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One License Plate Driving Through 2-Plate State-Threatened with Citation

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  • One License Plate Driving Through 2-Plate State-Threatened with Citation

    I am a legal resident of Kentucky, and consequently my car is legally registered in Kentucky. Kentucky only issues a single license plate, and consequently I only have a single plate on the rear of my vehicle.

    A few weeks ago, I was driving through Illinois and stopped to get gas in a rural, southern portion of the state. A local sheriff's deputy was at the neighboring pump, and while he was there looked at the back of my car, looked at the front and then walked over and said "I could cite you for only having one license plate on your car." My response was something along the lines of "Kentucky doesn't offer front plates." The deputy responded with(paraphrasing) "It doesn't matter-you need two plates to drive in Illinois. I'm not going to bother you about it today, but you need to get it taken care of." I thanked him for the advice, and then finished up my business and promptly got out of the state(I was less than a mile from the IL-IN state line).

    Is the officer correct that I can be cited for only having one plate when the state where my car is registered only issues one? If so, is there a way that I can legally travel through Illinois(something I regularly do) without a potential problem from my legal-in-Kentucky vehicle?

  • #2
    Originally posted by mg-guy View Post
    ...Is the officer correct that I can be cited for only having one plate when the state where my car is registered only issues one? If so, is there a way that I can legally travel through Illinois(something I regularly do) without a potential problem from my legal-in-Kentucky vehicle?
    I wouldn't even give any further thought. There are only about 19 states that only issue one license plate. He probably was unaware of that. Don't worry about it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Based on information I received straight from our state's Assistant Attorney General, that deputy was incorrect.That lack of knowledge and attitude seem to indicate a newbie, flush with fresh authority.

      My understanding is that the states have reciprocal agreements allowing for this sort of thing. Otherwise, as in your case, an IL department could simply sit on the border and ticket every KY car that comes across, for something the KY drivers have no control over.

      Some caveats:
      • Making a stop based on having no front plate in a 2-plate state is legal, as the LEO cannot be expected to immediately know the license plate requirements in all states. If that should lead to another violation (like a DUI or a drug offense), it would most likely hold up. However, that could come into question if it can be reasonably determined the officer would have knowledge of another state's plate standards -- for example, in the OP's case, it's surprising to me that a deputy working so close to the border with a 1-plate state wouldn't know about that.
      • I would assume most states have a similar rule to mine, which requires new residents to register their vehicle within the state after a certain amount of time. In our case, it's 6 months. I've stopped vehicles with a single out-of-plate state and found out the person's been a resident of our state for more than 6 months; while I can't cite for the lack of a front plate, I can take actions to compel the person to register their vehicle in our state.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks to you both for your responses. I didn't think I could be ticketed for my car being legally registered in a 1 state plate(provided that I'm also a resident of that state) but wanted to make sure.

        For those who know the area, this took place at a gas station off exit 130 on 1-64. The county does border Indiana, which is also a one-plate state, and I always see a lot of both Kentucky and Indiana vehicles on the road in this area.

        Along those same lines, if I HAD been cited would there have been any recourse other than taking 1-2 days off work and going to court over it? Alternatively, if he had carried through with his threat, is this one of those things that the dispatcher/computer/whatever would have popped up and said "You can't cite for that"?

        Comment


        • #5
          There was no threat. He just told you he would cite your car.
          There is no pop up that says you can't cite.
          You would have to go through the court process.
          Now go home and get your shine box!

          Comment


          • #6
            Exit 130 on I-64 is White Co.
            You are not illegal in IL with 1 plate from KY. That deputy should have known that. It's taught in basic school. Unfortunately some who pass basic training never learned all that much. In every class there's always someone who barely graduates at the bottom of their class.
            183 FBINA

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mg-guy View Post
              I am a legal resident of Kentucky, and consequently my car is legally registered in Kentucky. Kentucky only issues a single license plate, and consequently I only have a single plate on the rear of my vehicle.

              A few weeks ago, I was driving through Illinois and stopped to get gas in a rural, southern portion of the state. A local sheriff's deputy was at the neighboring pump, and while he was there looked at the back of my car, looked at the front and then walked over and said "I could cite you for only having one license plate on your car." My response was something along the lines of "Kentucky doesn't offer front plates." The deputy responded with(paraphrasing) "It doesn't matter-you need two plates to drive in Illinois. I'm not going to bother you about it today, but you need to get it taken care of." I thanked him for the advice, and then finished up my business and promptly got out of the state(I was less than a mile from the IL-IN state line).

