[POLL] What Are Your Thoughts On Front License Plates?


[POLL] What Are Your Thoughts On Front License Plates?

Photo Credit: Alex Sommers

As regular readers of Quick Shifts already know, your humble author recently took delivery of a righteous 2018 Camaro SS 1LE. Even as a part-time professional writer with access to thesaurus.com, I lack the proper descriptor for how awesome this machine is. Approaching that menacing shape in the parking lot puts me on cloud nine almost as much as running the glorious LT1 to its redline.

In spite of all my elation though, a dilemma has crept its way into the back of my mind for the first time in my car-owning life. This conundrum has likely plagued most of our readers at one point or another, possibly even as far back as 1953…To plate, or not to plate your hi-performance Chevrolet?

The lone reason I’ve come up with for running a front plate is that in my home state of Colorado, Johnny Law says that I should.

[POLL] What Are Your Thoughts On Front License Plates?

The why nots, on the other hand, are numerous. Cosmetically, a front plate ruins the look of the front end, and it also has functional downsides like blocking air from entering the grille to feed and cool the car’s eight-chamber heart. It could also have a negative effect on the advanced, wind-tunnel-honed aerodynamics, which is highly dangerous! Finally, I just don’t know if I can bring myself to drill holes in my new baby in order to fit the front bracket.

So, what advice does the collective experience of Corvette Nation have to pass along on this subject?

What Are Your Thoughts On Front License Plates?

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Editor’s Note
Congratulations again to Alex for his great looking Chevrolet Camaro. I know I certainly wouldn’t want to be drilling any holes in the Camaro’s front fascia either. If you reside in Colorado, please let us know your thoughts or experiences on the issue. – Keith

[VIDEO] C8 Corvette Front License Plate Options with Kirk Bennion
C6 Aero-Plate Offers a Front License Plate Mounting Solution for Corvette Owners
EXCLUSIVE: Installing a Front License Plate on the 2020 Corvette/A>



  1. I didn’t run a front plate on my C4 and got away with it. My C5 I got nailed by the Law ☹ and had to put one on but found a clear cover the shape of the Front filler piece that says Corvette. My C6 I purchased an Air Dam mounted License Plate Holder and got away with it (15 years:), even though you almost had to lay on the ground to see the front plate. 😂 Now I have one on my C8 but not really happy about it, really takes a lot away from the looks of the front end. Guess I’ll just bite the bullet and leave it on (for now).😤

  2. I live in Maryland where it’s required. My only beef with front license plates is that most ruin the car’s front bumper due to holes that are drilled to mount them.
    I’ve seen cars with mechanism that hold the license plates in front of the cars without the need for drilling holes in the front bumper. I like these mechanism.

  3. Hello I too live in Colorado! I have a 2003 50th anniversary corvette and also a 2017 50th camaro, and I hate the law for having to run a front plate!! However you shouldn’t have to drill any holes, it should mount with a special adapter so that it (the bracket) attaches to the grill the same way that a toggle bolt works. Check around with your local chevy parts department or a accessories store that puts on grill overlays, they might have a suggestion or be able to hook you up with the right adapter. Good Luck

  4. In Wisconsin, lack of a front license plate is a $175 fine and you can’t just get it out of your trunk and fasten it. I’ve heard of State Police sitting outside The Corvette Corral at Road America issuing tickets. Still, many in our state don’t install them.

  5. I would keep the plate and frame in the trunk and claim it was a special order for the car (it could be) which just arrived and you didn’t have a chance to fasten it. You might get away with it. If not, it’s still worth the fine in not messing up the car’s looks!

  6. WHO DO WE CONTACT TO GET FRONT PLATE LAW BANNED? STATE REP??? lets get something started…….

    how would you like it slapped across your hood like some foreign countries.?

