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After 25 years, I got stopped for no front plate

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Rockster, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    Stopped, but not ticketed. Technically, one must display both front and rear plates in Texas but in 25 years I've never had a front plate ('cause they're ugly on any car) and have never been stopped. in fact, I've been pulled over and even ticketed for other reasons (in my younger days, not now, of course ;)) and the lack of a front plate wasn't ever an issue during those incidents.

    Yesterday, however, we were southbound on I-35 in between Dallas and Waco and a state trooper was parked on the shoulder. He wasn't using radar or laser so we think he was just on scarecrow duty, getting cars to slow down en masse, just for having seen him. We were only going 5 mph over anyway, which in Texas means we were going slower than average.

    After we passed, he pulled out and pulled us over. His first words were "did this car not come with a front plate?" I explained that due to the design of the car, mounting the front plate would require either drilling holes in the front of the car or kludging together some sort of non-drilled solution. He looked at the front of the car and agreed that there was no clear place for a plate. He said, "I'll be right back. I'm just going to write up a warning for this. There will be no penalty."

    A few minutes later he returned with the attached written warning.

    My guess is he saw a $$$ car and was using the absence of the front plate as probable cause for the stop so he could go fishing a little. One never knows when something simple like a missing front plate can uncover the career boosting bust of the century.
     

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  2. Chet

    Chet Member

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    I live in orange county California and in 2 1/2 years of Tesla ownership I have not been stopped for failure to display a front license plate. However, I have been worned by others not to drive in the LAX area without a front plate.
     
  3. rickgt

    rickgt Enthusiast owner/member

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    I use a Magneplate, a removable one... in cities when parking in the street, the meter maids can get upset and ticket you when you are not there to explain... just pop on the plate when parking, and remove when I leave town.
     
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  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Now that there is a monetary incentive to give tickets for this silly idea, cities will encourage police to give more tickets.
     
  5. eye.surgeon

    eye.surgeon Member

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    Driving in California now 19 years with a dozen or more cars, never had a front plate, never stopped.
     
  6. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Never had a front plate in 45 plus years of car ownership in states that require them. Only received a warning once and never a ticket or fine. The police have much better things to do than worry about this "violation."
     
  7. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    While it would be nice to think that not having a front plate would only be a secondary violation (after you get pulled over for something else, that's when they just pile on secondary stuff such as not having a front plate or dark tint or stuff on the windshield or....).

    Unfortunately, the meter maids in Santa Monica and at LAX (airport) will issue tickets for not having a front plate with no other provocation whatsoever. As a result, I don't park at Santa Monica meters nor at LAX. There are plenty of restaurants and such adjacent to Santa Monica - their loss is, for example, Hermosa Beach's gain (Hermosa also allows alt fuel vehicles to park at meters for free (for the stated amount of time), while not harassing those without front plates as far as I know). One thing about Hermosa - they enforce meters until midnight - and they *are* out at 2350 with some regularity after having deployed their chalk sticks (tire marking devices to measure how long a car has been parked wherever) at the stroke of 2145.

    15 months and 39,000 miles of driving - no tickets or written warnings for any of the above yet. Could happen any day - just hasn't happened yet.
     
  8. cpa

    cpa Member

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    This is rumor; unconfirmed, unsubstantiated and perhaps even unfounded:

    I was told by a former civilian employee of a law enforcement agency that his agency enforces the no front plate/expired tag law in two situations. The first situation is if there is suspicion of DUI--it gives the officer reasonable cause to stop a driver immediately without prolonged observation. The second situation is that a couple times per year the captain or lieutenant who is in charge of traffic places a one-day focus on this infraction.
     
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  9. HookBill

    HookBill Member

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    Sounds like the officer used common sense. In many cases, when Sheriff Andy directs Deputy Barney to write more tickets to help the town pay for a sidewalk repair in front of Floyd's barbershop, you're going to pay.
     
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  10. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    No front plate for about 20 years in CA and no tickets (...yet). FWIW, I know that in the city of San Francisco the meter maids like to make a few extra $$ (..haven't tagged me yet). Also airports are a particular 'hot spot' so if I am parking at SFO I throw the plate on top of the dashboard...no worries.
     
  11. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    In Texas it goes by city, even though the law is state-wide. Some cities, like Euless, get over 25% of their revenue from traffic fines.
     
  12. LetsGoFast

    LetsGoFast Active Member

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    I'm jealous. In Virginia I've had probably 8 or 9 tickets for driving without a front plate. Every single time it is a state trooper. Local police don't seem to care. I've even had one in the Tesla, which isn't bad for 14 months. I used to get them about every six months in my Porsche.
     
  13. dedicatedtek

    dedicatedtek Member

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    just a friendly warning to those in Texas...
    if you ever drive through a town called "Buckholts" on highway 190 East, between Rogers & Cameron, you will most definitely be stopped for any minor violation the local guy can come up with - including no front plate.

    This is the one area of why I'm seriously considering putting a front plate on my soon to arrive Model S (pickup by Mar. 31, 2016)

    (also, this is my first post to TMC)
     
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  14. Rdainer

    Rdainer Member

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    how much were the VA tickets? I'm in bethesda and drive through NoVA constantly

     
  15. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Member

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    In San Diego they are getting more active for no front plates. Cop said that because they have cameras for car pool violators they want those plates visible. Same with car pool stickers. They want the cameras to be able to see them to avoid ticketing vehicles (like Tesla) that are legally entitled to use the car pool lanes without charge or restriction.
     
  16. rage_777

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    People use to always tell me how many years they have gone without a tint ticket. Then one day I was driving in CA, a local police officer does a U-turn in the middle of the road just to give me a tint ticket. Not sure what was bugging him that faithful day, but I haven't put front tints on a car in 10 years since then.
     
  17. chriSharek

    chriSharek Member

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    I live in FL. We don't need a front plate. :)
     
  18. Frisco-Dad

    Frisco-Dad Member

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    After 3 warnings, in 3 years, I decided to put a front plate on my BMW 5 series. Even without having to pay a fine, the wasted time of the cop pulling you over, calling in to check your license, etc. etc. is just not worth it. On one occasion, I was driving down I-45 from Dallas to Houston when I got pulled over, and I was in the middle of a conference call. I had to apologize to my business associates while I hung up the phone to deal with the traffic stop. By the time I got done with the traffic stop and was able to dial back in, the conference call was over.

    After that 3rd warning, I decided to drill some holes in the front bumper of the BMW so I could mount that front plate. I've got a Model S on order, and as soon as I get the permanent plates, I will be mounting both plates on the Model S. Getting pulled over is just not worth it.
     
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  19. anxman

    anxman Member

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    I recently got a meter maid ticket in Manhattan Beach for lacking a front plate.
     
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  20. Geoff

    Geoff Member

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