Texans may be breaking new law if license plate surround touches letters / numbers

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Burke Strickland, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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    In Texas, it is not illegal to have a license plate bracket or surround. But as of September 1, 2003, it IS illegal to have one that covers up the design that tells what state it is from (including the name ”Texas”) and/or obscure the identifying letters and numbers. According to the story aired on the local news, having one that is even “borderline”, where the surround just touches the letters and numbers, is enough for the state troopers or local police to pull you over for probable cause and write a ticket which can subject you to a $200 fine.

    I took the surround off my rear license plate (which had the dealer’s name, etcetera that my dealer had installed when I bought the car a few years ago) since it was covering “Texas” and touched the edge of the numbers and letters. I checked with the dealer today to see if they had a replacement that complies with the new law, and they said they had to remove all of them and had no replacements on order. It’s tough to design one which complies with the letter of the law and still has enough room to display legible names and slogans.

    Urban Legend that all license surrounds are banned in Texas is debunked (license surrounds per se not illegal -- just the wrong kind): http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/pending/texasplate.asp

    TV news story highlights the situation: http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/news/909...al_plates.html
     
  2. Mark Philp

    Mark Philp Second Unit

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    I think this is common in some other states, but it's one of those laws that isn't enforced much. I recently found out we have such a law here in New York. Only found out because I read that they are inforcing it with a vengance in New York City. I don't know of anybody getting ticketed for it here in upstate, but I'm sure if the government finds out they can make money doing it they will. To be safe, I took mine off.
     
  3. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    As long as you're in state I don't think it's a big deal, I've been hassled for it while out of state though.
    Screw the dealer frames, get some nice clear plate vaults!
     
  4. David Preston

    David Preston Supporting Actor

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    They do it here in Ga also. My wife's friend got pulled over and got a warning. She tokk it off when she got home. My friend got pulled over for the same thing. I got pulled over for a tinted one and had to take it off. Thanks for the reminder I have to go take the one on my wife's car off. It covers up a lot. I guess she has been real lucky.
     
  5. Lee L

    Lee L Supporting Actor

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  6. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Yup, got a stupid $25 ticket for covering "new jersey" as if the cop couldn't tell that it was a NJ plate for simply looking at it. [​IMG]

    Jay:
     
  7. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    This was discussed a bit on a different Forum I peruse.

    I'm a little surprised that people are surprised that this is a law. A license plate serves a very specific legal purpose and common sense says that anything you do to circumvent that purpose would be illegal. Obscuring the the letters and numbers should be a no-brainer. Obscuring the state name is just as illegal because if you take your car out of state, you can't expect a North Dakota trooper to know what a NJ license plate looks like.
     
  8. Rob Landolfi

    Rob Landolfi Stunt Coordinator

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    It could also be difficult for in-state law enforcement to tell plates these days... Florida has at least 55 different plates when you count all the specialty tags listed on their state DMV site. There's education, sport team, college, wildlife, arts, military, etc. in addition to the familiar plates with the orange (fruit) over the Florida shape.
     
  9. Steve Ridges

    Steve Ridges Stunt Coordinator

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  10. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    Steve, I'm with you. The first thing I do when I get a new car is to take off their license plate frame, front plate if they added one, and any sort of sticker identifying the dealer. I just gave them a whole boatload of money (or would it be a carload?), and I'm pretty sure they're not paying me for advertising.
     
  11. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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  12. Dan Lindley

    Dan Lindley Second Unit

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    I'm often surprised how much of the license plate some people manage to cover. IMHO, no important info should be covered up and to do so should be a ticketable offense.
     
  13. Mark Hayenga

    Mark Hayenga Supporting Actor

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    I just removed my official University of Texas plate holder from my car, but my feelings are that if you can't figure out that "-exas" means "Texas", then I don't want you running around my town with a gun.
     
  14. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    > I'm a little surprised that people are surprised that this is a law.

    I don't think many people are using the frames to deliberately hide the info.

    Most people probably assume that if the frames are sold in local stores, they must be legal.

    Perhaps the states could design the plates so they can be put in frames without covering any of the info. But then that would give them one less thing to write tickets over.
     
  15. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    That's letting the tail wag the dog. The plates came first. Framemakers should make sure their frames don't cover info.
     
  16. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    Uh, isn't the problem that some of the info is close to the edge of the plates, so any frame is likely to cover it?
     
  17. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  18. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Yes, my license plate frame covered a tiny bit of the top of "new jersey" and it did cover all of "Garden State" but I have no need to advertise NJ as the Garden State. What is the difference between that advertising So-and-So Ford Dealership. Heck, I even took off the Toyota and Spyder badges on my Toyota. I don't think it should be illegal to hide the state slogan and covering up a pixel in the state is not making it unreadable.

    After I got a ticket, I am now eagle-eyed in seeing all the illegal plate holders in the parking lots, 80% of them are illegal to the tax collectors of the world.

    Jay
     
  19. MikeDeVincenzo

    MikeDeVincenzo Stunt Coordinator

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    Our NJ plates are easily identifiable by their unique color -- piss yellow! [​IMG]
     
  20. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    It's hard to write a law that allows some covers while banning others. How do you distinguish between a clear cover and a tinted cover? Is a little bit of tint allowed? How do you define that? How can you easily tell a regular clear cover from a treated clear cover? There's no overriding public good derived from license plate treatments, so it's easier to just ban anything that covers any identifying info.

    One curious thing about Kentucky plates. The standard issue plate has the county of registration across the bottom of the plate. However, none of the special issue plates (i.e. environmental, kids, trucks) has the county. So is the county a required bit of info or not?
     

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