• Jan 4, 2009
If you live in Arizona, you might want to take a run down to the garage and check your license plate, because as of January 1, a new law has been implemented that makes it illegal to cover the word "Arizona" on your tags.

The state legislature initially passed the law way back in 2006, but delayed its implementation until now. Fines for covering the state's name on a number plate will vary from city to city, but they're expected to average around $135 plus court fees. Many aftermarket license plate frames pose the risk of turning drivers into ATM machines instant lawbreakers (check out the warnings/disclaimers posted with these items the ASU bookstore). While other states have similar laws in place, the proliferation of more than 60 different specialty plates available in Arizona may complicate matters, but something tells us that Arizona police will find a way to make drivers pay.

Rest assured, this debate's not over, either. State Senator Jay Tibshraeny (R-Chandler) is working on legislation that would repeal the law. Tibshraeny points out that the fines are exorbitant (the no-seat-belt fine in AZ, by contrast, is a paltry $10), and he feels that the law will simply lead to more "pretext stops" by police officers. Thanks for the tip, Robby.

[Source: azcentral.com]


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  • 29 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Some truck bumpers don't allow full view of the license plate.

      Who cares anyway?
      • 6 Years Ago
      only $10 for not wearing a seatbelt? its about $100 in oregon
      • 6 Years Ago
      I believe I've heard enough about Arizona and it's random fleecing of motorists to never return there. I'll just spend my money somewhere else.
      • 6 Years Ago
      To AZMike:

      Amen, brother. I hail from Arizona as well (Phoenix) and can only toss in my theory why this legislation passed...

      ...why? Because the State is running BROKE thanks to namely our former Governor, and now soon-to-be Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano! If she can't even run a successful budget for one state, what business does she have in the new Cabinet!?

      Agreed, this is merely another example of the rising Police State! I can only hope that us desert dwellers will put up a fight against this nonsense, for I don't even know if WE the PEOPLE had an opportunity to vote on this so-called "law." Then again, I did vote in the '06 elections and cannot recall seeing this proposition...
      • 6 Years Ago
      No doubt Arizona will make money off of this, but why is not covering the state on the license plate being treated like losing a freedom by some. One of the main reasons for license plates is identification. It's not ornamental. If it can't be read, it's not fulfilling its purpose. It can be important for civilians and civil workers alike to be able to read a license plate. Knowing the state on the plate can be as important as the actual "numbers" on the plate. If an ornamental object is obstructing the visibility of the plate, it is defeating its own purpose and the purpose of the plate.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I believe this law will be gone within a few months. we have a very rich history of dissent here. I can remember when the state legislature voted in a sales tax provision for private party vehicle sales back in the 90's. it was gone in less than a month. that was a "holy grail" here in Arizona, and we had never had any sales tax on private party vehicle sales of any type. I doubt if we'll see it again.

      we don't do the time changes here, either. back when it first started back in 1966, no one apparently liked it. it was put on the ballot, and voted down in 1967. we are one of two states that don't do it; the other is Hawaii.

      the license plate frame law only applies to Arizona residents, and I find it hard to believe that our peace officers have a hard time knowing what an Arizona license plate looks like!

      I hope the Arizona Auto Dealer's Association screams bloody murder, because about 80% of the vehicles here have the selling dealer's license plate frames on them, just like California. this is a good source of advertising for them, and it should be allowed to continue.

      it would be quite easy to appease all parties here very simply; the state needs to moved the word "Arizona" down about half an inch on the plate itself. this is what California did, and it allows full reading of the "state", and the frames can stay on.

      AZMike
      • 6 Years Ago
      This makes sense. People do cover up the plates and or even sandblast the color off. On the other hand I really think front plates are silly. If someone is going to do something they will take the plates off, and if its just speeding then the back plate is what the cop will see anyway. Its just silly. We should really go to a national drivers license and plate system. I usually am anti big government but think of the potential savings by having one federal entity instead of disorganized state based ones...
      • 6 Years Ago

      Is Stalinism back in fashion?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think this is illegal in California too. No one seems to care. Of course, technically in California you're supposed to have a front plate too and yet 1/3rd of cars are missing it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why do I see tons of people driving without any license plate?! They just have dealer plates on them and Iam not talking about a small number of cars. Enough to where its a "wtf how do you now have a license plate?"
      • 6 Years Ago
      Texas did this a few years ago. I don't think anyone paid attention to it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I bet there's a cop somewhere in Scottsdale waiting for Danica Patrick...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Anyone else see this as an example of the way the country is crumbling? Tell me what function this law has besides putting more money into the governments pocket? It's not a safety issue, and if an officer can't recognize his own state's license plate, should he really be an officer?

      Besides putting more money in the pockets of the state, this and other laws like it are the "feel good" laws that do nothing politicians dream up just to be able to say they did something.

      This, red light cameras that actually increase traffic and accidents, front plate laws, are all examples of just how much red tape the government imposes on itself and us
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