Front License Plates

The leadership of the police community in Illinois is dead set against removing front license plates from Illinois cars.

Back in the 1990’s a bill to do so gained traction. and the Illinois Chiefs of Police Association sent a letter urging its defeat.

Having seen cars from  many, many states without front plates, I wrote each of the Police Chiefs on the letterhead asking how many tickets their departments had written for people that did not have front plates.

I don’t remember getting any replies.

I even started looking for vehicles with back plates, but nothing on front.

I think it was the Belvidere Township Assessor in 1972, when I first ran for State Rep. who first pointed out that some cars didn’t have front plates.  He argued that people were buying a set of plates for one car and putting them on the back ends of two.

Now, I see a Harvard Police report where the lack of a front plate.  Here’s the report:


On 05-14-14 at 1026 hrs, Maria Aranda-Rodriguez (f/ 27 yoa) of 11420 US Route 14 was arrested for Driving While License Suspended, No Front Registration Plate, and Operating an Uninsured Motor. Aranda-Rodriguez posted the $150 bond and was released with a court date of 06-18-14 at 1330 hrs.

I am still not convinced that a front plate is essential for law enforcement purposes.

Of course, the front plates do make it easier for the plate scanning cameras.


Front License Plates — 11 Comments

  1. The back plate is not always visible.

    For instance if you are driving through a parking lot and someone has backed into the stall.

    Or oncoming traffic.

    We want to make it as easy as possible for the cops to find the bad guys.

    And it’s not just cops that benefit from front plates.

    The public receives Amber Alerts.

  2. This has nothing to do with finding bad guys.

    Automated plate scanners are about revenue collection.

    IL is broke, how much could we save immediately by going to 1 rear plate?

  3. I wonder how many of the $150 bonds issued for almost every traffic offense are forfeited?

  4. I agree with you Mark but some people always like to look at the negative.

  5. From what I’ve read, most States (31) require two plates.

    It makes perfect sense–vehicles are highly mobile and visible from two directions-coming and going-so why not have registration on the front and rear?

  6. And Cal, to counter your stance on the validity of law enforcement’s need–I guess the absence of this front plate led to getting a Suspended and Non-insured driver off the road…if only for a few hours–so I’d contend this law serves a purpose.

  7. If that is true, don’t you think one of the members of the Board of Directors of the state association of police chiefs might have written me that?

  8. Allen, that is like saying prisoners don’t need handcuffs because the front door of the jail facility is locked and someone who manufactures handcuffs just want to make money.

    The police need the necessary tools to effectively do their job.

  9. Like most Corvette owners, our prior SA, Gary Pack, drove his without a front plate.

    I drove a sports car for 3 years without one and was never stopped.

  10. I vaguely remember this issue hitting the courts in the 80’s.

    The judges were throwing the tickets out because (at that time) some cars were being manufactured without a place to mount a front plate.

    Not sure if that is still an issue.

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