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One license plate in a Two-Plate State #5049968
03/21/19 02:07 PM
03/21/19 02:07 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 934
US
bunnspecial Offline OP
bunnspecial  Offline OP

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 934
US
I'm wondering a bit about this one.

The other day, I was coming back from St. Louis to Louisville, KY on I-64. I stopped in rural, southern Illinois to get gas(exit 130, Grayville, right on the IN/IL state line if anyone is interested) and had a local sheriff's deputy approach me while I was pumping gas. He said that he COULD cite me for not having a front license plate on my car, and suggested that I "take care of it." I mentioned that Kentucky doesn't issue/require a front plate and was told it "didn't matter", so I just thanked him for the advice and went on my merry way.

I travel through this area once or twice a month and can't really avoid it, so I'm a bit worried. Here's my issue, though. I live in Kentucky(i.e. my legal residence is there and I have a KY driver's license) and I was driving a vehicle I own that is also registered in Kentucky.

Kentucky does not issue two license plates for normal vehicle registrations(I was issued two for my MG, but that's a weird thing with classic car tags and I'm entirely sure why they do it). The state only requires one plate to be displayed on the rear, and there's no possible way that I could even GET a matching front plate for my car.

I know this isn't a place for legal advice, but is he correct about this? It would seem to me that if my vehicle is 100% legal(and there's no gray area on that-I don't have any window tinting, it's wearing the same exhaust that the factory fitted, all the lights are working, 2 year old tires in the stock size on stock rims, etc etc) in the state where it's registered, it would be awfully hard to issue a citation for not having something that my state doesn't even offer me the option of getting. The only way to get a front plate-as I see it-would be to register the vehicle in a state where I don't even HAVE a legal residence, and I don't see how that's possible.

Any thoughts on this? Of course, if he HAD cited me, I would have gone to court and fought it, even though it would have been a huge inconvenience to do so. Still, though, since it's been brought up to me I don't want to have the occasion to even test that.

Last edited by bunnspecial; 03/21/19 02:07 PM.

2010 Lincoln MKZ-Mobil 1 5W-30
1970 MG MGB Roadster-Valvoline VR-1 20W-50
Re: One license plate in a Two-Plate State [Re: bunnspecial] #5049981
03/21/19 02:15 PM
03/21/19 02:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,181
Ruidoso, NM USA
ammolab Offline
ammolab  Offline

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,181
Ruidoso, NM USA
Your car was legal in Kentucky the state of registration...and it was legal in all other 49 states.

The cop was an idiot or jerk, maybe both.


1998 Jeep Cherokee
2011 BMW R1200R
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Re: One license plate in a Two-Plate State [Re: bunnspecial] #5049985
03/21/19 02:18 PM
03/21/19 02:18 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 392
Midwest
Sonic Offline
Sonic  Offline

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 392
Midwest
I think this deputy is an idiot. If you and your vehicle are from another state that only issues the rear plate then there's nothing the law in another state can do about it. I've lived in many states that require front and rear and many that only require the rear. I hate the look of a license plate on the front of a car.

Last edited by Sonic; 03/21/19 02:20 PM.
Re: One license plate in a Two-Plate State [Re: bunnspecial] #5049991
03/21/19 02:21 PM
03/21/19 02:21 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 389
Stallings, NC
Ryan Offline
Ryan  Offline

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 389
Stallings, NC
I’m a Deputy and I’ll tell you that Deputy is an idiot. If your state only issues one plate, you are good to go. If you get cited for that, the case would get dismissed. No worries.

Last edited by Ryan; 03/21/19 02:22 PM.
Re: One license plate in a Two-Plate State [Re: ammolab] #5049993
03/21/19 02:21 PM
03/21/19 02:21 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,715
N.C.
gman2304 Offline
gman2304  Offline

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,715
N.C.
Originally Posted by ammolab
Your car was legal in Kentucky the state of registration...and it was legal in all other 49 states.

The cop was an idiot or jerk, maybe both.

^^^ Exactly. N.C. Issues only one plate as well and my vehicles are legal in every state. I have a big DUKE plate on the front of my truck. ( I would most likely get a ticket in Ky for just having a Duke plate, but that’s another story)! I would call his office and voice a complaint.

Last edited by gman2304; 03/21/19 02:28 PM.
Re: One license plate in a Two-Plate State [Re: Ryan] #5049995
03/21/19 02:23 PM
03/21/19 02:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 2,338
CO
JLTD Offline
JLTD  Offline

Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 2,338
CO
Originally Posted by Ryan
I’m a Deputy and I’ll tell you that Deputy is an idiot. If your state only issues one plate, you are good to go. If you get cited for that, the case would get dismissed. No worries.


