Reader Question: One Plate vs. Two Plate States?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Dood writes: You might already be aware that in 2020, Ohio will move from the list of states requiring front and rear license plates to the list requiring only rear. I’ve lived in and spent a lot of time in many states (not a whole lot in Ohio though). A characteristic that I’ve noticed about the 2-plate states vs the 1-plate is that the 2-plate states tend to be less automotive-friendly. I’m talking about things like registration/licensing fees, speed limits, higher personal property taxes, speed and red-light cameras, speeding penalties, stricter enforcement, etc. Would you say that the Ohio change is potentially a good thing, and what are your thoughts in general about 1-plate vs 2-plate states?

My reply: I amen your theory – as someone who lives in a two-plate state (Virginia).  My state is very automotive-unfriendly; examples include automatic “reckless driving” for driving faster than 20 MPH above any posted speed limit… and faster than 80, anywhere – even on highways with a 70 MPH speed limit. VA also imposed exorbitant ($1,000-plus) fines on “aggressive” drivers – though this was rescinded. And VA is the only state in the entire country that prohibits the use of radar detectors. It also aggressively enforces the two-plate fatwa –  which mutilates the car and makes it easier to mulct the motorist.

So, yes – I think Ohio going to one-plate is a (small) step in the right direction. Even though Automated License Plate Readers (APLRs) largely obviate the under-the-radar advantages of just one plate, you won’t have to mutilate your car’s front end – and that’s worth something!

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  1. Hey Eric!

    Yep! Saw a vih-jayo on Jewtube last week, wherein Virginny was ranked as THE WORST state to drive in, where a HUGE percentage of the population had their licenses suspended or revoked (way higher than any other state) because of such ridiculous tyrannical laws as you mentioned. And speed traps, low toleration, high fines for minor “offenses”…etc.

    I noticed that even back in the 90’s when I was looking to get out of NY- it’s why I crossed VA. off my list immediately, despite it being nice (esp. in the S/W). Even if ya don’t drive that much…we all have to drive….and it seems that VA. is taking full advantage of that to snag every citizen it can. Why nab muggers and rapists who ain’t got no money, and who might scare the badged bullies, when they can nab Sally Housewife rolling a few inches past a stop line, and make her pay a few hunnert bucks?

    And I also think Dood’s observation is spot on! Having come from NY where it’s 2 plates, a windshield regiostration sticker and inspection sticker (and corresponding inspection every year)- between taxes, fees, inspection, reggie, etc. even if you drive an old POS, you’re looking at paying over $1000 a year to the state every year on average for the “privilege” of being able to use the roads you were forced to pay for.

    Here in KY? One plate; no windshield stickers; no inspection; only newer/valuable vehicles cost a lot in taxes; don’t need to register trailers under 3500 lbs…etc. Aj! At least it’s a LITTLE closer to freedom in a meaningfull way that affects our lives on a frequent basis.


  2. So many cars are ruined in the looks dept with a front plate. I haven’t seen a new C8 with a front plate. If I had one I’d just pay the never-ending fines. I might spend money for personalized plates that were something like FUNYA.

  3. I don’t even have holes drilled on the front on my present cars in Indiana. I remember gleefully throwing the front frame out when i first moved from the people republic of Illinois to Indiana ditching that stupid useless front plate.

    If we could get things going in the way of freedom rather than slavery we could go to a no plate cars!


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