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Old 02-16-2007, 11:10 AM   #1
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License Plate Frames Illegal?

This is my second attempt to post this so hopefully it is not a duplication.

My buddy sent me this today but I'm not sure where he got it. Barry

According to Texas' highest criminal court, obscuring any part of a vehicle's license plate, including portions of state name text and/or artwork, provides Johnny Law with all the cause he needs to pull over, ticket, and/or arrest the offending vehicle's driver. The 8-1 decision issued yesterday, concerning a case in which a man picked up a DUI bust after being pulled over due to plate obfuscation caused by a dealer-installed license plate frame, left three of the judges proclaiming the statute to be "uncommonly bad." Judge Cathy Cochran's advice to Texas drivers? Spend a little extra money, if available, to get a personalized license plate without the doo-dad design details. Murilee Martin
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Old 02-16-2007, 11:45 AM   #2
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Yes our great lawmakers passed a law that it is illegal to obscure any part of the license plate. Some of the car dealerships were using plate covers that hide the name of the state on the top and some of the after market fancy covers also hide parts of the license plate. It has been effect for 2 or 3 years. Our renewal is a windshield sticker on lower drivers side of windshield.

Apparently the reason for the law was that law enforcement was unable to read the state on many plates and sometimes the numbers due to the covers.

Lots of tickets were written just after it became law. I haven't heard of any body in our area getting a ticket lately.

I see no reason to buy special plates because of this. just remove the fancy covers. Of course personlized plates bring in extra money for the state.

Kay
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Old 02-16-2007, 11:48 AM   #3
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Kay

Would they then also pursue out of State visitors? I suppose they could but hopefully not. I know the dealership where we bought our car and truck put plate frames on which I prompty tossed. I dislike being their mobile advertising, but many people do not care either way.

Barry
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Old 02-16-2007, 11:48 AM   #4
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The state of Texas like the rest of the states issue specialty plates which have to be special ordered and cost more. Some of the additional monies go to the organizations.

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Old 02-16-2007, 11:49 AM   #5
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My grandfather, who lived in Austin, claimed that the state had been trying to make it illegal for the dA|\/| A&M alums from putting aN ATM sticker over the little Texas state shape in the middle of the plate. Looks like they got it passed.
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Old 02-16-2007, 11:58 AM   #6
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A year or two ago the local police in South Florida were giving tickets for a license plate cover covering any information on the plate. The license cover would cover the state name and/or date.
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Old 02-16-2007, 12:04 PM   #7
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We then, I'm sure glad I don't live in Texas, I would have to take my AIRSTREAM frame off!

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Old 02-16-2007, 12:08 PM   #8
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My theory is that there are so many laws on the books, you cannot help but break many of them in the daily course of your life, even if you are a perfectly straight and narrow law abiding person. So I try not to get too up in a huff about it.
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Old 02-16-2007, 12:49 PM   #9
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Most, if not all, states have a similar statute in their uniform traffic code. These laws are in place to insure that license tags are not significantly obscured. I spent several years as a Motorcycle Officer with the City of Tallahassee, Florida, Police Department, and have made thousands of traffic stops. Generally, law enforcement officers do not go around stopping vehicles because a small portion of the tag is obscured. This statute is usually used as probable cause to stop a vehcle when there is no other violation present and something just doesn't smell right. The most likely reason that the stated DWI case in Texas got the State Supreme Court was that the officer was suspicious of the driver and wanted to stop him to check him out. The defendant probably claimed that he was stopped on suspicion only and, therefore, wanted the case thrown out. The officer used the tag obscuring violation as probable cause to make the traffic stop. Once having made the legal stop, the officer was then able to determine that the driver was impaired and made the arrest. I have made many DWI arrests, and there was always an accompanying violation. Usually, the only time that this is not the case is at a sobriety check point.

I do not care for license plate frames, and don't use them. If I did decide that I wanted one, I would not be the least bit concerned about being stopped by the Police.
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Old 02-16-2007, 01:09 PM   #10
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I think Mr. Moose hit it on the head
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Old 02-16-2007, 01:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari57
Kay

Would they then also pursue out of State visitors?
Barry
I don't know about plates but I towed a utility trailer which did not need to be registered in New Mexico to Utah. I called Utah and was told the law from the state of origin covers vehicles in another state so even if the Utah statutes called for it being tagged since I was from NM it was OK without plates.

Here's a kind of related question. I have 1971 NM plates for my 1971 Airstream. I also have the current valid NM plates. I would like to display both, which I guess is probably technically illegal. If I mounted the 71 plate off to the side somewhere and kept the current plate in the regular plate position do you think I would run into Barney Fife?

Miscellaneous Laws:
It is still illegal in New York City to walk your cows on the wrong side of the street on Broadway.
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Old 02-16-2007, 02:29 PM   #12
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We then, I'm sure glad I don't live in Texas, I would have to take my AIRSTREAM frame off!

Yep... gonna have to take mine off!
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Old 02-16-2007, 03:14 PM   #13
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Dave and Rick,

I have the same frame on my truck's plate.
Barney Fife can kiss my....foot

Besides that, when the Airstream is hitched up, you can't see my truck's plate anyway.
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Old 02-16-2007, 03:32 PM   #14
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Dave and Rick,

I have the same frame on my truck's plate.
Barney Fife can kiss my....foot

Besides that, when the Airstream is hitched up, you can't see my truck's plate anyway.
I was just reading where a half dozen or so legislators from both sides of the aisle in both houses are introducing amendments to the law... Everyone wants to be a hero, don't they?

But here's the funny part - some cars here have toll tag devices issued by TxDOT that almost entirely obscure the word "TEXAS" on the license plate.

Talk about legislating yourself into a corner!
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