The reported number of fake or duplicate car licence plates rose 73 per cent in 2012 according to figures from the French interior ministry.
Nearly 17,500 road offence were committed by drivers using vehicles with a duplicate number plate.
This means that owners of the legally registered vehicle are getting fines for driving offences they did not commit.
Owners are encouraged to protest the fine and report such incidents to the police as soon as they are aware of this type of identity fraud.
Using a fake number plate can be punished by a seven-year prison sentence and a maximum €30,000 fine.
Since 2009 French number plates have been similar to the Italian ones introduced in the 1990s, a sequence of two letters, followed by three numbers, followed by two letters.
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