JAGflyer
Topic Author
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California License Plate Question

Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:48 pm

I returned from a trip to San Francisco today and wanted to ask a question about something I noticed there. I also noticed this in Los Angeles last year.

Why do some cars have both a front and rear plate, some just a rear plate and some no plate at all (except for the dealer's full advertisement plate)? I know in Ontario you need a front and rear plate or a just a yellow dealer plate on the back. What is the law in CA? Why did some cars have no front plate or no plate at all?

Thanks
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N312RC
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Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2000 10:58 am

RE: California License Plate Question

Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:58 pm

I believe the law in California is both front AND back plates are required, the law however may be loosely enforced in some locales, as it is in many states across the country.

Many states do not require front plates at all.
N/A
 
baylorairbear
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RE: California License Plate Question

Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:05 pm

Quoting N312RC (Reply 1):
the law however may be loosely enforced in some locales, as it is in many states across the country.

That's right. All of my pick-ups and SUV's in ACT and SAN have front and rear plates, but I'll be damned if anything is gonna be hung from the front of my 575M! I'll gladly pay the fine.

BAB
I'm just skipping stones...
 
JAGflyer
Topic Author
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RE: California License Plate Question

Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:06 pm

Does anyone from CA have an answer on this? Also, I saw a few cars with plates that said CONSUL at the top. What does that mean? I am not familiar with American titles.
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N1120A
Posts: 26467
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RE: California License Plate Question

Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:10 pm

Quoting Baylorairbear (Reply 2):
but I'll be damned if anything is gonna be hung from the front of my 575M! I'll gladly pay the fine.

It is a fix it ticket.

Quoting N312RC (Reply 1):
I believe the law in California is both front AND back plates are required, the law however may be loosely enforced in some locales, as it is in many states across the country.

It is rather stringently enforced in CA, to the point that police can and do pull people over for it.

Quoting JAGflyer (Thread starter):
What is the law in CA?

The law in CA is that you must have front and rear plates on at all times if plates have been issued. This is for one reason, red light cameras, which made their US debut in Beverly Hills, CA and Oxnard, CA. If your plates have not been delivered yet, you will have a RS (Report of Sale) displayed in your windshield and either no plate or the advertisment for the dealer.

Quoting JAGflyer (Thread starter):
Why did some cars have no front plate or no plate at all?

No front plate cars were either out of state cars or Californians who are trying their luck. No plates were in all likelyhood new or used cars that had just been purchased and had no plates.
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petmbro
Posts: 254
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2006 12:07 pm

RE: California License Plate Question

Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:26 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 4):
It is rather stringently enforced in CA, to the point that police can and do pull people over for it.

That actually surprises me. I know in CT we're suppose to and I've heard that cops will pull you over but I've never heard of it happening.

On a side note : one of my cars I hit a guard rail and lost the front plate with the bumper. When I had it repaired, the dealer didn't put a plate bracket on plus I didn't have the plate to put up front. Technically can I get in trouble for this?
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AerospaceFan
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RE: California License Plate Question

Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:31 pm

As far as I know, "Consul" on a plate usually refers to the fact that the car is registered to a consulate or diplomatic mission of some kind. Owners or authorized drivers of such vehicles may be subject to certain kinds of immunity. In fact, not long ago, vehicles in New York City with diplomatic plates, often attached to the United Nations, were violating parking laws left and right to the extent that there were calls for a crackdown.

[Edited 2006-03-18 06:35:48]
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baylorairbear
Posts: 2841
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 5:25 am

RE: California License Plate Question

Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:31 pm

Quoting Petmbro (Reply 5):
Technically can I get in trouble for this?

Yes, law is law. An alternative is to set your plate on the front dash. That's also dangerous. People in sports cars do this a lot. Pretty much the only time you'll get a ticket for it is if they want to jerk your chain or if you're an ass to them.

BAB
I'm just skipping stones...
 
IFLYMCO
Posts: 475
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 5:17 am

RE: California License Plate Question

Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:24 pm

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 3):
Also, I saw a few cars with plates that said CONSUL at the top. What does that mean?

Did it look like this??



If so, it really isn't a California plate at all- these are given to Consular officers of the different missions all around the country. There are also Diplomatic and Staff plates that look very similar but convey different diplomatic privilages. All these plates are administered by the U.S. Department of State which issues drivers licenses as well to Diplomats.

In cities like Washington and NY there are literally like every third car- in other large cities like S.F. or Miami they are quite common.
Now it should be "IFLYDCA"
 
AirCop
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RE: California License Plate Question

Sun Mar 19, 2006 12:20 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 4):
The law in CA is that you must have front and rear plates on at all times if plates have been issued. This is for one reason, red light cameras, which made their US debut in Beverly Hills, CA and Oxnard, CA. If your plates have not been delivered yet, you will have a RS (Report of Sale) displayed in your windshield and either no plate or the advertisment for the dealer.

Not true; California required both plates long before red light cameras came into existence. Front plates are a handly tool for law enforcement. From my experiences with the CHP, the front plate came in handly whenever an APB (stolen vehicle, emergency message, other crime) came out, the officer can see the plate as the vehicle approached. Not only that, states with two plates have a higher stolen vehicle recovery rate. Besides, you're paying so much for your plates in California you might has well get two.

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