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.
States That Require a Front License Plate
Front license plates are mandatory for most vehicles registered in the following US states.
California – Learn more
Colorado – Learn More
Connecticut – Learn more
Hawaii – See law
Idaho – See law
Illinois – Learn more
Iowa – See law
Maryland – See law
Massachusetts – See law
Minnesota – See law
Missouri – See law
Montana – See law
Nebraska – See law
Nevada – See law
New Hampshire – Learn more
New York – See law
North Dakota – Learn more
New Jersey – Learn more
Ohio – See revised law
Oregon – See law
Rhode Island – Learn more
South Dakota – See law
Texas – See law
Utah – See law
Vermont – Learn more
Virginia – See law
Washington – Learn more
Wisconsin – Learn more
Wyoming – Learn more
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.
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.
Alaska – Learn more
Arizona – See law
Alabama – See law
Arkansas – See law
Delaware – See law
Florida – See law
Georgia – Learn more
Indiana – Learn more
Kansas – Learn more
Kentucky – Learn more
Louisiana – See law
Maine – See amended law
Michigan – Learn more
Mississippi – See law
New Mexico – Learn more
North Carolina – Learn more
Oklahoma – Learn more
Pennsylvania – See law
South Carolina – See law
Tennessee – Learn more
West Virginia – See 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.
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.
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.
Fixing a license plate won’t cost you much, but many other car services would? Unless you…
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