Texas Driver Gets Busted for Having a Cardboard License Plate
Ya gotta give this Texan credit for taking the time to write down his license plate numbers nice and big with a Sharpie and put them on a piece of cardboard and fasten that to his Honda. But it didn't fly with police.
Speaking of plates, is it legal in Texas to have one on the back and not the front?
Officers with the Constable's office in Fort Bend County (outside of Houston) posted the picture on social media last weekend, and said, "Well, I gave them an “A” for effort, but an “F” on legal. Did you know that TEXAS law requires a front and rear license plate? Real ones...."
And since it was Facebook, Constable Wayne Thompson added the ever popular "feeling amused" emoji. The guy who got the ticket probably wasn't quite as amused.
So cardboard plates won't fly. But if it's the law in Texas to have front and back license plates, why do we see some vehicles with nothing on the front?
When I bought a new vehicle in 2016, I remember the dealership asking me if I wanted a plate on the front. I said yes without even thinking about it because I've always had plates on the front and back and just assumed that's how it was supposed to be. And then I started seeing lots of newer vehicles on the road with a license plate on the back only. What gives?
Back in 2012, Texas lawmakers unintentionally removed the penalty for not having plates on front and back, and that meant there was no penalty for vehicles that didn't comply. There's been confusion since then, and since several surrounding states only require one plate, Texans seem to be gettin' confused.
The official word is, Texas is now back to being a two-plate state after lawmakers fixed that issue in 2013. So those folks who don't have a front plate are livin' dangerously. The penalty for failure to display two license plates is a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $200. But an officer would have to have probable cause to stop you, and tack on the plate issue to whatever else you're in trouble for.
Two things we learn here.
1. Put license plates on the front and the back of your vehicle in Texas and you'll be golden.
2. Cardboard plates with Sharpie numbers may go viral, but they'll also get you a ticket.
See ya on the road.