#1  
Old 05-17-2019, 06:23 PM
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License plate covers


I am noticing an increase in the number and the tint of license plate covers on vehicles. These serve no purpose but to mask the plate to avoid tickets and fool police. Why are these devices allowed to be sold?
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:35 PM
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Hey, the things are perfectly legal and harmless unless you bolt them onto a car. The ones in the store aren't bolted onto a car, so, legal.
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:37 PM
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Could someone post a link to the license plate covers being talked about? License plate holders don't block the plate number and are perfectly legit.
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Could someone post a link to the license plate covers being talked about? License plate holders don't block the plate number and are perfectly legit.
These sorts of things, I'm guessing. They aren't "frames," which I think is what you're thinking of -- they're plastic covers which completely cover the plate; many of them are tinted or polarized, and they're pretty clearly marketed as a way to evade having your plate photographed.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/22...g?v=1541494920

https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/3ff...a9237b0e0.jpeg

https://www.etsy.com/listing/6470708...AaApbYEALw_wcB

Last edited by kenobi 65; 05-17-2019 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:54 PM
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Here's a spray for your plates that does the same thing: https://www.photoblocker.com/
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Mind's Eye, Watering View Post
Here's a spray for your plates that does the same thing: https://www.photoblocker.com/
Best part of that site:

Quote:
NOTE : We don't condone the use of our products to beat toll booth cameras.
Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuure you don't.
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
These sorts of things, I'm guessing. They aren't "frames," which I think is what you're thinking of -- they're plastic covers which completely cover the plate; many of them are tinted or polarized, and they're pretty clearly marketed as a way to evade having your plate photographed.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/22...g?v=1541494920

https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/3ff...a9237b0e0.jpeg

https://www.etsy.com/listing/6470708...AaApbYEALw_wcB
Thanks. I got a clear cover for my wife's new car, but nowhere did it claim they obscured anything - and when I drive behind her I can see her plate just fine. I can imagine some covers which do. You'd think they'd help visibility by keeping dirt off the license.
And she has gone through tollbooths just fine, with and without transponders. I signed up for the pay in advance plan when we went East, and we got correct reports of crossing the Tapan Zee bridge, so the cameras worked okay.

But I never knew about this thing. Interesting.
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:52 PM
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There was an episode of Mythbusters (maybe more than one) in which they tested the effectiveness of various "obscure your license plate" products (various sorts of covers, that aerosol spray, etc.) IIRC, their finding was that none of them really made a difference.
  #9  
Old Yesterday, 05:44 AM
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There is a type now popular in NYC which is a combo plate frame and bumper, so that unless you are looking at the plate straight on you will usually miss the first or last letter as it would be blocked from the side of the frame/bumper. I don't understand how that became OK, except that so many plates have this now down there, it would be a exercise in futility to do anything about it. I also assume most of those cars don't leave NYC as it would seem to be a easy pull over, and I don't see them outside NYC.

Also for covers, some states require no letters to be covered at all, including the state name which is usually at the top.
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Old Yesterday, 11:33 AM
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Crazy stuff out there. I wish this was a primary offense with a higher penalty like $500 first time and $1000 second.
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Old Yesterday, 03:25 PM
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Crazy stuff out there. I wish this was a primary offense with a higher penalty like $500 first time and $1000 second.
Unfortunately such fines can have a catastrophic effects on a large chunk of the population. Can't possibly pay the fine, go to jail?, lose job, lose housing, etc.

For all too many a $50 fine is just too much. OTOH there are those who don't think for a second about paying a $1000 fine.
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Old Yesterday, 03:29 PM
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of course if a $50 fine is too much, maybe one shouldn't break the law
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Old Yesterday, 03:30 PM
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Unfortunately such fines can have a catastrophic effects on a large chunk of the population. Can't possibly pay the fine, go to jail?, lose job, lose housing, etc.

For all too many a $50 fine is just too much. OTOH there are those who don't think for a second about paying a $1000 fine.
This based off something the owner of the car deliberately added to the car. It isnt a burnt out tail light that the driver may not be aware of. The person bought the cover then installed it. It is a premeditated act.
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Old Yesterday, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Thanks. I got a clear cover for my wife's new car, but nowhere did it claim they obscured anything - and when I drive behind her I can see her plate just fine. I can imagine some covers which do. You'd think they'd help visibility by keeping dirt off the license.
And she has gone through tollbooths just fine, with and without transponders. I signed up for the pay in advance plan when we went East, and we got correct reports of crossing the Tapan Zee bridge, so the cameras worked okay.

But I never knew about this thing. Interesting.
Why would you buy a cover for a license plate? No snark, it's a serious question.
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Old Yesterday, 04:54 PM
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Why would you buy a cover for a license plate? No snark, it's a serious question.
The frame that came from the dealer was pink, and my wife hated it, so I looked for a new one for her birthday. The nicest ones at the auto store were clear covers. The frames were all NASCAR logos and other such nonsense.
I have frames for my car and I'm not going to change them.

BTW, since we have to replace registration stickers every year, something that that keeps me from having to clean off the plate before I do so isn't bad. But it wasn't a requirement.
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Old Yesterday, 05:23 PM
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They were briefly popular here as way of protecting your plates from sun and scratches. And we did have a bad run of plates, so that actually made sense. But of course not actually sensible, because the clear cover scratched and got sun damage.

