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Author Topic: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?  (Read 1018 times)

ZLoth

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Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« on: January 20, 2022, 07:48:09 AM »

The question is... do you prefer the registration sticker to be a small year sticker that is affixed to your rear plate (tag), or as a sticker that goes into the corner of your windshield?

I got to thinking about this a few days ago. Having lived in California, the registration sticker went on the corner of the license plate. I tried to be a good guy, take off the plate, scrape off the old sticker, then put on the new sticker. However, I am aware of people who just put the new sticker on top of the old sticker, and thus we have a sticker sandwich! Now that I live in Texas, it's a windshield sticker which has it's advantages and disadvantages. Because it goes on the lower-right corner of windshield, it a bit hard to get to in my car. Plus, once you get the sticker off, you have to scrape/remove the glue residue, then put on the new sticker. Even though all that effort, I consider it more secure than the plate because some thieves love to steal the plate. And I love my personalized plate.
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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2022, 08:06:17 AM »

In NY, you have an inspection sticker and then a big fat registration sticker and the windshield.  I see why, but given all the other states I've lived in, it still seems like overkill.  Also, the registration sticker leaves a lot of goo behind when you remove it for an updated one.
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2022, 08:14:36 AM »

In CT, used to be both: registration sticker on the plate, and emissions sticker on the windshield.  Then for a while, the windshield sticker became the registration.  Now it’s neither.  The plates have an RFID chip built into them that police can read, so it made both obsolete.  They do enforce registration violations, but don’t really enforce emissions unless you go to renew the registration.
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GaryV

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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2022, 08:15:28 AM »

In MI, they tell us to put the new sticker on top of the old sticker on the plate.
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1995hoo

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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2022, 08:24:43 AM »

Virginia used to have four stickers:

—Two on the license plate ("month" goes on the left, "year" goes on the right; they show when your registration expires). These remain in use, though a lot of people seem to be unable to understand how to display them (I see all sorts of random weirdness).

—Two at the bottom center of the windshield. One was the state safety inspection sticker showing a month and year; this month and year will not necessarily be the same as the registration expiry shown on the license plate because (1) the inspection is not part of the registration process and (2) the expiry is 12 months from the last state inspection even if you had it done early (say, your inspection is up in February, but you're getting your car serviced in January so you get the inspection done then just to save yourself a separate trip the next month—your inspection will now expire the following January). My registration expires in October but my inspection is due in June. Used to be in May, but then in 2020 I was a month late in getting it done. The other sticker that used to be at the bottom center of the windshield was the "county sticker," a decal issued by your specific county (or independent city) to prove that you had registered the vehicle with that jurisdiction and paid your car tax. Most, though I think not yet all, jurisdictions in Virginia have gotten rid of the county sticker, though you often still have to pay a $33.00 local registration fee on most vehicles (Fairfax County exempts one antique vehicle per individual).

Very briefly in the early 1980s there was a third windshield sticker, an emissions sticker that went in the lower driver's-side corner of the windshield. People complained that it was distracting and it was then abolished, though if you live in a county or city subject to emissions inspection (and your car is less than 25 model years old) you still have to get it done. Emissions inspection is part of the registration process and you can't register your car until you pass emissions if your vehicle are required to do so.

The inspection sticker now goes in the lower driver's-side corner of the windshield where the emissions decal went 40 years ago; the two registration stickers continue to go on the license plate. I don't really notice the windshield sticker because I grew up being used to the two stickers being in the middle. For the first week or two after the inspection sticker location was changed a couple of years ago I found it a little weird, but it's the same thing—you quickly get used to it and it doesn't matter. It's certainly easier to reach a sticker in that location to remove it each year, although the guy who does the inspection is the guy who removes it.

Regarding the license plate "year" stickers, I pile them up on top of each other, which means on my TL I have a pile of stickers going back to "04" (I got my current plates in 2003 and I renew them every two years, but the 2003 issuance was mid-cycle on my then-existing plates because I got personalized plates and they transferred the remaining registration period).
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2022, 08:57:27 AM »

I’m not sure what the point of registration stickers are now with plate scanners being a thing.
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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2022, 09:38:47 AM »

I’m not sure what the point of registration stickers are now with plate scanners being a thing.

