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Could I receive a citation for the...

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I've got a 1968 vintage yellow and black California license plate mounted on the front of my (2007) car. I live in a state where front license plates are not issued and anything affixed is considered legal.

I am concerned about an upcoming cross country road trip. I have heard contradictory opinions as to whether or not displaying what was once a legal license plate could lead to a traffic stop and/or citation.

Some have said, "if legal in your home state, it is legal in all 50." Others urge caution but without good reason.

Anyone have a link to a reputable source? Opinions are welcomed, but everyone knows they may or may not be correct...

Max Rockatansky:
Unless you are willing to look up the traffic statutes for every single state you are going through then you arenít going to get an accurate answer. 

What |Max Rockatansky| said.  Laws will vary by state.

For example, Kansas law prohibits vehicles from displaying a front license plate, except for specific cases.  However, it only applies to Kansas-registered vehicles.

That makes sense, thanks. I thought there might be a federal law involved, but, I think I'll likely just undo the pair of screws and leave the plate at home for my travels. Better safe than sorry!

My assumption is that, even in a state where displaying such a front plate is out-and-out illegal, cops probably wouldn't bother you about a "vintage" plate.  My assumption is that they would take more of an issue with still-current base plates.

However, the 1963 California base plate (which yours is) doesn't look a whole lot different from, say, the 1977 base plate.  I'm unaware of any yellow-on-blue bases from that era that are still allowed to be in use, although there are still some from the 1984 (The Golden State) base floating aroundóbut I shouldn't assume any police officers outside of California would know just by looking at your 1963 base that it isn't still a valid plate.


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