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Diegnan Bill to Permit Certain License Plate Frames Clears Senate

STOCK license plate

Trenton – In an effort to cut down on unnecessary traffic stops, the Senate today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick J. Diegnan Jr that would allow license plate frames that obstruct or conceal parts of the license plate as long as markings on the plate can still be reasonably identified.

The bill, S-2381, would clarify that license plate frames are not a violation if the name of the State, any identification marks, and the expiration date, in the case of temporary license plates, can be identified. The measure would apply to license plate frames and identification marker holders only.

“Over 500,000 citations have been given to New Jersey drivers for illegal license plate frames in the past five years. Most of these citations were for frames covering a part of the license plate that did not hinder identification of the vehicle,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “These revised stipulations will allow for a significant decrease in unnecessary fines and reduce the number of New Jersey drivers being pulled over.”

Currently, the statute does not allow a person to drive a motor vehicle that has a license plate frame or identification marker holder that conceals or otherwise obscures part of any marking on the vehicle’s registration or any part of any insert. A person violating the law is subject to a fine not exceeding $100.

In 2021, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that police cannot conduct traffic stops solely because license plate brackets or plate holders slightly obscure a vehicle’s tag. The legislation conforms the statute to the court’s decision to eliminate any uncertainty. Committee amendments ensure temporary plates or certificates are covered by the bill.

The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 36-0.