New Jersey Legislators Push Law to Protect Drivers Who Try to Hide or Conceal License Plates

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JACKSON, NJ – New Jersey Republican State Assemblyman Ron Dancer teamed up with Democrat Assemblyman Patrick Diegan to advance legislation that would allow license plate frames that obstruct or conceal parts of the license plate if markings on the plate can still be reasonably identified.

The Diegnan bill, S-2381, would apply to license plate frames and identification marker holders only. Dancer’s bill, A-3494, is in the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee.

“Over 400,000 citations have been given to New Jersey drivers for illegal license plate frames in the past five years. Most of these citations were for frames covering a part of the license plate that did not prevent identification of the vehicle,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “These revised stipulations will allow for a significant decrease in unnecessary fines and reduce the number of New Jersey drivers being pulled over.”

The bill’s aim is to handcuff police when they notice a license plate being intentionally concealed by a driver as long as the numbers can be read.

“This bill will help prevent thousands of drivers from being pulled over for minor license plate frame violations,” said Assemblyman Dancer (R-Ocean). “New Jersey drivers should not have to spend time and money seeking recourse through the court system. As long as pertinent letters and numbers are recognizable on a plate, a person should be free from unwarranted interactions with police who have much better uses for their time.”

A press release from Dancer read:

Currently, the statute does not allow a person to drive a motor vehicle that has a license plate frame or identification marker holder that conceals or otherwise obscures part of any marking on the vehicle’s registration or any part of any insert. A person violating the law is subject to a fine not exceeding $100.

However, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled last August that it’s not a violation if the partially covered markings are still legible. The legislation conforms the statute to the court’s decision to eliminate any uncertainty. Committee amendments ensure temporary plates or certificates are covered by the bill.

The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0.