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Is front license plate required?...


KRum

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My domicile State requires a front license plate (as do 19 other States)... My question is while outside of my domicile State (which I rarely reside) can I remove the ugly front plate?... My assumption is that States that have no front plate requirement will not be a problem... But what about the 19 States that do?...

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I know Texas requires a front plate, although lot's of people go without it. Texas also bans those fancy plate frames, if they cover any part of the plate which helps identify the plate. Neither is enforced aggressively.

 

To answer your question, I doubt that many States enforce that law even on their own residents, much less on out of State drivers. However, if an officer wants to stop you, that would be a legitimate opportunity to do so.

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While I doubt that it would be aggressively enforced anywhere, the laws require that license plates must be properly displayed as required by the state of registration. That seems to mean that if an officer of a state that does not require a front license plate wishes to do so he could stop and ticket a vehicle whose registration requires a front plate if it is missing. That probably wouldn't happen unless the officer should happen to run your license plate for some reason, but if he did the missing plate would certainly be a ticket-able offense.

 

Do you mind sharing with us why you might want to remove the front plate if you were issued one? To me, the best place to store that plate until it is needed is on the front of the vehicle.

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Yep, here in TX, it must be on the forward most place on the vehicle. Not having it there is grounds for a police stop. A windshield location was challenged in court, in this case, Sept. 2010. http://caselaw.findlaw.com/tx-court-of-criminal-appeals/1538320.html

 

The stop for no plate resulted in a drug bust, and the higher court ruled the windshield of the stopped car was not the forward most point. The dealer gets to stay in jail.

 

Why give the police an option for a stop? I got to learn the hard way, in 1982, in a new 1981 that did not have a front mount, and had the extra plate under the backseat mat. In my case, after passing a State Trooper, who was going under the speed limit, he stopped me, and showed me an almost 5" thick book of regs. and wrote me a warning.

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In the over-10 years I have been on this forum, I don't recall this being asked before. Funny it comes just on the heels of me removing my SD front plate. We are in North Carolina for an extended stay. NC does not have front plates. I bought an unlimited car wash pass for the duration of our visit. The brushes were twisting the heck out of our front plate, so I removed it.


I had the same thoughts the OP has when I removed it. If I get stopped, I'll explain and show the plate to the officer. If I get ticketed, oh well. What happens happens. Nice thing I am retired. A day watching traffic court may be entertaining.


The plate will be back on before we leave NC, tho.

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We live in AZ where a front plate is NOT required or even issued. We have traveled thu the entire USA West and South with our RV and never have been stopped. Not a problem if your state doesn't require a front plate but you can be stopped if you come from a state requiring a front plate tho it rarely happens. Even in Mexico, South of the Border, we have never been asked about the missing front plate.

 

rocmoc n AZ/Fld/Baja

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FWIW we have been pulled over 'because' we weren't displaying a front place. Yes it was a Texas registration and yes it was in Texas. But they do pull you over. I know because without my charming nature and hansom good looks, :blink: I would have received a ticket. Instead I got a warning.

 

OK what about toll roads etc. Don't some of them photograph the front plate?

 

regards

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Just to throw a wrench into this discussion, in at least Missouri, and on a truck over a certain weight, the only plate on the truck is the front one, none on the rear. We aren't in MO, but I have heard of this being a problem in other states with LEO's stopping trucks without the rear plate.

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I got pulled over and given a ticket for not displaying my tag correctly. This happened in Texas, my truck was licensed in Missouri, they only issue a front tag if the truck is tagged for over 18,000 lbs. at that time. When issued the ticket I required the Texas patrolman to give me the name and phone number of his supervisor. I called his supervisor and he got the ticket pulled as I was running legal.

I did not appreciate being detained at the side of the road by a Texas LEO who did not know what he was doing. YMWV

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When I picked up our new Smart the salesman said, "your front plate is in the car, I didn't want to drill holes in your new front bumper without your approval." It's still in the car. I, too don't want to drill holes in the bumper. I know it gives the local police an excuse to pull me over. I've seen them chase down people with various lights that were out. Just their excuse to take a look see for anything that trips their trigger. No disrespect to the law enforcement, just an observation.

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Do the police keep a list of the states that require a front plate? How would they know if I am from out of state?

Such information is available to officers and in this day of computer equipped patrol cars it is easy to obtain, if they wish. I'd doubt that it is a high priority for most officers but if you get stopped, it is then pretty much standard procedure for the officer to first run your license via that computer and that probably gives him the number of required license plates, along with all of the other things it brings. My guess is that it is rather like the lap & shoulder belt laws in that they are seldom enforced unless a vehicle is stopped for some other reason.

 

On two different occasions, I spend a shift riding with an officer and both of them showed me how to access things from the computer and had me run plates as we traveled, watch for shoulder belts, expired licenses or inspections, and all of those little things that they don't usually watch too closely. Both officers did make several stops for things which I observed or found via their computers. For that reason I suspect that the risk is minimal except when you meet an officer who has a "ride along" or some sort of partner in the car.

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I would certainly hope that LEOs are earning their keep by doing important things than memorizing the inane DOT rules of 52 states so they can get their points for the day. I have the utmost respect for the job. Sometimes, not so much for the individual but that is on him, not me.

 

A state would not issue 2 plates if that state does not require them for your vehicle. That said, the archaic rules just do not take into account vehicles that neither have an adequate place to display them nor power brush car washes.

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I would certainly hope that LEOs are earning their keep by doing important things than memorizing the inane DOT rules of 52 states so they can get their points for the day. I have the utmost respect for the job.

Implying that cops have a point system to make doesn't strike me as respectful, but that is just me. I doubt that point systems for officers exist anywhere today. I do agree that not all officers rate respect, even though I tend to assume them to until demonstrated otherwise. With computerized patrol cars, there is little need to memorize any of the laws and when you break any law, it is a valid violation. It should never be up to the officer to pick which laws he will enforce and just ignore the others.

My state doesn't require one. But I put my own on anyway.

I really like that front plate! :lol:

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"... so they can get their points for the day."

 

I'm curious - We have a lot of retired and active LEOs here. Would any and/or all of you chime in and educate us to whether ''points'' do or do not exist? Has there ever been a point system? I've heard references to this for years but never asked....

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