxiliary light on your car as it is not blocking the plate number of your vehicle. You can install the rear-mounted lights on your vehicle.

Why Is a Light Board Not Necessary In Roof Rack?

In roof racks, you have to lift your bike on your shoulders and safely keep it on the roof of your car. So, never block your car’s registration number or rear lights, and you don’t need to install the lightboard on your bike rack. Well, if you want, you can install the lightboard to increase visibility while driving at night.

But roof racks have some limitations. When you keep your bike on top of the car, it increases the height of your car. So, when you drive safely only in restricted areas. 

For instance, if you want to drive on a low-height bridge, you have to remove the bike from your car; otherwise, it can smash or severely damage your car. 

So some people prefer to use other bike racks to transport their vehicles. If you switch to the hitch mount racks or a trunk mount rack, you should use a lightboard on your bike rack.

What Are The Different Types Of Bike Rack Light Boards?

There are mainly three types of bike rack lightboards available in the market. Let’s discuss them below.

#1. Auxiliary Bike Rack Light Board

The auxiliary bike light board kit comes with a plate holder and LED lights. The plate holder holds the number of your vehicle temporarily. Similarly, the LED lights will replicate the rear light of your vehicle. The LED lights are bright so that it increases your visibility while driving on the road.

The design of the auxiliary lightboard is such that you can fit on the bike rack directly. In the kit, you will also find brackets for mounting the number plate and some essential hardware for mounting.

You might like to read: Can You Get 4 Bikes On A Roof Rack

#2. Rear Bike Rack Light Board

The rear bike rack lights are also known as taillights. You are free to place anywhere on the back end of your vehicle. These lights are very easy to install on your vehicle. You will find multiple modes in them so that other motorists or drivers can easily notice you.

These lights are essential when your bike rack obstructs the rear light of your vehicle. So, they don’t come with a temporary plate holder.

#3.Hitch Mount Bike Rack Light Board

If you have a hitch bike rack on your car, you should invest in a hitch mount lightboard. You may require to drill your bike rack to install this lightboard permanently. If you don’t want to drill, you can mount the lightboard by using magnets.

In this kit, you will find multiple LED lights that will surely increase your visibility in the dark. I think it is a perfect replica of the backlight of your vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Do you need lights on the bike trailer?

Yes, you need lights on the bike trailer. In fact, in California, trailers more than 80 inches wide should have clearance lights.

#2. Do bike racks damage your car?

Yes, sometimes bike racks can damage your car. For instance, the trunk mount racks can seriously damage your vehicle if your bikes are not adequately secured. The front wheel of your bike will move and can rub your bike’s paint or can scratch it.

#3. Do you need a number plate on the bike rack?

If you have installed your bike rack on the rear of your vehicle, then you need a number plate on the bike rack. Your bike rack should not obstruct the visibility of the number plate according to the law of most of the States in the United States.

#4. How do you protect a bike on a rack?

You can use a U lock on the front of your bike to lock the frame and front tire of the bike.

Wrap Up

The bike rack needs a lightboard only when it blocks the number plate or the rear light of your vehicle. However, you can add it just for security purposes. The lightboard will surely increase the visibility while driving at night.

I hope you liked my article and please don’t forget to share any suggestions for this article.

Happy Driving!