Get 5% off in-app
400k+ download
Open app

Front License Plates: Which States Require It? 

  • License Plate
  • Celine Jerly
  • 5 minutes

Spread the love

It’s 29 – 21, and the two-plate states are leading. Relocating soon and worried about spoiling your car’s appearance with a front license plate? Find out if you can save it – here are the states where it is illegal to drive without two plates.

Can you drive without plates in the USA? No, not one of the fifty states allows anyone to drive without valid license plates. Some take it further and insist you have two plates – one in the front and another in the rear. So, if the state you register your car in has a two-plate rule or a mandatory front license plates law, don’t take it lightly.  

A valid license plate serves as your car’s identity and registration proof. Nowadays, cops use speed guns and license plate readers to track vehicles, and having a front plate is essential to scan them. However, some states stick to the one-plate law and even insist on rear license plate display. Even among the two-plate states, there are exceptions for certain types of vehicles.

Let’s check out which states have made it illegal not to have a front license plate. 

Buy a cheap car insurance for your Infiniti car See: License Plate Liberation: Guide to Removing Your Car’s Identity!

States That Require a Front License Plate 

Front license plates are mandatory for most vehicles registered in the following US states.

California – Learn more 

ColoradoLearn More 

Connecticut – Learn more 

HawaiiSee law 

IdahoSee law 

IllinoisLearn more 

IowaSee law 

MarylandSee law 

Massachusetts – See law 

MinnesotaSee law 

MissouriSee law 

MontanaSee law  

NebraskaSee law 

NevadaSee law 

New HampshireLearn more 

New YorkSee law 

North DakotaLearn more 

New JerseyLearn more 

OhioSee revised law 

OregonSee law 

Rhode IslandLearn more 

South DakotaSee law 

TexasSee law 

UtahSee law 

VermontLearn more 

VirginiaSee law 

WashingtonLearn more 

WisconsinLearn more 

WyomingLearn more 

Red car with virginia license plates in front
Photo by Obi – @pixel7propix on Unsplash

All these are two-plate states – you must fix a license plate onto the front and another on the rear. The exception to the law is mostly applicable to commercial vehicles, trailers, and motorcycles. However, the rules and guidelines vary from state to state. If you are unsure, click the links below to find the specific motor law for your state and learn more.  

Also see: Digital License Plates Now Legal for Everyone in California

States That Do Not Require a Front License Plate 

In the following US states, mounting your license plate on the front of your vehicle is not mandatory. Some states allow two plates, but using your car with only a rear license plate isn’t illegal. Exceptions include heavy commercial vehicles, truck tractors, trailers, etc.  

AlaskaLearn more 

ArizonaSee law 

AlabamaSee law 

ArkansasSee law 

DelawareSee law 

FloridaSee law 

GeorgiaLearn more 

IndianaLearn more 

KansasLearn more 

KentuckyLearn more 

LouisianaSee law 

MaineSee amended law 

MichiganLearn more 

MississippiSee law 

New MexicoLearn more 

North CarolinaLearn more 

OklahomaLearn more 

PennsylvaniaSee law 

South CarolinaSee law 

TennesseeLearn more 

West VirginiaSee law 

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia are the Rugged Nineteen one-plate states

man sitting on black convertible car in Florida
Photo by Andrea Giardini on Unsplash


Get quick answers for your top queries about front license plates for vehicles registered in US states: 

Do you need a front license plate in the States? 

It is mandatory to have a front license plate for vehicles registered in 29 states. However, there are a few exceptions – most states require commercial vehicles and motorcycles to display their plate on the rear.  

Does Virginia require 2 license plates? 

Yes, Virginia is a two-plate state. According to Virginia Code 46.2-715. (Display of license plates), “License plates assigned to a motor vehicle, …shall be attached to the vehicle’s front and rear.” But if you receive a summons for the violation, the court may dismiss it when you provide proof of compliance. That means you can get away with a warning if you fix the issue. 

Do you need a front license plate in New York State? 

Yes, as New York is a two-plate state, you’ll have to display a license plate in the front and another one on the rear of your vehicle. However, if DMV issued only one number plate in any registration year, you could display it on the rear only – except for tractors.  

New York plates on front of car

Does Tesla provide front license plate holders? 

Yes, Tesla Model Y has a license plate bracket on the front, which conforms to the bumper’s shape. 

Does Florida have 1 or 2 plates? 

Florida is one of the Rugged Nineteen states that issue only one license plate per car. So, it’s not mandatory to display a plate in the front. 

Which are the one-plate Rugged 19 states? 

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. 

How much is the fine for not having a front plate? 

It’s hardly a misdemeanor, and you’ll get away with a warning in most states. However, the cops can fine you up to $100 – $200 based on the situation. Usually, showing proof of installing a front plate resolves the citation or summons.  

Also see: How Long Does It Take To Get a License Plate? 

Fixing a license plate won’t cost you much, but many other car services would? Unless you…

Upgrade to a smarter way to own a car with the Way app!  

 Trust us to find you the best gas discountsEV charging near youauto insurancehome insuranceauto refinance, and more with our all-in-one app! We’ll also help you find and book the best parking and car washes near you. 

Related Posts


Press ESC to close