The ones in Massachusetts are color coded by year with a 5-year rotation, so it's very easy to see at a distance whether it's expired. The month is determined by the last digit in the plate. This means that you don't need to scan every single plate you pass by to see if it's expired.
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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2022, 09:49:49 AM »

WV just has a sticker in the corner of the plate.  Weirdly, back in Y2K, they changed from two big numbers like “99” to a squeezing in four smaller numbers diagonally like “2000”.  OK, I get it for 2000, and even up through 2012, let it be confused with a month.  But its 2022, nobody is going to think “22” on the sticker means 1922. 

WV has one inspection sticker (the state fought off the EPA on emissions a few years ago) that goes in the lower drivers side window.  Color changes every year, generally something bright like red, orange or yellow one year, and a darker color like blue, purple or green the other. 

Stickers on the windshield are a pain if you crack your windshield.  I prefer the way NC does it, its all in the computer and you have to have had an inspection to get a renewal.  Actually, vehicle inspections have never been prover to have any effect on highway safety in the first place.
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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2022, 10:00:08 AM »

I’m not sure what the point of registration stickers are now with plate scanners being a thing.

PA got rid of their registration stickers (which were on the license plate) for this exact reason a few years back.  IIRC when this was done, there was some funding in place for local police departments to be able to purchase plate readers.

Many people left the old stickers on.  There were stories about cops out of state pulling over people with "expired" plates because of that.  I peeled mine off.

PA has an inspection sticker put inside the windshield on the lower driver's side.  Next to that is an Emissions sticker for those counties that require it.  For commercial trucks, next to that is a weight class sticker.



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1995hoo

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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2022, 10:35:13 AM »

I’m not sure what the point of registration stickers are now with plate scanners being a thing.

PA got rid of their registration stickers (which were on the license plate) for this exact reason a few years back.  IIRC when this was done, there was some funding in place for local police departments to be able to purchase plate readers.

Many people left the old stickers on.  There were stories about cops out of state pulling over people with "expired" plates because of that.  I peeled mine off.

....

I know I've mentioned this before, but some years back, DC did away with plate stickers because of a rash of sticker thefts. People were peeling the stickers off other people's plates to avoid paying to register their own cars. The District went to a fairly large window decal in the lower driver's-side corner; it includes the registration expiry, the safety inspection, and any permanent residential parking permit issued to that car. Problem was, DC's own parking authorities started ticketing their own residents for having expired license plates based on the outdated plate stickers (or based on there being no plate stickers). I assume that happened outside the District as well, but you'd think their own city government wouldn't be so incompetent as to screw over residents that way. Eventually the city issued decals for the plates that said "SEE WINDOW STICKER," and then they started printing that on newly-issued plates. I believe it's no longer included, although I haven't paid enough attention to know for sure.

Back when Fairfax County first did away with the county registration sticker, I left mine on because the City of Alexandria kept theirs and I figured having a Fairfax sticker would notify their meter maids as to why I didn't have a current one. I never got a ticket, and I eventually removed it because I was concerned that DC would ticket me for having an expired sticker (they will do that even to non-DC residents).
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hbelkins

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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2022, 02:32:49 PM »

Saw this same question as a poll in the Freewayjim Facebook group earlier this morning. Coincidence?  :-D

When I was growing up, Kentucky issued a new license plate every year. They alternated between blue plates with white numbers, and white plates with blue numbers. There was no fancy artwork; just the state name, year, license number, and county name. All renewals were due in December. If you were driving on Jan. 1 with the wrong color scheme, it was obvious that your registration had expired.

At some point, I think in the 1980s, Kentucky went to multi-year plates and changed the registration renewal to the month of the registered owner's birthday. Stickers changed colors every year, and the month number was prominently printed on the sticker.

