Often an officer will stop a motorist due to inability to read the motorist’s registration plate from a reasonable distance. This problem has many causes; the plate is dirty, the plate is worn or damaged to the point that it is illegible, or the plate is covered by a tinted or smoke colored cover.
If your license plate is illegible due to age or excess wear or damage please see a local PennDOT full service agent for a replacement license plate.
Please keep your license plate clean. This can be accomplished by simply wiping it off with a cloth. PennDOT does not recommend waxing your license plate as the abrasives in the wax will eventually wear the reflective paint from the license plate.
Remove any tinted or colored license plate covers. These not only make it harder to read the plate, but are also illegal.
The PA Vehicle Code states;
§ 1332. Display of registration plate.
(a) General rule.–Every registration plate shall, at all times, be securely fastened to the vehicle to which it is assigned or on which its use is authorized in accordance with regulations promulgated by the department.
(b) Obscuring plate.–It is unlawful to display on any vehicle a registration plate which:
(1) is so dirty as to prevent the reading of the number or letters thereon at a reasonable distance;
(2) is obscured in any manner which inhibits the proper operation of an automated red light enforcement system in place pursuant to section 3116
(relating to automated red light enforcement systems in first class cities); or
(3) is otherwise illegible at a reasonable distance or is obscured in any manner.
Lt. D. Lash 05/18/2010