Motor vehicle laws are enacted so that we can be safe on the roadways. In Oklahoma, a vehicle’s license plate must be clearly visible at all times in case of an accident or other mishap. An improper display of license plate can lead to trouble.
In Oklahoma, the law requires that the license plate must be securely attached to the vehicle and must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle. Truck-tractor plates are different. Truck-tractor plates must be securely attached and displayed on the front of the vehicle. Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 1113. The license plate must be clearly visible at all times. They cannot be covered or obscured in any way with material even if the material is clear. Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 1113. The Tax Commission retains the right to change and direct the manner, place and location of display of any vehicle license plate when such action is deemed in the public interest – with the concurrence of the Department of Public Safety by joint rule.
In addition, all license plates must have a space for the placement of yearly decals that show registration. This is in addition to any documentary proof of registration required. All license plates and decals must be made of a reflectorized material that allows the numbers and decals to be easily read.
License plates for state vehicles and other governmental agencies may show exempt plates.
It is important that the license plate is located in the place it is required to be. During traffic accidents, a hit and run or a similar incident, we often have just seconds to glance at the license plate before a car speeds away. Keeping your license plate inside your car on the top of your dashboard is a violation of the law. So is obscuring the numbers if your license plate.
When you buy a vehicle in Oklahoma, the dealer will supply a temporary license. The car dealer will place the temporary license plate in the same location as the permanent license. You then have 30 days to get the vehicle licensed and registered. Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 1137.3. If you lose the license, or if it is stolen, file a police report and then you can get a replacement by filing an affidavit with the appropriate agency. Okla. Stat. tit.47 § 1114.
Penalties for Improper Display of License Plate
While fines and fees for this infraction are minimal, it is always best to remedy the situation as soon as possible. In addition to any penalties that you might owe, if you do not have a license plate that is visible with current registration decals affixed, the police may seize your car 90 days after the expiration of the annual registration and may keep the car in storage until you can show proof of current license and registration and that all fees have been paid (including towing and storage fees). If you fail to show proof and pay all fees, your car may be sold. Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 1115.1.
If you have questions, bring them to an experienced Wagoner criminal defense law attorney. We have answers for you.
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Let us help. For a free consultation with a Wagoner, Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer call the Wirth Law Office – Wagoner at (918) 485-0335 (or toll-free at (888) Wirth-Law). Or, as always, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page.