Two License Plates Still Law in Texas Despite Efforts to Repeal

With murder and violent crime surging, some police agencies are still using resources to pull over drivers missing front license plate.

Some call it a 'money grab,' but Melissa Walden at Texas A&M Transportation Institute says front license plates help police track down stolen vehicles or those used in crimes, because the image is easier to capture along toll roads, parking garages and elsewhere.

"The number of vehicles versus the number of officers who are out there looking for your vehicle. Same thing with Amber Alerts or Silver Alerts, or things like that."

Texas is one of 31 state requiring both front and rear license plates.

Several attempts to do away with a front plate in Texas have stalled in Austin. But Walden says there may be a possible compromise.

"It could be like your older cars, antique cars or certain sports cars that don't have places for front plates."

A front plate citation carries a $200 fine, though Walden believes most are let off with a warning.

DPS Sgt. Richard Standifer says that depends on each department's protocols. He says his officers are not actively looking for missing front license plates, but it does give police probable cause to pull you over.

"Could come to find out the driver may be intoxicated or their license may be suspended," he says. "Typically it becomes something larger, not just the license plate."

Texas Plate

Photo: Getty Images

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