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Old 10-20-2006, 11:32 AM
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Front License Plate

Does anyone know the actual law for a front license plate in NJ? I had a fender bender with my Mustang a while back, and when the body shop fixed up the front bumper, I didn't have the heart to drill into it to put the banged up plate back on. It's been sitting on the dash visible in the windshield, where it got me out of a minor speeding ticket ("Improper display of plates" instead, no points, I'll take that any day, and I paid it without any arguement). I was putting off the inspection until I figured out a way to stick it on the front less destructively (hidden bracket, double stick tape, etc). I finally broke down and went to inspection figuring I'd get the "Rejected" sticker but I'd have a month to get off my butt and fix it. They passed it, so I guess it isn't a part of the inspection? What can an officer ticket you for?

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Originally Posted by NJ Driver Manual, 2006 pg. 76
For passenger vehicles, attach one plate to the front bumper and one to the rear of the vehicle, at least 12 inches from the ground, but no more than 48 inches. The rear plate should be lit at night and be visible from 50 feet. Using license plate holders that obscure any lettering on the license plate is a violation that could result in a fine of up to $200."
Technically, my plate is not attached to the front bumper, but it is between 12" and 48" from the ground.

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Old 10-20-2006, 04:02 PM
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it must be mounted on the front bumper in plain vew of oncoming traffic. the reason you passed inspection is because a missing front plate is not a violation of inspection laws, but a title 39 motor vehicle law.
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Old 10-27-2006, 03:56 PM
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if the cop wants they can be ****** about missing front plates, they can. you had a real good one to knock down the stop to a inspection problem warning. same goes for tinting the front door glass to 85%.it's illegal by federal high way laws.legal in new york. but in new jersey they can and have impounded cars and trucks for

as much as i agree with you about the front plate looks. i had the same problem on my 85 gt stang. after a small bender and new plastic mine failed inspection as it is part of the inspection laws, you may have to bite your feelings as much as i did and mount the plate.
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Old 10-28-2006, 08:34 PM
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a better question is why in the world is a front tag even required anymore ???? There is NO WAY in hell a cop going in the opposite direction at more then 10 mph or at night is gonna be able to read your tag number anyway !! . If your are doing something that dictates a traffic stop as you go by , he's only gonna have to turn around anyway to stop you and then will have plenty of time to ride your bumper , pacing you , looking for a reason , or running your REAR tag thru the system .
I cant even count how many states dont even bother with a front plate anymore because it simply defies logic and is redundant , oh wait I forgot this is NJ the state that INVENTED illogical and redundant behavior and has perfected it to a high art form ! Not to mention how much money would be saved by only having to make, stamp , paint and process 1 tag per vehicle instead of 2 ??, How about the savings on the metal used to make the tag ? Or how about the fact that motorcycles only have 1 tag and thats worked fine for them for god knows how long . I can almost guarentee that the supplier of the stamping equipment , or the metal or the little tag baggies is closely tied in some manner to the clowns that run this state.

Last edited by Midnite Rider; 10-28-2006 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 10-29-2006, 01:33 PM
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there is actually a very good use for front plates. when cruising through a parking lot looking for stolen cars, you do not have to get out and walk around a car that is backed into a parking spot to look at the plate. this way, you do not draw attention to the fact you are going to be watching the car, and can then just go sit in the corner of the lot or across the street till the bad guys get in it and try to drive away.
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Old 10-29-2006, 09:59 PM
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maybe and yet who knows how many other states have managed to not have anywhere near as much a problem recovering stolen cars WITHOUT a front tag . Sorry but thats one of the weakest arguments I can think of for keeping a front tag mandatory , but thats just more typical NJ behavior and mindset , nit pick people to death over the most inconsequential things and completly IGNORE more serious problems that really do require attention .