There you go.

Why not carry a copy of the Kentucky statute which indicates only one plate? That way if it happens again you can show it to the officer. If he issues you a ticket, ask him what section of the state code he is citing you for violating, and look it up on your phone while he's in his cruiser.


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Re: One license plate in a Two-Plate State [Re: ammolab] #5049999
03/21/19 02:26 PM
03/21/19 02:26 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 412
Ontario, Canada
newbe46 Offline
newbe46  Offline

Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 412
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by ammolab
Your car was legal in Kentucky the state of registration...and it was legal in all other 49 states.

The cop was an idiot or jerk, maybe both.


I can cite this cop is a bleeding idiot and but I will save the profanity when I see him in person.


2003 E46 M3 Convertible
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Re: One license plate in a Two-Plate State [Re: bunnspecial] #5050001
03/21/19 02:28 PM
03/21/19 02:28 PM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 915
ZFW
JustN89 Offline
JustN89  Offline

Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 915
ZFW
I'm no legal expert, but I'd say that as long as you're operating your vehicle in accordance with the laws of the state in which it's registered, then you're perfectly fine.

Re: One license plate in a Two-Plate State [Re: bunnspecial] #5050003
03/21/19 02:29 PM
03/21/19 02:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,715
N.C.
gman2304 Offline
gman2304  Offline

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,715
N.C.
Was his name Fife?

Re: One license plate in a Two-Plate State [Re: bunnspecial] #5050004
03/21/19 02:29 PM
03/21/19 02:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 934
US
bunnspecial Offline OP
bunnspecial  Offline OP

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 934
US
Thanks guys for confirming what I thought.

I'll go through the area with no fear! Printing out a copy of the statue probably isn't a bad idea, but at the same time I've also heard derisive comments from officers about people they stop who try to "play lawyer" on the side of the road. It seems as though if he HAD wanted to cite me for one plate, he'd have done it regardless of the evidence presented to the contrary.

Last edited by bunnspecial; 03/21/19 02:31 PM.

2010 Lincoln MKZ-Mobil 1 5W-30
1970 MG MGB Roadster-Valvoline VR-1 20W-50
Re: One license plate in a Two-Plate State [Re: gman2304] #5050011
03/21/19 02:37 PM
03/21/19 02:37 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 5,353
New England
Virtus_Probi Offline
Virtus_Probi  Offline

Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 5,353
New England
Originally Posted by gman2304
Was his name Fife?


NIP it in the BUD!!


2014 Forester XT, 100000 miles
Last Change;
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Tokyo Roki 15208AA170 filter
Re: One license plate in a Two-Plate State [Re: bunnspecial] #5050014
03/21/19 02:41 PM
03/21/19 02:41 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 4,092
Columbus,Nebraska
Yah-Tah-Hey Offline
Yah-Tah-Hey  Offline

Joined: May 2014
Posts: 4,092
Columbus,Nebraska
United States Constitution, Article IV, Section 1. "Full faith and credit." States are required to respect public acts and records of other states. Your drivers license,vehicle registration, marriage license, divorce certificate et.al. issued in one state are legal and binding in all states. Just think of the gigantic mess we would have if it were otherwise. Deputy must have been smoking confiscated pot.

Re: One license plate in a Two-Plate State [Re: bunnspecial] #5050029
03/21/19 02:55 PM
03/21/19 02:55 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 2,288
America
Alfred_B Offline
Alfred_B  Offline

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 2,288
America
He was messing with you. Maybe to provoke you into an excuse to cite you or worse.

Re: One license plate in a Two-Plate State [Re: bunnspecial] #5050030
03/21/19 02:55 PM
03/21/19 02:55 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 5,344
Florida
hatt Offline
hatt  Offline

Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 5,344
Florida
Next time video him and tell him to write the ticket.


2013 F150 5.0, Delo XLE CK-4 10W-30, Baldwin B7449
2010 Camry 2.5, PP 10W-30, Mobil1 M1C-251A
Re: One license plate in a Two-Plate State [Re: bunnspecial] #5050031
03/21/19 02:56 PM
03/21/19 02:56 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 17
FL
Kozman011 Offline
Kozman011  Offline

Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 17
FL
As someone with over 20 years in LE, from Deputy to Director of Public Safety, I can attest to what the others have said and this Deputy was an improperly trained, under-educated public servant. Your vehicle is properly registered for the state in which you reside. Happy and safe travels!! By the way, if it were me, I'd beg this idiot to issue me a citation and gladly take the day off of work to go and completely destroy him in court. It wouldn't do much good as I'm sure this clown is a well-known [censored] in his department.

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