Do You Need a Front License Plate in Texas?

Do You Need a Front License Plate in Texas?

In Texas, almost every vehicle must have two license plates: one in the front and one in the rear. If you don’t comply with this requirement, law enforcement may stop you and issue a citation carrying a $200 fine. The court may waive the fine if you later show that you installed a front license plate and pay a small fee.

Texas’s front license plate requirement applies to vehicles registered in Texas. If your vehicle is registered in another state, you generally must comply with that state’s license requirements.

Why Does Texas Require a Front License Plate?

Texas and 28 other states require a second license plate on the front of the vehicle, while the remaining states only require a license plate on the rear of the vehicle. The rationale for requiring two license plates is that it helps law enforcement identify vehicle ownership.

Law enforcement officers can view a car’s license plate, whether approaching from the front or the rear. This can help with police investigations, traffic stops, and stolen vehicle identification. Further, parking enforcement employees can easily identify a car backed into a parking spot. In addition, front license plates make it easier for automated systems, like toll booths, to identify a vehicle. 

States that do not require front license plates cite cost savings as the reason vehicles need only one plate. 

Are There Exceptions to the Front License Plate Requirement?

In Texas, not all vehicles are required to have a front license plate, mainly because it is not practical for all vehicles.  Motorcycles, trailers, semi-trailers, travel trailers, and road tractors are excused from the front license plate requirement. These vehicles must have a rear license plate, though.

If you’re unsure whether you need a front license plate for your vehicle, check with local law enforcement or the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to be sure you comply with the law. 

Are There Other License Plate Requirements in Texas?

You should familiarize yourself with Texas’s other license plate requirements:

  • License plates must be reflective and visible in daylight and at night with low-beam headlights at a distance of 75 feet.
  • License plates must be legible.
  • Vehicle registration stickers must be placed inside the lower left corner of the windshield. If a vehicle does not have a windshield, the registration sticker shall be placed on the rear license plate. 
  • Protective or reflective covers are not permitted over license plates.
  • License plate covers cannot block any portion of the license plate number or any words on the license plate.
  • If your license plate is lost or damaged, you must request a replacement from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

It’s important to understand these requirements to avoid getting ticketed or fined. 

Recap of Texas’s Front License Plate Requirement

Texas’s requirement for front and rear license plates helps law enforcement efforts. Similarly, other requirements are intended to make license plates visible so that vehicle registration and ownership can be identified quickly. Failure to comply with the regulation may result in a fine.

Understanding and complying with these laws will help you have a more positive experience on Texas roadways. You should also comply with all relevant traffic laws.
If you were injured in a car accident in Friendswood, TX, contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation.

Contact the Texas Car Accident Lawyers of The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers in Friendswood, TX for Help Today

Please contact an experienced car accident lawyer at The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers to get a free initial consultation today. We can also help you recover as much compensation as possible; keep in mind the insurance company does not have your best interests in mind. 

We have offices in Friendswood and Galveston, Texas. Call us at (281) 519-3849.

The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers – Galveston
2101 Mechanic St. Suite 253
Galveston, TX 77550

The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers – Friendswood
312 S. Friendswood Dr.
Friendswood, TX 77546