Front License Plates

Have you ever wondered why so many states manage to get by without front license plates?

Back in the late 1990’s, a proposal was made to eliminate front license plates in Illinois.

Opposing the bill were members of the association representing Chiefs of Police.

The pitch was that it made it easier for police to identify cars.

I wrote all who were listed on the letterhead asking how many arrests had been made in their municipality during the previous year.

I don’t remember any reporting any.

So, I found it interesting that the law requiring a front license plate made the blotter of the Harvard Police Department:


On 11-13-15 at 0105 hrs, Loraleigh H. Clark (f-19 yoa) 217 N. Warwick Ave, Westmont, IL, was arrested for Driving While License Suspended, Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Illegal Parking, No Front License Plate and Operating An Uninsured Motor Vehicle after she was observed driving a 2001 Chevrolet near the intersection of N. Division St. and E. Brainard St. Clark was unable to post the $300 bond and was transported to the McHenry County

Jail. She was given a McHenry County Court date of 12-16-15 at 1330 hrs.


Front License Plates — 5 Comments

  1. It’s all very simple, of course.

    The more tickets that are issued, the more REVENUE that is collected.

    The state would actually be SAVING money (tax dollars) by eliminating front license plates.

    But we all know that this is Illinois, after all.

  2. Cops love pretextual reasons to initiate traffic stops.

    For example, why do you think cops are the biggest supporters of seat belt laws?

    Because cops are nice people who care about car crash fatalities?

    No way.

    They love seat belt laws because not wearing a seat belt is a convenient excuse to pull you over to investigate you further.

    The same thing is going on here with the front license plate silliness.

    Cops would prefer to live in a world where they can pull you over and question you without any particularized suspicion of a crime.

    Cops have been pretty much successful at creating this world because any cop worth his nightstick can find a valid reason to initiate a traffic stop after following you for two blocks.

  3. If a car is heading towards you, don’t you think it having a front license plate might be handy?

    There is a historical basis for this.

    Think of night riders down south.

    This actually does help identify cars especially in hit-and-run situations.

  4. @ Say What ?

    Night Riders, really ?

    You’re in the wrong century my friend.

    States that don’t require front plates don’t seem to have a problem catching H&R drivers.

    If they did, they would require front plates.

  5. I remember seat belt laws being promoted by auto insurance companies.

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