Your argument for keeping a front tag makes as much sense as the ridiculous prohibition on front window tint on front drivers and passenger side windows . Its supposedly to help protect officers during traffic stops , yet you could Spray Paint your rear window Black and be perfectly legal ! Well if Im Mr 3 Strike Felon and Im gonna pop a cap in a cop , I aint waiting till hes standing at my door side , Im gonna start blazing away as he walks up and cant see me thru my entirely LEGAL BLACK OUT Rear glass . Its circular logic at its finest , and believe me I can come up with plenty of other MV Code Statutes that are antiquated , out right stupid , and serve nothing more then to harrass other wise lawabiding people and generate revenue for the Municipality/State
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Old 10-29-2006, 10:54 PM
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"Your argument for keeping a front tag makes as much sense as the ridiculous prohibition on front window tint on front drivers and passenger side windows . Its supposedly to help protect officers during traffic stops , yet you could Spray Paint your rear window Black and be perfectly legal ! Well if Im Mr 3 Strike Felon and Im gonna pop a cap in a cop , I aint waiting till hes standing at my door side , Im gonna start blazing away as he walks up and cant see me thru my entirely LEGAL BLACK OUT Rear glass . Its circular logic at its finest , and believe me I can come up with plenty of other MV Code Statutes that are antiquated , out right stupid , and serve nothing more then to harrass other wise lawabiding people and generate revenue for the Municipality/State"

Midnight, I MAY be wrong but it's a good bet you do NOT have a loved one that is in law enforcement and just might be the poor s#!t that is on the wrong side of that "harmless" paint job.

It's also like the "harmless" rear license plate covers that "cloud" the letters/numbers so they can only be read directly and closely behind the vehicle. With this item, the poor s#!t officer wouldn't even be able to get the plate# after be left on the roadway by the "poor harassed revenue contributors". I don't usually get too worked up over most posts but your quote went just a little over the line at it's conclusion. Maybe you ought to reword it some.

I am fairly certain YOU, YOUR GIRL or your "Buds" would be the first to cry if the officer stayed next to HIS/HER vehicle and made YOU and your passengers all get out of the vehicle on a cold or rainy night and lay face down on the pavement until your ID and license s all check out. After all...your car "COULD" fit the description of a wanted/ stolen vehicle and with all the identifying details blocked out there would only be one way to be certain about it.

If you never have to "bet your life" on what's inside a strange, blacked out vehicle you can easily draw a one sided conclusion.

Sorry for the rant guy/gals.
This subject hits me personally.
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Old 10-30-2006, 05:04 PM
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Well bluesuedetruck chalk up a BIG FAT WRONG for yourself , because YES I have a close family memember and SEVERAL friends that are in one form of law enforcement or other , and am in fact pursuing the same career my self and have been on "ride alongs " and was allowed to approach the vehicle on the pass side from the rear and for lack of a better term " watch my buddies back while he spoke to the driver . Second your assertion about "me , my girl and my BUDS ( I have NO idea why you quoted the word Buds , perhaps a back handed/sarcastic assumption about pot ?) is worded like your talking to some punk teenager or early 20 something kid , the fact is Im a 33 year old Father, and you will only ever catch me "crying " about the actions of a LEO is when they are ridiculous aggressive for the situation ( as a way to show how "powerful they are " ), and please dont insult my intelligence by saying this doesnt happen as I have seen it with my own eyes , or are coming dangerously close to violating civil rights , again for no other reason then the power trip .
Further more I WORK with varying levels of LEO's as a private tactical shooting instructor , and "off the record " they paint a VERY different picture then what the general public sees. Regardless , it still in no way justifies the existance of completly absurd rules that contradict themselves ( Tint Rule) I guess next your gonna claim that ALL cops are for further erosion of our 2nd Ammendment rights to firearms in the name of their safety ? When the TRUTH is OFF the record , they dont agree with the laws being so overly restrictive , but they have to enforce what the law says regardless of personal opinion or feeling .
In fact In Florida , MANY rank and file officers LIKE that it is a CCW state and dont feel any more threatened knowing that at virtually ANY traffic stop the motorist could be armed . I know the last few things were generally " off topic " but were included as a way to illustrate my point .


