The No Front Plate Crackdown rumor is back in Los Angeles, but is it really new? LAPD issued a news release in 2001 about it. If you surf the blogs you will find that West Hollywood has been merciless for years when it comes to writing parking tickets and no front plate tickets. Is that a crackdown? Yes it is true that the California Vehicle Code requires a front license plate, and yet trying to find a higher end car in Los Angeles with a front plate is like trying to find someone going the speed limit or less in light traffic on the 405.
The reality is that no one cares. Front plates really don’t serve any purpose but to create an income stream for cities like West Hollywood. Speed cameras and traffic cameras both can use the rear plates and so can toll roads. So what is the big deal? Well some claim that motorcycle officers using technologies like LIDAR or plate readers to verify that a car has in fact paid it’s registration. One officer told me that he has found super cars with Honda Accord license plates to avoid taxes and the fine was still less than the super car registration would have been.
So what are your options? Drill holes in your bumper and live with it, or pay more to park off the street in high risk areas. A little research into your no front plate ticket in many areas you’ll figure out that it isn’t like a standard CHP fix it ticket where an officer needs to sign the ticket to affirm that you did in fact fix it. After I drilled the holes in my wife’s ML I realized the West Hollywood meter reader issued citation wasn’t a fix it ticket, but simply a “pay the fine citation”. Read carefully, maybe you can just pay it and move on.
Another officer who does not have a front plate on his personal vehicle suggested that if you get a true fix it ticket, those temporary velcro wall holder should hold the plate on long enough to get it signed off without damaging the bumper. Ideally manufacturers would have some sort of pre-drilled holes, but they don’t want to for both aerodynamic and aesthetic reasons.
Another option to fix the no front plate crackdown problem might be to write your city councilman, state assembly member, you mayor and the governor to get this law removed from the books. Given that people also steal the registration decals, you would think that the DMV and our state representatives would find a better solution. Maybe a sticker on the inside of the window and get rid of the front plate and the back plate without decals as many other states have done. If they really want to be able to quickly check registration status, how about an RFID code built into the decal and raising the fine for the cars that don’t pay the registration and letting the no front plate crackdown become a thing of the past.