A 26-year-old South Australian man was pulled over after police noticed his number plates looked as if they were finger-painted. Spoiler: they pretty much were.

Cops stopped the car while driving through Elizabeth Vale at around 2am on Wednesday morning, partially because of the dodgy-looking plates, and partially because he was driving around at midnight with his headlights off.

“Police stopped the man and on closer examination, discovered the number plates had in fact been painted over and hand painted with different characters and a helpful message,” SA Police said in a statement.

In case you missed it, that “helpful message” was the phrase, “Not stolen OK” scrawled on the bottom of the plate.

Police then charged him for driving with defaced plates and for driving at night without headlights. They also confiscated the plate we see above, hopefully for inclusion in a fine art museum.

Here’s where the story becomes less fun.

The man, from Rosetown, was also charged for driving wile disqualified, and for the fact his car was actually unregistered and uninsured.

So while the number plates are a bit of fun, the rest the stuff sounds kind of like a serious safety issue.

But hey, at least the car really wasn’t stolen.

Image: SA Police