For that matter blue suede , you COMPLETLY missed the point of my post !! I was illustrating the absurdity of NJ MV rules , by describing that it is COMPLETLY LEGAL to PAINT your rear windows an inpenetrable jet black ( There by TOTALLY obscuring ANY movement being seen inside the vehicle when approaching from the rear ) , yet having overly severe restrictions on Front window tint . From nothing more then a purely "tactical standpoint " this is after all the field that I TEACH , this blatant contradicition in the MV Code is nuts !! READ the MV Code , it clearly states that the ostensable reason for limiting front window tint is for "officer safety " during a traffic stop . Yet if they were TRULEY concerned about officer safety , then REAR window tint would be equally restrictive or prohibited in full . The officer approaching a vehicle during a stop is most vulnearable to "ambush " and at a BIG disadvantage for finding cover or returning fire when hes APPROACHING the vehicle . Once hes along side the drivers door , he has a MUCH better field of view of what the occupants movements may be and is MUCH closer ( therefore MORE Likely) to hit his target . So for the MV Code to make sense and truly be about "officer safety see my above argument AGAINST Black out rear window tinting . Now as to obscured rear tags , you wont get an argument from me about that one bit , but thats also irrelevant to the fact that PLENTY of other states have DECADES of practical experience with only requiring a REAR tag and have not experienced any appreciable derogatory result because of such a policy . Which after all is what the post was originally about !!! ( Front tags ) . In the future , please refrain from making assumptions about me , my back round or personal experiences or which side of the "blue wall " Im on , because you know NOTHING about me !

Last edited by Midnite Rider; 10-30-2006 at 05:33 PM. Reason: omission
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Old 10-31-2006, 12:27 PM
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I don't have a front plate simply because I made the front bumper myself and never got around to attaching the plate. I'm inherently lazy.

Anyway, the one time I got stopped, I simply said "schite, it must have fallen off my homemade bumper!" and the cop laughed and commented about my homemade bumper more than the plate. No ticket, no warning, but I was supposed to "get it replaced at the DMV". Of course I don't have to because it's sitting on top of my drill press as it has been for about 3 years.
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Old 10-31-2006, 03:36 PM
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Midnite Rider, you are new here....chill, and keep it clean.
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Old 10-31-2006, 03:47 PM
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the reasons for blue suedes and my comments are we are both ex law enforcement. he made a career of it, i was forced out due to an injury. and i have seen way too many times where tinted windows almost cost a fellow officer his life,and 1 time where a fellow officer was killed by a bad guy with tinted front windows. if the windows were not blacked out, he would have seen the gun and maybe have been able to duck. but because of the blackout tint, he never saw it coming through the closed window. and it was not an isolated incident. and it has happened many times here in central jersey.
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:41 PM
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My old 81 crewcab (48" gumbo's, zebra paint, and limo black windows all around except for the windshield) used to attract a lot of attention. Anytime I was pulled over in that thing I ALWAYS opened the drivers door and kept my hands visible, just in case the officer pulling me over was nervous, uncomfortable, or had a twitchy finger. By the time the officer approached my open truck door, I had my license, registration and insurance in my hand sticking out the door, ready to go.

I lived in NY at the time, and wasn't ever pulled over for ride height (well, bumper height) or the tinting. Always something like speeding, burnt out taillights, burnt out rear plate lights, that sorta thing. Since I was quite young at the time (early 20's) if I ran my mouth at all, that's when the tint and bumper height bit me.