And then the police cracked down on them -- not for any particularly good reason, just on principle. Because if people were using covers to obscure their plates, they must be stopped, even if it didn't work, and even if that wasn't why most people bought the covers.
  #17  
Old Yesterday, 06:53 PM
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Why would you buy a cover for a license plate? No snark, it's a serious question.
so the toll cameras can't take pictures of the plates while going through the booth without a toll tag, no license no mailed bill
  #18  
Old Yesterday, 06:55 PM
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so the toll cameras can't take pictures of the plates while going through the booth without a toll tag, no license no mailed bill
Exactly, there is no legitimate reason for having one of these.
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Old Yesterday, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by UCBearcats View Post
Exactly, there is no legitimate reason for having one of these.
Except they don't work, so it doesn't really matter.
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Old Yesterday, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
Except they don't work, so it doesn't really matter.
There are some dark tinted and mirrored varieties that do obscure the plate.
  #21  
Old Yesterday, 08:43 PM
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https://www.walmart.com/ip/Zento-Dea...vers/881006313
  #22  
Old Today, 07:04 AM
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Modern problems require modern solutions:

https://youtu.be/eHz99BsfToA
  #23  
Old Today, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
The frame that came from the dealer was pink, and my wife hated it, so I looked for a new one for her birthday. The nicest ones at the auto store were clear covers. The frames were all NASCAR logos and other such nonsense.
I have frames for my car and I'm not going to change them.

BTW, since we have to replace registration stickers every year, something that that keeps me from having to clean off the plate before I do so isn't bad. But it wasn't a requirement.
OK. My car came with pink frames too. I think it had to do with breast cancer awareness month. I just took them off and put the plate right on the car. No frame. I've always just wet my thumb, wiped the dirt off the old sticker and put on a new one. To each his own, happy trails.
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Old Today, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Philster View Post
Modern problems require modern solutions:

https://youtu.be/eHz99BsfToA
Wow, that should be loss of plates. No more driving for him.
  #25  
Old Today, 09:11 AM
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I walked past the line of fleet cars in our company garage. They all have license plate covers. None of the employee cars do.

From any angle wider than about 30 degrees off dead-on you canít see the whole number on the cars with covers. You can see them on the others from a much more acute angle.

Probably would not obscure the plate from a toll booth or red light camera.
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Old Today, 09:23 AM
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Probably would not obscure the plate from a toll booth or red light camera.
They don't work, the cameras are designed to defeat them. As long as the plate number is visible to the human eye, the cameras can read them as well.
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Old Today, 09:30 AM
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They don't work, the cameras are designed to defeat them. As long as the plate number is visible to the human eye, the cameras can read them as well.
The problem occurs when there is a tiny, glare from the sun or an angle.
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Old Today, 10:05 AM
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It seems this is one of those cases where you may be stopped IF police behind you on the road observe that they can't read the plate from a reasonable distance due to the cover.

All states forbid anything that impedes easy observation of the reg number. This being regulated at the state level, each will have their own definition of what is an impediment and how much impediment is too much, I suppose some may include provisions for angle of visibility and for visibility under illumination/glare.

NCSL page on State license plate regulations
Quote:
Frames and Covers

All 50 states address license plate frames and covers because certain frames and covers can impair visibility for law enforcement officers. Some states directly regulate license plate frames and covers, while others more generally prohibit the obstruction of license plate readability. Utah law, for example, requires license plates to be clearly legible from a distance of at least 100 feet during daylight hours. However, it should be noted that more regulations and prohibitions are imposed on covers than on frames. In California, it is unlawful to cover a license plate, even if the cover is transparent. In a federal case on this issue, a California court found that a tow hitch left on a vehicle trailer when not being towed could be considered an obstruction, even if it only blocks the view of a portion of the plate from a small angle. Although many states allow frames, they permit only covers that in no way alter the color or appearance of a license plate. Texas motorists must not attach or display a license plate cover that contains a blurring or reflective matter that significantly impairs the readability of the plate or any attached illuminate device or stick, decal or emblem.
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Old Today, 11:37 AM
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Note that from time to time one hears about someone being sent a ticket (sometimes from another state) claiming that they ran a red light or some such for a car that is clearly not theirs. The automated license plate scanner misread the tag.

And all too often there is no way to appeal this without going to court to point out the obvious problem (different brand of car, etc.). And that is costly even if it's the local court, never mind one halfway across the country.

So one way of reducing this problem is to make your plate less readable to such devices.

IOW: Saying categorically that there is no legitimate reason for doing this is an overstatement.
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Old Today, 11:43 AM
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Actually, that happened to my parents; they received a bill for tolls in Massachusetts on a date when none of us were in the state. We appealed, but were denied, until my brother looked more closely at the photos or the video of the plate and saw that it was from a different state.
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Old Today, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
Note that from time to time one hears about someone being sent a ticket (sometimes from another state) claiming that they ran a red light or some such for a car that is clearly not theirs. The automated license plate scanner misread the tag.

And all too often there is no way to appeal this without going to court to point out the obvious problem (different brand of car, etc.). And that is costly even if it's the local court, never mind one halfway across the country.

So one way of reducing this problem is to make your plate less readable to such devices.

IOW: Saying categorically that there is no legitimate reason for doing this is an overstatement.
Actually it is a great was to increase incorrect readings.
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Old Today, 03:11 PM
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The problem occurs when there is a tiny, glare from the sun or an angle.
Not really, no. Cameras are pretty sophisticated and these things simply don't work.
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Old Today, 03:15 PM
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Actually it is a great was to increase incorrect readings.
But for whom?

Reducing the ease of a camera recording your plate hardly increases the chances that your plate will be misidentified as ... yours. (It might affect others, however.)
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Old Today, 03:22 PM
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i know certain jokers have a type of light over or around the plate that comes on when you turn off the car that makes it impossible to take a pic with a phone ..... cause we tried several times.... if you took a pic it just was all white
  #35  
Old Today, 04:21 PM
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Not really, no. Cameras are pretty sophisticated and these things simply don't work.
Not from the cameras, but the human eye.
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