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  • Questions about out of state tickets

    Hi. I work in New Jersey but live in New York (vehicle registered in NY, license=NY). A few months ago I received a ticket while driving through NJ for my "license plate frame". No further explanation was given (even though I was asking...), but the license plate frame is directly from the Mazda dealer. I purchased the vehicle at the dealer in 2007.

    So I wanted to find out more information about the law regarding license plate frames, so I searched the internet for days and I could not find anything that clearly defines the requirements for the license plate frames for either NY or NJ. I was mainly searching the NY and NJ DMV websites. The things I did find were so vague it could mean anything. The dealer plate blocked the state slogan "The Empire State", but both the number and the top section that says "New York" were not obstructed at all. Through NYS DMV you can order over 100 custom plates that do not even have the state slogan on them!

    So my question is, even if I could find the exact New Jersey law that says "you cannot have a license plate frame" or "the license plate frame cannot obstruct the state slogan", would this law even apply to me given my vehicle is registered in New York (not NJ) ??? If the NJ law does apply to me, does it mean that if I wanted to drive from NY to California I have to memorize all of the state motor vehicle regulations for the 10 or so states in between NY and CA? Do only certain laws from other states apply? If so, where can I find this information?

    I wanted to go to court to fight the ticket, but they set the court date only a week and a half after I got the ticket, and you have to plead not guilty one week before the court date. I called the number of the back of the ticket to ask for information about the ticket, but they asked me to wait one week for the ticket to show in their system. And of course NJ makes it extremely simple to pay the ticket online, but you cannot plead not guilty online.

    Finally, can someone tell me where I can find the specific law regarding license plate frames for NY or NJ (or both) ?? I did just now search NY DMV's site:

    Title 15 Department of Motor Vehicles
    - Subchapter B Registration, Certificate of Title, and Number Plates
    -- Part 17 Number Plates

    and I could not find anything (but I remember seeing something months ago).

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Maybe someone from NJ can help you out. But I'll tell you this: ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks. I've heard that a million times. So I know it's not an excuse. But can you clarify please? Ignorant of New York State law? Or ignorant of the law of all 50 states in the United States? Which ones apply to me???? Simple question. Am I still ignorant if after one week of searching I cannot find the exact law I'm guilty of anywhere on the internet?

      Comment


      • #4
        It seems to me that you have not been given adequate notice of the charges against you. Is there no code section that you could look up?

        Have you called the court clerk to get more info? Maybe it is just some kind of equipment violation that merely needs to be fixed.
        Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
        Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi. I'm not sure what you mean by code section. On the ticket, the officer incorrectly checked the box labeled "headlights" or "vehicle lights" (I forget the exact name of the checkbox) and then wrote in the "Other" comment section "license plate frame". I did manually search the NJ website for several hours, but the search is terrible. I had to go through about 150 pages manually.

          Comment


          • #6
            You're in violation... NJSA 39:3-33. I searched about 5 minutes.

            Comment


            • #7
              It took less than 30 seconds of Google-Fu to find the relevant statute.

              Originally posted by New Jersey Motor Vehicle Code
              39A:LP-2. License plates; display


              a. A motor vehicle driven on the public highways of this State shall display a license plate furnished by the MVC. The plate shall hang between 12 and 48 inches from the ground in a horizontal position and shall be attached so it does not swing. The rear license plate may be displayed more than 48 inches from the ground on tank trucks, trailers and other commercial vehicles carrying flammable liquids and on sanitation vehicles used to collect, transport and dispose of solid waste.



              b. If two license plates are issued, they shall be displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle; if only one license plate is issued it shall be displayed on the rear of the vehicle.



              c. All license plate markings shall be clear and distinct so they are plainly visible at all times. No person shall drive a motor vehicle with a license plate frame or other item that obscures any marking imprinted upon the license plate.


              d. A person shall not drive a motor vehicle that does not comply with this section or a vehicle displaying a fictitious plate or a plate other than that designated for the vehicle in question. During the time between the application for vehicle registration and the receipt of license plates, no person shall affix a plate or marker designed to resemble the license plates for the purpose of advertisement in the position normally reserved for the license plates.


              e. Displaying a fictitious license plate number is a class C offense.



              f. Violation of any other provision of this section is a class D offense and a subsequent violation of the same provision is a class C offense. These penalties shall not apply to the display of a fictitious license plate number.
              Source: 39:3-33.