  7. I have special plates and still didn’t like putting on the front one, but the hassle of tickets, especially if I’m with Corvette friends, is not needed. With the mid- engine that’s on order, it shouldn’t be as much a problem as my C7 was, since the air ducts are on the side…

  8. My state (Virginia) requires them, but I still don’t. Only got pulled for it once and I used the (true) excuse that I bought the truck used out of Pennsylvania and it didn’t come with the bracket which, by the way, costs more than the ticket. He didn’t ticket me, but said to get one. That was 6 years and a new truck ago, a Silverado with the midnight package, and I’m not about stick a bright yellow (I run the available Gadsden flag plate) sign on the front of a truck I paid a good chunk extra to have blacked out. I’m not running one on my Vette either for similar and obvious reasons. The ticket is only $15 (might be more now, been a while since I checked) and no points or anything, so I’m not worried about it.

  9. I got the removable mounting hardware for my C-6, and C-7…..no cutting or drilling in either case,and I’m still legal……

  10. I live in Colorado as well, dont do it! The only jurisdiction that enforces it ts city and County of Denver. It is a $78.00 ticket and you will only get it if parked or have a other violation. I never put one on my 02 Jag XK8 nor on my current C6. I have the removable plate holder on the C6 and only use it if I am going to street park in Denver

  11. I live in Ohio. We used to have front plates.
    A bill passed in 2019 that included eliminating the requirement. Immediate uproar from police depts. and do gooders. Thanks to Coronavirus, the legislation to require keeping front plates stalled in the legislature! Front plates were no longer required after July 1, 2020. I took my front plate off immediately. I have a C7, and did not use the ugly factory bracket, but rather mounted the plate to the base for the Corvette logo plate. Didn’t look to bad, but so much nicer with no plate.

  12. Under no circumstances should you drill holes in your car to accommodate a ridiculous state law. The reasonable solution, surprisingly not yet mentioned by my fellow Bloggers, is to relocate to a state without a required front plate…You’re probably going to be a happier person living in a more progressive state, plus you won’t have to worry while driving behind Smokey Bear.

  13. I have a 2021 on order and will not put a front plate on it unless l get a second ticket. Where l live in Texas, l would get a verbal warning first. After that, l will pay the first and second fine before putting the plate on.

  14. My thoughts on front plate is I have a 1968 427 with a 468″ big block 4 speed and that beautifull front end no way I will plate the front I put the plate on the pass side side of the windshield inside and have yet in decades to get a ticket. I live in WI.

  15. If your state requires a front plate, seize the opportunity to run (2) clever personalized plates!

  16. Front plate not required here in AZ. Happy to live where I can drive my C6 year round. Think of how much money and natural resources the state saves by not producing a needless plate.

  17. I live in New Jersey where front license plates are also mandatory. I have a 2015 Z06 and I never put on a front plate. I was stopped once in five years for no front plate by a cop directing traffic. I told him the reason why I didn’t have the front plate, it impedes cooling airflow on a car that notoriously runs hot, also it looks like crap on an aerodynamic sleek front end. His comment was, “Oh just go ahead”. Also, I got a ticket for careless driving and passing on the right (a bogus ticket since it was a two lane highway and there was nothing careless about what I did). The cop never mentioned no front plate. $950 dollars later, no points.

  18. No front plates ever! I’ve never seen one car that looks good with a front plate on it. And drilling holes into the bumper is idiotic and destructive.

  19. I do not have one on and our our three cars and we live in Wisconsin, It’s been 5 years so I have been lucky. The C6 Z06 is a good weather weekend car. Got a speeding ticket in the E53 but the cop didn’t notice the missing front plate or care. If you mount a plate, do not drill holes in the bumper, get an aftermarket no drill bracket!

  20. Yep, always hated the fact that here in OR front plate required. I try and not do it, my C5 never had one and my two C6’s one had the factory nightmare drilled holes!!!!????? My newest C6 GS has an aftermarket one that is easily tolerable but I would prefer none. Stupid law not necessary in the front. One other thing, the C6 I have now also has personalized plates a first for me. Says 2011GS so for the most part it’s ok.

