Congressman Wants To Get Rid Of Ugly Front License Plates

Government / 22 Comments

No more ugly plates ruining expensive cars.

Depending on where you live in the world, you may only be required to attach a single license plate to your car. Other areas require drivers to fit the standard plate in the rear and an additional plate on the front. In the United States, there are only 19 states that do not require a front license plate and 31 which require you to have both.

If you live in Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, or Wisconsin, you have to ruin the front of your car with an ungainly plate on the grille or bumper.

While Europe's license plates are quite small, US plates are large and especially difficult to mount on supercars. Many supercar owners have come up with clever ways to mount the plates while others choose to leave it off and risk getting a ticket. According to Texas-based newspaper, Statesman, local Republican congressman Ken King is pushing House Bill 673, which would exempt certain cars from needing a front plate.

State law already exempts "a road tractor, a motorcycle, a trailer, (and) a semitrailer," but King wants to add "a luxury passenger car" to section 504.943 of the Texas Transportation Code. The rule would define a luxury car as any vehicle "that has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of at least $60,000 for a baseline model."

This means even a car like the Porsche 718 Boxster, which can easily exceed $100,000 with options, would not be eligible because of its $59,000 starting price.


King says the bill is for "people who purchase cars like a Corvette, for instance, a Corvette doesn't come with a front license plate bracket. And, you know, when people buy those cars, they don't particularly want to drill a hole in their brand new car's bumper. From a revenue side, our idea is you're still going to pay for two tags. But on a car like that, you're exempted where you could have one on the rear. Most other states don't even require a front license plate. Texas is unique in that."

We can already hear complaints from people claiming how this bill only helps the rich but King is adamant that "it's not a rich people bill. Almost every car costs $60,000 anymore, particularly a sports car. And these are cars without traditional bumpers that have a (front) license plate bracket."

If we did want to get pedantic about it, we would inform Congressman King that a Chevy Corvette has a starting price of $55,900, so it wouldn't be eligible for the exemption. Having a front license plate is useful for police to identify a vehicle but we do believe certain cars should be exempt from needing them.


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