HB 2195 increases punishment for obscured license plates in Texas
EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - In the state of Texas it is illegal to attach or display a license plate on a vehicle that has a covering, coating, protective substance or other material that alters or blocks the letters, numbers or color of the license plate. A new law will make the punishment more harsh.
House Bill 2195 will raise the punishment for offenders from a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $200, to a fine of $300, unless the driver has a previous offense which would then raise the fine to $600.
Two or more convictions elevates the offense to a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a maximum $2,000 fine.
Angelina County Sheriff Tom Selman said that some drivers just aren’t aware of the law.
“A lot of people don’t really know or understand that you can’t have something covering your license plate. They can receive a ticket for that, but usually an officer will stop the vehicle and point this out to the violator,” Selman said.
Selman said having clear visibility of the license plate is what law enforcement is looking for, and even the covers sold in automotive retail stores aren’t allowed to be displayed while the vehicle is operated.
“What we in law enforcement would like the motoring public to know is that license plate covers that cover up the license plate, that is a violation and that can get you pulled over,” Selman said.
Selman said although displaying the cover is illegal, selling them is fine.
“It’s not against the law for a retailer to sell those, those covers would be reserved for being used at car shows, or any other time while they’re not being operated on the public highway,” Said Selman.
House Bill 2195 will go into effect September 1st.
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