Know the Road with the CHP: Are license plate covers illegal?

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Could having a plastic cover on your license plate get you a ticket? What about a license plate frame that covers part of your plate?

"The Vehicle Code specifically requires you to have a front and rear license plate if your vehicle was originally issued those," said Sgt. Brian Pennings with the California Highway Patrol. "Sometimes a question will arise: is it okay if I have a cover over my license plate? The answer is no."

"The Vehicle Code prohibits you from having any form of covering over your license plate, whether it be clear or tinted. It is also illegal to have a license plate frame that could obstruct the month, the year, or the state of the vehicle that issued that plate," he explained.

"There are some situations where individuals have purposely put coatings on top of their license plate," Pennings added. "This is done typically in an attempt to avoid recognition of that license plate number. This is a violation, and if you purposely have a coating on top of your license plate that minimizes its ability to be recognized it is a $250 fine."

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