Now, even that process has changed. Stickers are all gray and the only thing different is that the year is what's displayed in big numbers. If you're not stopped for anything else, you can theoretically drive for months with an expired registration unless you are like me and your birthday is in December. The weather is usually too crappy around here to place the new sticker on the plate.

One year, I had put the sticker on and it didn't adhere very well and started peeling off. I had my registration just in case something happened, and it did one night coming home from work. A state trooper got behind me, saw the previous year's sticker, and pulled me over. I showed him my registration and told him what happened. No ticket, but he did direct me to get a replacement sticker (which cost me some sum of money; it wasn't an outrageous amount but the principle of the thing was irksome.)

Another time, the weather had gotten so crappy that I hadn't had an opportunity to put the new sticker on. I had it in the car. Pulling out of Walmart one day at lunch after we went back to work in the new year, a local cop was behind me and saw the old sticker and pulled me over. I showed him the registration with the sticker ready to go, explained that it's always dark when I get home from work and it had been raining on the weekends so I couldn't properly affix the sticker, and that one time in the past I had done so and it wouldn't stick and ended up falling off. He understood perfectly, so again no ticket.

I'm in general not a fan of windshield stickers, and am very happy Kentucky doesn't have a vehicle inspection program. We did when I was growing up, but that program was abolished and the state instead required insurance stickers when it became mandatory for vehicles to be insured. The stickers were eventually eliminated in favor of cards to keep in the vehicle.
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BlueOutback7

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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2022, 02:55:06 PM »

I’m not sure what the point of registration stickers are now with plate scanners being a thing.

The ones in Massachusetts are color coded by year with a 5-year rotation, so it's very easy to see at a distance whether it's expired. The month is determined by the last digit in the plate. This means that you don't need to scan every single plate you pass by to see if it's expired.

I agree with 1 on this. I’ve always been a fan of the way Massachusetts does their registration system. Color coded stickers are common in most states. I believe West Virginia and Missouri use a similar system. Wisconsin also used to do coded month expirations a long time ago.
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NJRoadfan

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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2022, 03:38:51 PM »

Neither, NJ eliminated any outward proof of registration years ago. They only really had one from 2000 to 2005 when the state attempted to issue plate stickers (color coded on a 5-year rotation like MA does) that nobody know how to apply them correctly. Before that, your inspection sticker served as a de-facto proof since it was yearly and you needed to have a valid registration to get the car reinspected.

Now the state's policy is basically law enforcement is going to run your tag regardless of a stupid sticker to see if your registration is valid so.... why bother. Cheaper to just eliminate the stupid things.
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snowc

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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2022, 03:48:16 PM »

In NY, you have an inspection sticker and then a big fat registration sticker and the windshield.  I see why, but given all the other states I've lived in, it still seems like overkill.  Also, the registration sticker leaves a lot of goo behind when you remove it for an updated one.
blahhh, are you sure we gotta have this in NY?  :colorful:
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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2022, 04:49:38 PM »

PA got rid of their registration stickers (which were on the license plate) for this exact reason a few years back.  IIRC when this was done, there was some funding in place for local police departments to be able to purchase plate readers.

Many people left the old stickers on.  There were stories about cops out of state pulling over people with "expired" plates because of that.  I peeled mine off.

PA has an inspection sticker put inside the windshield on the lower driver's side.  Next to that is an Emissions sticker for those counties that require it.  For commercial trucks, next to that is a weight class sticker.

Also of note.... in addition to the car physically passing inspection to get new valid stickers, you also need to present your registration "card" (and insurance "card") at the time of inspection, or else you won't pass and get new stickers.
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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2022, 06:53:57 PM »

Washington - year sticker on one side of the plate, month sticker on the other side, both color coded.  I've never had any trouble with them not sticking or peeling off.  I definitely prefer plate stickers to a big sticker on the windshield.
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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2022, 07:12:43 PM »

Oklahoma plates have two stickers: one with the expiration month and two-letter county code (mine is "06 CL") and one for the year. Month stickers are silver, year stickers are different colors every year. Around this time of year, my wife and I like to compete to see who can find the next year's sticker first and text the other one what color it is.

