Some readers think it was silly, or worse, for the General Assembly to ban fat frames that hide basic info -- state name, registration renewal stickers -- on car license plates (see today's Road Worrier column, with reader comments).
If they want to make sure that NC license plates are easily recognizable, then they should repeal all those "SPECIAL INTERST" license plates that are no where near the original White, RED, and Blue colors! - mike_cary
To claim that NC state troopers couldn't recognize a local plate (even one of the variations of vanity plates) is sort of demeaning to their ability. - shawnc1959
Maybe so. But -- quick! the car is speeding away! -- can you tell me what state is attached to the license plate you see here?
Not all local cars have local plates. I photographed this one in a Raleigh shopping center parking lot last year, before the new law was passed. The frame advertises a Triangle car dealer, but the plate is from Pennsylvania.
The law takes effect Dec. 1, with a $100 fine for violators. Here, excerpted from Senate Bill 1165, is the full text of the statute that was revised by the General Assembly this year (the new part is near the end):
SECTION 40.(a) If House Bill 1729, 2009 Regular Session, becomes law, then G.S. 20‑63(g), as amended by Section 3 of that bill, reads as rewritten:
"(g) Alteration, Disguise, or Concealment of Numbers. – Any operator of a motor vehicle who shall willfully mutilate, bend, twist, cover or cause to be covered or partially covered by any bumper, light, spare tire, tire rack, strap, or other device, or who shall paint, enamel, emboss, stamp, print, perforate, or alter or add to or cut off any part or portion of a registration plate or the figures or letters thereon, or who shall place or deposit or cause to be placed or deposited any oil, grease, or other substance upon such registration plates for the purpose of making dust adhere thereto, or who shall deface, disfigure, change, or attempt to change any letter or figure thereon, or who shall display a number plate in other than a horizontal upright position, shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. Any operator of a motor vehicle who shall willfully cover or cause to be covered any part or portion of a registration plate or the figures or letters thereon by any device designed or intended to prevent or interfere with the taking of a clear photograph of a registration plate by a traffic control or toll collection system using cameras commits an infraction and shall be penalized under G.S. 14‑3.1. Any operator of a motor vehicle who shall otherwise intentionally cover any number or registration renewal sticker on a registration plate with any material that makes the number or registration renewal sticker illegible commits an infraction and shall be penalized under G.S. 14‑3.1. Any operator of a motor vehicle who covers any registration plate with any frame or
transparent clear transparent, clear, or color‑tinted cover that makes a number or letter on the plate, included in the vehicle's registration, the State name on the plate, or a number or month on the registration renewal sticker on the plate illegible commits an infraction and shall be penalized under G.S. 14‑3.1."
SECTION 40.(b) This section becomes effective December 1, 2010, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.