License plate frames could land you a ticket

By Monica Hernandez - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Many drivers use license plate frames to express themselves or show school spirit. But a lot of drivers don't realize if your frame covers too much of your car tag, you could get a $25 ticket.

"The violation occurs when there's something attached to the tag that would obstruct, say for instance, the month of expiration on a particular vehicle," said Assistant Chief Lee Vance of the Jackson Police Department.

According to the Mississippi Criminal Law Manual, covering pertinent information on your license plate is a misdemeanor.

But, there are some exceptions to the rule. It's not illegal for the county name to be covered.

Some of the people WLBT spoke with had never heard of the state law, and had mixed feelings.

"It doesn't seem fair that you could get a ticket for it to me, especially because not very many people know that you can get a ticket for that," said Emily Brown, a Jackson resident.

"I guess it's fair because you can need to be able to see everything that's on there," said Kacy Hellings, also a Jackson resident.

"I understand having to be able to see all the information on the tag for the police officers and stuff, so I guess it makes sense," said Jaime Doll, a Rankin County resident.

Jackson police said the law has been on the books for years, and police aren't necessarily cracking down on violators. Whether or not you get a ticket is at the discretion of individual officers.

"It's no type of mandate that we go out and do extra enforcement on this. Like I said, I've been here 21 years. I've known officers who have enforced it strictly, I've known officers who haven't enforced it at all," said Vance.

Your safest bet, Vance said, is to remove anything that's blocking necessary information on your tag.