I think expiration should always be presented on the license plate, simply because it is more easily visible there, and it serves as a backup validation method in case the plate database or the officer's data link is down. Likewise, some physical validation, like a sticker, is preferable to an all-digital solution, even if it is not used as a primary validation method, because it gives peace of mind to the motorist that they can prove that their registration has actually been processed. Without a sticker, I would always be worried that the tag agent did something wrong in the system and I'd get harassed by the cops for no reason.
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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2022, 07:29:19 PM »

Rhode Island uses two year registrations and color coded inspection stickers. The problem is that RI inspection stickers always have a problem with peeling off even if the sticker is brand new.
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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2022, 09:19:07 PM »

I think I prefer windshield over plate stickers, given the issues with plates getting stolen, having to put new stickers on old ones, etc.  That said, they're hard enough to peel off that I actually have to go to the dealer to do so, and I'd rather NY just get with the times and get rid of the sticker entirely.

Regarding verification that things get processed, I would think that even without the sticker, the registration card would still be a thing.  At least in NY, it's required to be in the vehicle when driving, and the police will always ask for it along with your licence (I always assumed that was nation-wide, given how "your licence and registration, please" is practically cliche).
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Scott5114

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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2022, 09:47:07 PM »

Registration actually wasn't required to be kept in the car in OK until a few years ago; here it's always been license and proof of insurance (and now it's all three). This is somewhat cumbersome because rather than being on a card, the registration is just printed out on a standard 8½×11" sheet of paper at the tag agent, usually with your sticker stapled to the corner of it.

Even with the registration papers on hand, I would rather have a cop see "This tag is expired in the state database! Wait, but it has a red sticker, so it's been renewed, and the database just hasn't been updated yet" than have to deal with getting pulled over and play the whole "Do you know why I pulled you over" game, get stressed out trying not to say something that accidentally pisses the cop off, lose 15 minutes while he disappears back to his car to do whatever it is they do back there, etc.
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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2022, 09:03:31 AM »

Michigan's tag stickers are color coded by year - I'm not sure how many colors they rotate through.  They have a big JAN, FEB, etc. so it is easy to see the month.
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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2022, 12:57:02 PM »

NY's registration stickers are not color coded, but inspections are (by year).  The latter have the months of the year arranged around the sticker and the place that does the inspection hole punches out the month of inspection/expiration before they put it on.

Our registration papers thankfully aren't as big as OK's; they're just a bit taller than a driver's license and about the same width, so one can fold them and keep them in their wallet.
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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2022, 11:20:34 PM »

I've lived in both NY and SC, which have differing systems. I prefer the sticker on the plate (as we have in SC) as it creates less mess inside the windshield.

SC only has 3 colors in its rotation, which is kind of stupid, as 2 out of the 3 colors are valid at any given time. It goes in the same order of White, Yellow, Green. Stickers expiring in 2022 are green and those that are just being issued for January 2023 are white.

Thankfully, South Carolina does not have an inspection/emissions, as that was another windshield sticker in NY, although the inspection place would do the work of removing the old one and installing the new one. I do like that New York has 2 year registrations as opposed to 1 year like we have in South Carolina. Technically, the registration is good for two years, but you have to pay car property taxes every year, so in years where your registration is not due, you still have to pay your car's property taxes in order to receive your sticker. Really, they should just double up on the property taxes in the registration year in order to save money on sending everybody a new sticker every other year.

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Re: Registration Sticker - On the windshield or on the plate (tag)?
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2022, 11:46:18 PM »

Utah has two stickers that go on the back license plate, for month and year of expiration. The year sticker is on a 4-year red-blue-yellow-green color rotation. It also comes with an extra number on it that uniquely identifies the sticker and can also be found on the paper registration. That ensures that you can't just peel off the sticker from someone else's license plate and use it for yourself. (Although my mom has a story where some dude actually did peel off her year sticker. Wonder if he ever got caught.)

It looks like this:



Thankfully, nothing on the windshield. Every time I see one of those huge Texas windshield stickers it makes me happy I don't live there.

 


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