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Louisiana Troopers Targeting Obscure License Tags

Louisiana State Police are getting together with local law enforcement to cut down on complaints of obscure license plates. State law requires the clear display of vehicle license plates. It says if the numbers or letters are not clearly displayed, the driver can be ticketed.

la tag
Louisiana License Tag Requirements /Flickr

State Police Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson says the law requires “permanent registration license plates assigned to a trailer, semitrailer, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle shall be securely attached to the rear of the vehicle and remain clearly visible and free from any foreign material.”

Also, license plates must be free of any novelty frames or plate covers that hamper visibility and prevent the entire plate from being readable.

Edmonson says  tinted, blurred, or mirrored plate covers are an obvious obscurement. But he also says clear plate covers can become scratched, yellowed, or cloudy over time reducing visibility.

And that the ability of the license plates  to reflect light can be significantly diminished by covers preventing a clear view of the tag information during dark conditions.

Drivers are also required by state law to ensure that license plates are well lit through the use of properly functioning white license plate lights.

“The use of aftermarket covers for license tags has increased considerably in Louisiana.  Most drivers are probably unaware that by using such covers or decorative lights they are probably in violation of the law.  We are urging them to remove the aftermarket products now before being cited,” Edmonson said.

According to Edmonson this is a public safety issue.  “It is imperative that the numbers or letters on the tag be visible and readable.  When they are obscured it impairs accurate reporting by citizens who are attempting to provide police with information on reckless or impaired drivers, motor vehicle crashes, and vehicles involved in criminal acts.”

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