Finally! No Front License Plate is Required!

When the transportation budget was passed in 2019 it included a provision to eliminate the requirement that vehicles in Ohio have a front license plate. That provision would be effective July 1, 2020. Gov. DeWine did not veto that section (or any section of the transportation budget) and almost immediately law enforcement agencies began attacking the new law.

Whether or not to require a front license plate has been an issue for decades. None of the surrounding states require a front license plate. Those opposed to a front plate, usually sports and antique car collectors, do not like having to mar their vehicle and install a plate – especially on vehicles designed without a front plate holder. Law enforcement, who support the requirement for a front plate, say that the front plate helps them identify and catch criminals. As an OVI defense attorney, I say the absence of a front plate is another opportunity for law enforcement to conduct a pretextual stop for an OVI.

It appeared that law enforcement would get its way and a front license plate would continue to be required. Senate Bill 179, with the sole purpose of continuing to require a front license plate, was introduced on July 29, 2019. It was introduced by a Republican senator, in a Republican controlled Senate, with a Republican controlled House, and a Republican governor. It was referred to committee on September 11, 2019, and has effectively died. It was not even schedule for a committee hearing!

Today, July 1, 2020, Ohio joins a growing number of states and a front license plate is no longer required! For your entertainment – here’s some vanity plate requests that the Ohio BMV has rejected.

After today, if you’re stopped for not having a front license plate, your being illegally stopped. If you’ve been stopped for not having a front license plate, or any other reason, call the Nicodemus Law Office, LPA at 740-422-9280 today.