Here's A Unique Way To Get Around Front Plates

Government / 14 Comments

Legally, mind you.

Back in 2014, California asked the DMV to find some alternatives for a front license plate mount. It was done as a cost-cutting measure; California is one of many states here in America that requires its residents to display their plates on the front, no matter how embarrassing that vanity plate now is. It's also a pain point for enthusiasts, who argue it both kills the look of some cars while also putting needless holes in the bumper.

Chevy, due to the unique shape of the new Corvette Stingray, has a solution for this on the new Corvette. Owners can remove a cover to fit a front plate, then take it off as they so wish (within the confines of the law, of course). But that's more a half-measure than anything. Now, the DMV has come back with a solution to the problem, which you can see below.

License Plate Wrap
License Plate Wrap
License Plate Wrap

That is a wrap. Of a license plate. Basically, it's a big sticker, and only one company is approved by the State of California to make it. The company's bid was presented to the state in 2015, at which time it was accepted. Later, License Plate Wraps passed the California Highway Patrol's testing, with a pilot program for residents being launched in June 2015. Initially, the program was for 28 cars, ending in 2021, but California has just extended it until 2023.

The legalese on Senate Bill No. 806 states it more plainly than we can: "Existing law authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue license plates for vehicles, as specified, and to issue one or more stickers, tabs, or other suitable devices in lieu of the license plates, as specified." Those wishing to purchase a plate can do so for $85, with their choice of design, of course.

License Plate Wrap
License Plate Wrap
License Plate Wrap
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The way the bill is worded, it sounds like some room has been left for other means of displaying your plate besides the usual aluminum medium we're all used to. So, perhaps we'll see some other means of display in the future. Either way, there is at least one cost-saving measure here. It's $50 a year for the coveted black and yellow California license plate, and as far as we can tell, it's only a one-time purchase if you get the wrap. Whether you think the wrap is worth it over holes in the bumper is another matter.

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