I'm eventually going to limo tint my 93 crewcab, but only the back doors and the rear glass, so my son in the car seat can nap while driving in the sun. As I get older, seeing the side mirrors through dark window tint is more difficult. Though my crewcab weighs 6997 lbs with the bedbox, it's not like I really have to worry about other cars. I wouldn't feel it anyway ;-)
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Old 10-31-2006, 08:25 PM
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with all do respect to the admin, could you please point out specifically what i didnt keep clean about my post and where exactly I got upset or out of line in any way ??? I realize most boards consider caps to be "shouting " how ever , in my posts they were used and intended to be interpreted as emphasis , not getting excited or having to "chill " , your right I may be new here , but if being "new " means that I cant logically and rationally defend my opinion , then perhaps I should go elsewhere ??

tjc AND bluesuede , thank you for your service and I look forward to a fulfilling career myself , however I have yet to hear anyone even acknowlegde that what I pointed out was an absurd and contradictory MV rule . I dont get it , how much clearer can I make it ??? If the code was truly about officer safety , then REAR black out tint would be ILLEGAL , or do you both , as former officers truly not agree with my contention that an officer is most vulnerable when approaching the vehicle and cant see inside at all , as opposed to next to the drivers window ?? If you do , thats fine , but I will continue to disagree with you , I may not have what you guys consider to be enuff real world or practical experience , but I will point out inconsistencies in MV code , and I will call them like I see them when it comes to tactical applications in a MV Stop , as a Nationally Certified Instructor , I think I have earned the right and paid my dues in a different way . Can either of you honestly state that you personally agree with EVERY law that you were charged with enforcing ?? You NEVER let someone go that you could have lawfully arrested ??? I have always been told by my LEO friends and instructors in Criminal Justice that Officers are entrusted with a certain amount of descretion as to how to handle a given situation , that in certain cases where the law says or in fact may demand an arrest , you weigh the situation , the potential outcome and or consequences and sometimes a little "curbside court " is the better way to handle it and still do your jobs . Sorry but I get the distinct impression that blue suede made multiple assumptions , did not understand what I was illustrating by my original post , and basically feels that ALL Laws are just and to be enforced just because they are laws , well Im sorry but thats not the kind of country I was taught this is , and not the kind of mindset I have .

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Old 11-01-2006, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Well if Im Mr 3 Strike Felon and Im gonna pop a cap in a cop , I aint waiting till hes standing at my door side , Im gonna start blazing away as he walks up and cant see me thru my entirely LEGAL BLACK OUT Rear glass .
This is not nice in any way, I know you are talking about someone else, HOWEVER We have officers of the law as members, they are mothers, fathers, sons, grandsons, grand daughters...does this make my point. Have some respect.

Quote:
rationally defend my opinion , then perhaps I should go elsewhere ??
You have very few posts, just stop ranting. If you wish to go somewhere else, well then, so be.
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Old 11-01-2006, 07:18 AM
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Midnite Rider -

While your mention of rear tint preventing and officer to be able to see into the vehicle as he/she approaches it, you're missing one important detail in the law.

It was written and approved by politicians, not law enforcement folks.

You'll find that most laws on the books are written by people who haven't experienced such activities, and while have good intentions, don't fully grasp the reasons the law is being requested in the first place, so these partially useful laws go into effect and possibly are amended later on as someone slightly smarter, lobbies for it.

That's the sole reason why tint is allowed on rear side and rear windows, but not the driver's window or the windshield - poor law writing. But that doesn't mean that a partially tinted car is any easier to approach by law enforcement - I would guess it's not.

You'll find this is very common in many things. If you've ever read the NHRA funny car rulebook, it's obvious that it's not written by engineers - but rather by corporate/political/corporate monkeys who don't race in the league. While some rules are so detailed they are what they are, many of the rules (about 1/3 to 1/2 of them) have so much wiggle room engineers on your "crew" can interpret them a variety of ways.

Years ago they added a rule intending to slow the cars down... a double-carb restricter plate which folded slants that stick up. The new rules went into tremendous detail about plate thickness, materials to be used, angles of the restrictors and so forth, then ended the ruleset with "install on carbs". They did not specify that the restricting slants has to be leading... so many of us deliberately installed them backwards, and milled the back of the carbs rather than the front, and installed the plates backwards as compared to the *intention* of the rule. Most teams did this BTW. Took 1/2 a season to fix that rule wise.

Anyway, I think you see my point. Hope that helps.

Last edited by frederic; 11-01-2006 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 11-01-2006, 07:18 AM
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