Police in Louisiana are on the lookout for unreadable l... Police in Louisiana are on the lookout for unreadable license plates (Credit: BetterThanEveryone, Flickr).
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Louisiana state police and local law enforcement agencies are telling motorists to clean off their dirty license plates.

State police say in a news release the motorists caught with their license plates obscured in any way, including by dirt, mud or frames that cover part of the plate, could be ticketed.

Louisiana law requires vehicle license plates be clearly displayed, as well as illuminated at night by license plate lights.

Col. Michael Edmonson, state police superintendent, says clean license plates can help citizens more easily report reckless or impaired drivers, as well as vehicles involved in criminal acts.

Most states have laws requiring license plates to be securely fastened to the vehicle and free of debris. Officers in these states are entitled to stop motorists and issue citations, even if the driver did not commit another infraction (like running a stop sign).

This minor oversight has actually led to recent arrests of some drivers for more serious offenses around the country. A driver in Naples, FL, for example, was arrested for drug possession after he was pulled over for an unreadable license plate. Another driver in Tennessee was arrested for driving on a suspended license after being stopped.

Moral of the story: Keep you plates clean, especially in The Pelican State. The police can and will pull you over for this seemingly simple infraction.

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