Front license plate in California? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Front license plate in California?

My "new" 2005 E class doesn't have front license plate holder. Evidently PO in Georgia didn't have to have one.
From what I remember the California law strictly require front plates, so I took a hike in our village to take a look on the holders. Neighbors have lot of MB, so it wasn't difficult to find another W211 but ... it had no front plate. Looking around I noticed that like 1/3 of the cars here don't have front license plates. Even Toyota pickup.
What da heck? Did the law changed?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 08:35 AM
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Nope. A lot of people just risk not running the front plate. If I recall correctly, it's just a fix-it ticket so not much trouble if you get pulled over.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 08:47 AM
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No, in fact enforcement has become a little more strict in California over past few years. I don't know what the price is but I'll bet it's over 100 bucks now. For example, a fix-it ticket for window tint is $125.

Porsche enthusiasts almost never have front plates on their cars. If they get a fix-it they install the plate and have it signed off. Then they immediately remove the front plate and store in garage again. "Bumper plugs" with factory color matched paint (sold as accessory to cover the 2 holes on front bumper) are installed.

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Last edited by MB-SV; 08-07-2008 at 10:40 AM.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 08:59 AM
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Basically it's up to the discrection of the officer. It's a fix it ticket that can be signed off like MB-SV said but I am also hearing they no longer sign off tickets you have to go to court then prove your fix has been made.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelloC230 View Post
Basically it's up to the discrection of the officer. It's a fix it ticket that can be signed off like MB-SV said but I am also hearing they no longer sign off tickets you have to go to court then prove your fix has been made.
Not true, they still sign off fix-it tickets, and the issueing officer will recommend that course of action. And the traffic court will tell you to get an officer to do the sign off after inspection. My wife was also advised by clerk at the traffic court window to do exactly that. She had a fix it ticket signed off 3 weeks ago by SJ officer.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 11:41 AM
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The law in California still requires a front plate. Depending on how busy the police are you may not get cited for a long time.

Another member of the forum was recently cited for not having a front plate...the ticket was under his/her wiper when s/he returned to the car...yep, it was cited while parked. It was a fix-it ticket but s/he still had to pay an administrative fee once it was signed off.

My advice is to punch the holes and put on the plate. No purpose is served by giving law enforcement a reason to pull you over.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 11:42 AM
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Not true, they still sign off fix-it tickets, and the issueing officer will recommend that course of action. And the traffic court will tell you to get an officer to do the sign off after inspection. My wife was also advised by clerk at the traffic court window to do exactly that. She had a fix it ticket signed off 3 weeks ago by SJ officer.
Oh ok that's good to know because that is not the funnest place to be. In San Jose? They must be turning over a new lease the officers that is.

Last edited by MelloC230; 08-07-2008 at 11:57 AM.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 11:59 AM
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Yes a front plate is the law in California. Many airport parking lots now use cameras looking at the front plate. So they will issue fix-it tickets on parked cars.

The administrative fee is small. Cops will often signoff on these tickets without even stepping outside to look at the car, which shows how important this is (not a moving violation for insurance purposes).

In short, if you want to avoid the hassle use a front plate. I use a front plate on my daily driver (ML). But my weekend Porsche(s) for the last 15 years have never had front plates, no ticket so far.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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I know I have to put it on and just got to me, that entering California thru agriculture inspection will get me pulled over without the plate. Point is, that the bumper on this car is pretty curved and I would have to bend the plate quite badly to fit it without the holder. Than I am not impressed with the holders we have on W210. Don't want to spend money on ugly thing like this.
Maybe I take a break from my house construction and use some of the stainless steel I have laying around?

Last edited by Kajtek1; 08-07-2008 at 09:16 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 07:57 PM
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The last time I had a front license plate was when I owned a Toyota Celica GTS right out of college. I have been pulled over for speeding and the officer never even looked at the front plate only the back. No one around here has front plates and in fact you see more of the fancy chrome plates the MB star in the front. Maybe just lucky out here!
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