Examining The New License Plate Law

Violating the law can be as simple as getting behind the wheel. A law passed this month means many license plate frames are "out of bounds". Since we first reported this earlier this week, questions have been flooding into our newsroom. With a $200 ticket for violating the new rule, people want to make sure their license plate frames will pass the test. Channel 7's Kevin Berns went out with Tyler police officer Chris Moore to see what's okay, and what will get you pulled over.  Moore says interpreting the new license plate law is quite simple.

"Anything that's going to effect the readability of the numbers and the state from which the license was issued," said Moore.

We asked officer Moore to point out some of these violations. He found several where a license plate frame covered all or part of the state name.

"That one covers the whole word Texas," said Moore. "It actually covers it with Oklahoma. That might cause them some problems. That one I might personally remove."

One out of state plate plate was completely unidentifiable.  We later discovered it was from Oregon.  With the law less than a month old, many drivers who had violations weren't aware they could get busted, and vowed to remove the cover.

"The intent of this law was to make the readability of the license plate an issue," says Moore. "And things that obstruct that readability, such as coverings that obstruct the light and make it harder for scanners at toll booths, or that completely covered a letter, or that one you looked at over there, if those partial numbers were covered had been the letter E or the letter F, how would you know because you couldn't see the bottom of them."

When looking at your own license plate, Officer Moore says, it's better to be safe than sorry.

"If you feel uncomfortable about it, if you're not sure, probably go ahead and take it off."