              Is the officer correct that I can be cited for only having one plate when the state where my car is registered only issues one? If so, is there a way that I can legally travel through Illinois(something I regularly do) without a potential problem from my legal-in-Kentucky vehicle?
              The fact he even mentioned it to you is insane! If he issued you that BS summons and t was the only reason for the stop, it says a whole lot about that officer.

              He also would lose it in court.
              NYPD Exam 2302 (July, 2011) - 9x.xxx
              List number (December, 2011) - 2xx
              APD -???

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks again to everyone for the responses.

                Just to clarify(not that it was in question) this was while BOTH of us were stopped getting gas at a gas station, and he approached me while I was minding my business. Also, for further context, this happened at ~3:00 on a Sunday afternoon-or in other words in full daylight.

                You'd be hard pressed to find any equipment violations on my car. Although I didn't buy it new, I bought it from the original who DID buy it new in 2010. The windows are not tinted, all of the lights operate correctly, the exhaust is what it rolled out of the factory with, as are the wheels, and the wheels are fitted with year-old tires in the size the door sticker says of the closest equivalent model that Michelin makes to what the car came with. Everything on the car was either fitted at the factory, is an OEM replacement, or is an OEM equivalent replacement. I am meticulous about maintenance.

                The single plate issue was the only thing the deputy mentioned.

                It's comforting to know I'd have won if I'd been cited and gone to court, but a day or two off work would be a pain still.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mg-guy View Post
                  Thanks again to everyone for the responses.

                  Just to clarify(not that it was in question) this was while BOTH of us were stopped getting gas at a gas station, and he approached me while I was minding my business. Also, for further context, this happened at ~3:00 on a Sunday afternoon-or in other words in full daylight.

                  You'd be hard pressed to find any equipment violations on my car. Although I didn't buy it new, I bought it from the original who DID buy it new in 2010. The windows are not tinted, all of the lights operate correctly, the exhaust is what it rolled out of the factory with, as are the wheels, and the wheels are fitted with year-old tires in the size the door sticker says of the closest equivalent model that Michelin makes to what the car came with. Everything on the car was either fitted at the factory, is an OEM replacement, or is an OEM equivalent replacement. I am meticulous about maintenance.

                  The single plate issue was the only thing the deputy mentioned.

                  It's comforting to know I'd have won if I'd been cited and gone to court, but a day or two off work would be a pain still.
                  Absolutely would be a pain, that's why is a BS ticket to write. The ONLY way I write that ticket to someone in your shoes is if it's a break. Say I stopped you for speeding and gave you that as a cheaper ticket with no points

                  i also would NEVER walk up to someone and tell them to fix their car in any other setting than a motor vehicle stop. I don't like bashing cops, but this guy is obnoxious
                  NYPD Exam 2302 (July, 2011) - 9x.xxx
                  List number (December, 2011) - 2xx
                  APD -???

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Back when I was on patrol I had a book of all state license plates for all 50 states (LONG before you could buy 90 plate styles in each state)

                    That book also told me how many plates were issued in each state..
                    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
                      That Deputy has every right to walk up in a public place and conduct an investigation. That’s how we solve crimes.
                      Now go home and get your shine box!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
                        That Deputy has every right to walk up in a public place and conduct an investigation. That’s how we solve crimes.
                        I don't think anyone is saying he doesn't have the right... in fact I've used it for PC to make a stop PLENTY of times. With that said, if that is all their is, the vehicle is from out of state... AND he issues that summons? Then that deputy needs to take a look in the mirror. That's pathetic
                        NYPD Exam 2302 (July, 2011) - 9x.xxx
                        List number (December, 2011) - 2xx
                        APD -???

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well...WE weren’t there, were we...
                          Now go home and get your shine box!

                          Comment


                          • LSUTiger9314
                            LSUTiger9314 commented
                            Editing a comment
                            No, we weren't. So I'm going with the scenario given. If he were to write that summons with nothing else involved, it would say a lot about that officer

                        • #14
                          Each state is supposed to give full faith and credit to the license requirements of another state.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
                            There was no threat. He just told you he would cite your car.
                            I feel like this is a semantic argument.

                            I was told "I could cite you for that", told that I was wrong when I asserted that my vehicle was legal, and was then told that "it didn't matter" but that he "wasn't going to bother me about it."

                            If saying "I could cite you for that" and doubling down on my being in the wrong when I pointed out my understanding of the law doesn't constitute "threatening me with a citation", what exactly WOULD constitute threatening me with one?

                            Comment

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