  21. The state I live in requires a front license plate. It is a secondary offense if you’re not running a plate on the front. I’ve had four Corvettes since 2010 and non of them had a front plate attached. I’ve never had a problem, even when I’ve visited other states. I am prepared to attach one though, with a quick mount that I always carry in the trunk, along with the needed tools for a quick attachment. Another good ideas is to have a few zip ties in your tool kit. They’re handy for a quick temporary mount.
    Good luck!

  22. I have a 2019 ZO6 in New York State, a front plate state. I honestly can’t recall the last time I’ve had a front plate on any of my “toys” and there have been many, other Corvettes, a couple Porsches, 2 Saleen Mustangs, Triumph TR6, Datsun 240Z, and more and I’ve only been stopped once, and I think the cop just wanted to look at the car. In my mind, the Police have a lot more important things to pull a car over for, and I don’t give them a reason to pull me over, I don’t street race, I flow with other traffic, don’t tailgate and follow the traffic laws, and I take any racing to the track. I see many other cars in New York without front plates, but if I get a ticket, I guess I’ll have a decision to make.

  23. It’s required in Texas and is up to a $200 fine if you don’t have it. I have never put one on my 2017 C7 Z06, or on 2015 C7 Stingray before that.

    I have been pulled multiple times, mostly for minor speed infractions and never gotten a ticket. Call it luck buslt many officers seem like they just want to appreciate the car and they are happy that I pull over immediately, don’t bother arguing, and pull to a spot that is safe for them to get out. The last time I was pulled, the state trooper walked to the front of my car, clearly looked where my plate should be, made a joke about my neck nearly snapping when I saw him and hit the brakes, and let me go with a verbal warning.

    I am certain I have had police in front of me see the lack of a plate and attempt to slow down and get close enough to see my inspection sticker. I turned off each time before they could. The reason they want to see the sticker or your rear license plate first is because there is no point pulling you for a tag violation if you’re an out-of-state vehicle.

    But here’s the thing, it gives them a reason to pull you when they otherwise would not have one, and you just never know. Every cop I have ever met in Texas has been great, but I’ve heard the odd story, from an ex-cop, no less, about the ones that have no mercy. You’re exposing yourself to not just the potential ticket, but any other possible violations a particularly angry cop might want to make up. And, if you have a concealed carry license like I do, there’s just one more complication to add to it.

    My wife however was pulled over in her RAV4, with our 3 year old in the back, just after leaving church and ticketed for not having a front plate. She had committed no other infraction and was pulled oversolely because of the missing front plate. At the time, we didn’t even know they were required.

  24. I live in Ohio. We use to be required to run a front plate. After drivers repeatedly writing their state legislators and after several attempts Ohio did away with the front plate law. However the state patrol in Ohio are trying to get the front plate law reinstated. I have a 2016 corvette ZO6 and if the law is reinstated I will not run a front plate.

  25. I also live in New Jersey, a state requiring a front plate, but I had a C6 from 2012-19 and never put a plate on the front of it; and now I have a 2019 C7 that I have not put a front plate on. I’ve never been stopped or hassled about it, and to top it off, I even took the C6 through the DMV inspection station with state troopers in the building along with the inspectors, and it went right through without the front plate. So I’m either lucky; the law enforcement community has more important things to worry about; or the troopers at the inspection station had already met their ticket quotas for the month!

  26. There’s got to be reason for the front plate and if that is to help law enforcement do any part of their work then I say put them on. The police don’t need any more aggravation than what they already get. If you don’t like the law join or start an effort to get it changed, don’t just blatantly break it. No, its not required where I live but if it was I would run it.

  27. I haven’t run a front plate since I bought my ’79 Trans Am brand new even though Ohio required them. Front plates absolutely ruin the lines of 95% of the vehicles out there. Ohio finally voted out the ridiculous practice last July. I was stopped one time since ’79 about 10 years ago (in a Miata) by a cop who was obviously bored at 10AM. I have been friends with MANY LEO over the decades and NOT ONE spoke to ANY benefits of front plates other than making it easier to ticket a speeder vis radar/laser. Don’t believe the BS…

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