              I even highlighted the appropriate portion.


              You are obligated to follow the traffic and vehicle laws of the state you are traveling in. Period. End of story. For what its worth the above code is pretty standard in most states....
              Originally posted by kontemplerande
              Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks. Try using the official NJ database though:

                http://lis.njleg.state.nj.us/cgi-bin...TOC_Frame_Pg42

                But I'm glad you guys found it so quickly. And thanks SRT936 for the precise information. So as far as I understand, EVERY law in every state applies to me if I drive into that state with no exceptions? Thanks! I'm glad it's clear. If I want to take my cross country road trip, I'll make sure I take one month to read the motor vehicle code for every state

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by solarfuse View Post
                  Thanks. Try using the official NJ database though:

                  http://lis.njleg.state.nj.us/cgi-bin...TOC_Frame_Pg42
                  Still took about 2 minutes to find it. From that page, click on Chapter 39 in the window. Then type "license plate display" in the search field. That returns 25 hits. Click the right arrow right below the window and its about 3 clicks in.

                  Originally posted by solarfuse View Post
                  But I'm glad you guys found it so quickly. And thanks SRT936 for the precise information. So as far as I understand, EVERY law in every state applies to me if I drive into that state with no exceptions? Thanks! I'm glad it's clear. If I want to take my cross country road trip, I'll make sure I take one month to read the motor vehicle code for every state
                  Equipment codes are nearly identical state to state with only minor variations here and there. The license plate display code listed above is pretty standard to most states.
                  Originally posted by kontemplerande
                  Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by solarfuse View Post
                    but the license plate frame is directly from the Mazda dealer. !
                    It is from the dealer not the manufacturer. I will bet it is an advertizement for the dealership.

                    You can buy many items and have them installed by a dealership that are not legal.................aftermarket headlights are another item that are often offered or installed by dealers. Most of them are illegal in most states.


                    Originally posted by solarfuse View Post
                    If I want to take my cross country road trip, I'll make sure I take one month to read the motor vehicle code for every state

                    Being a smart *** isn't necessary. You have been told several times that most motor vehicle codes are pretty uniform throughout the United States.
                    Last edited by Iowa #1603; 04-27-2011, 11:47 AM.
                    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sorry I was being a little bit of a smart ***, but my statement remains absolutely true. If I wanted to drive across the united states, I would have to study and memorize the motor vehicle laws for every state I drive through. The fact that most are similar is irrelevant. The proof is this thread - I was ticketed for one thing which was NOT similar between states. How can I be aware of what is not similar unless I read the motor vehicle code for each state? As Michigan said, ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by solarfuse View Post
                        Sorry I was being a little bit of a smart ***, but my statement remains absolutely true. If I wanted to drive across the united states, I would have to study and memorize the motor vehicle laws for every state I drive through. The fact that most are similar is irrelevant. The proof is this thread - I was ticketed for one thing which was NOT similar between states. How can I be aware of what is not similar unless I read the motor vehicle code for each state? As Michigan said, ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
                        Don't draw attention to yourself. MOST cops won't write you for "stupid" stuff unless you "ask" for it. I've driven all over the US and have never been cited for something stupid and that was before I was cop so there was no "flashing of the tin" either. Just drive well, obey the speed limits and other important traffic laws and most cops won't care about the stupid crap.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by solarfuse View Post
                          Sorry I was being a little bit of a smart ***, but my statement remains absolutely true. If I wanted to drive across the united states, I would have to study and memorize the motor vehicle laws for every state I drive through. The fact that most are similar is irrelevant. The proof is this thread - I was ticketed for one thing which was NOT similar between states. How can I be aware of what is not similar unless I read the motor vehicle code for each state? As Michigan said, ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
                          I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say your attitude got you the ticket. If you were as snippy with the officer as you have been here I would almost guarantee it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by solarfuse View Post
                            Hi. I'm not sure what you mean by code section.
                            In California, the officer must identify the Vehicle (or other) Code section violated, by number. Here, the Code Section appears to be NJS 39:3-33.
                            Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                            Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Alabama requires the Officer to specifically cite the section of Title 32 Motor Vehicles and Traffic under which he is charging the violator. With regard to your cross country trip. Provided your vehicle has no unlawful after market equipment, and you apply simple common sense with respect to the law, there should be no need to consult each state's Vehicle Code. Simply enjoy your trip.

                              Comment

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