We see them all the time on the road. License plate frames are a great way to advertise a car dealership, a cause, or how much you love your dog. Unfortunately, they can also get you a traffic ticket.

Under New Jersey law, more specifically, N.J.S.A. 39:3-33, a motorist cannot "display unclear or indistinct license plates." This applies to both the front and rear plates on a vehicle. The only exception is placing an E-ZPass transponder on the front license plate.

Are License Plate Frames a Serious Offense in New Jersey?

Although it is far from a serious offense, it is a nuisance, carrying a $54 fine (plus $33 in court costs).  This is a big problem in New Jersey with the prevalence of these frames. At least one of my clients has ended up on the wrong side of that statute, and I am sure there will be more.

Again, this is not a serious offense and is usually a ticket that is only issued when you are stopped for something else, but it is something that you should take care of right away. If you have one of these frames, grab a screwdriver, go out to your driveway, and remove them. You may save yourself $87.

Can It Get Worse?

Once the police have probable cause to pull you over, things can get worse from there. Maybe your license or insurance expired. Maybe you have something in the car that you shouldn't. Why risk this happening when you don't have to?

Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.