What’s The New York State No Front Plate Fine?

The New York state no front plate fine is just plain annoying. Having just the rear plate on your car is certainly a move that many people choose to make. There is a myriad of reasons that we will get into later, but for now, all we need to focus on is that it looks cool. It looks good, and because life isn’t fair, that means there is a high chance of it being illegal. And in the case of New York and therefore New York City, it certainly is illegal. But, illegal doesn’t mean enforced, and even if it does the repercussions can be quite mild. So, is it worth it?

This article is going to discuss the issues around only having a rear license plate as well as the kind of fines you can receive for not having one. And how likely you are to receive those fines. And, just for fun, we have included a list of all the States that don’t care whether you have a front plate or not.

In case it means so much to you that it ends up being a dealbreaker and you have to leave New York for good. Only kidding, though we will discuss which states are a little more relaxed. Let’s get into this right here and now.

Why Would You Not Want To Have A Front Plate?

It looks cool, that is the only genuine reason that most people have for not wanting to have a front plate. The front plate can be pretty disruptive to the general aesthetics of the grill of the car, and the car in general, and when you are paying a premium price for a premium car you don’t want it spoiled with a shoddy-looking number plate.

There are advantages to having no front plate, for example, it is harder to identify your vehicle. There are reasons why people would be interested in this but for the sake of this article, we will let you infer those for yourself. No one wants to get caught by a speed camera or speed gun and sometimes having no front plate means there is no way of knowing where to send the ticket to. Oops, oh well.

What’s The Cost Of The New York State No Front Plate Fine?

In New York state they have relatively strict rules about the visibility of your license plates, not even whether or not you actually have them! Your license plate must be clearly visible as well as safely and securely fastened to your vehicle. The fine for driving without a license plate in New York is $200 plus a $93 surcharge (call it 300 bucks) and no points on your license.

However, it depends on the discretion of the cop or parking/traffic warden that calls you on it. Some people get away with a smaller fine ($60) because they do technically have a license plate, it is just the back one, even though they are supposed to have both. It depends on who spots you and who cares.

How Likely Are You To Get A New York State No Front Plate Fine?

Unlikely, to be honest. While it definitely does happen, you are more likely to be fined in the city than out of it. Parking wardens are real sticklers for it because they are complete losers with no real power who get off on ruining other people’s days.

Harsh, maybe, but I bet you can’t find someone who sincerely disagrees. Avoid parking on the street and instead go for private garages or parking lots and you will probably be fine. Some people go their entire lives without getting stopped for it while others get fined the minute, they leave the dealership lot. It really depends.

Is It Worth The Risk Of Having No Front Plate?

There is an old saying that a fine without repercussions for the wealthy isn’t a punishment it’s a fee. This applies to parking charges where someone with the money to do so would rather pay the parking ticket every day and park in front of their office building than park down the street for free. Is it wrong? Yes. Are they playing by the rules doing that? Yeah, they kind of are. Whether we like it or not. When it comes to having no front plate, the principle is the same.

The fees don’t scale the more times you get caught and there are no points on your license as a result. Therefore, the risk is the dollar value you are fined and nothing else. If it matters that much to you the risks are probably worth it.

States That Don’t Require A Front Plate

As promised, this next section contains a list of all the states that don’t care if you have a front plate or not. Why do some states care more than others? Some states are more pedantic. There is a higher chance of states not caring if they are red states rather than blue states if that matters, or even means, anything to you. Anyway, here are all the states as of 2009 (the last time they changed the laws regarding this) that allow you to drive without a front license plate:

  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • West Virginia


To summarize, the laws surrounding having a front plate in New York State are pretty relaxed in the sense that you are only really paying an on-the-spot fine and that is about the worst of it. Sure, you may end up finding you get repetitively fined by a cop who walks the beat by your car every day. But that rarely happens and most car owners in New York who decide to go without the front plate rarely end up paying a fine.

So, if you don’t care about spending an extra few hundred bucks a year to have the privilege of an unspoiled grill. Go for it. More power to you. Just know what you are getting into. Thanks for reading and goodbye for now.

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