Why we get to choose our own (front) license plates

“If you grew up in the Southeast like me, you may think (as I once did) that the spot on the front of your car for a license-sized plate is just for displaying your school pride, an advertisement from the dealership where you purchased your car, or a plate from another state that you frankly think is a lot cooler than the one you currently live in. As it turns out, however, most states actually require that vehicles display two license plates — one on the front, another on the back….

“North Carolina once required front and back plates, but the General Assembly amended G.S. 20-63 in 1951 to permit the DMV commissioner to issue only one registration plate for each motor vehicle if he or she determined that there was ‘an actual or threatened shortage of metal’…. Eventually, G.S. 20-63 was amended to simply require, regardless of the availability of metal, that only one registration plate be issued….”

— From “The License Plate Game” by Shea Denning at North Carolina Criminal Law (June 10)

Denning teaches at the UNC School of Government and knows everything there is to know about motor vehicle law — really!