Your License Plate

This is something that has been puzzling me for a long time. It’s a question about US license plates, or at least the people who drive the cars.

I understand why people have vanity license plate covers (that go around the rim of plate) to show things like college loyalty or whatnot, but why in the world do people keep these dealer-logo license plate covers on their cars after purchasing them from a dealer?

In Ohio, plates have county names on them (a good idea if you want to identify the idiot in front of you as a “county tourist”) and a lot of these dealer plate covers are covering up the county name, and sometimes even the state name.

Do you get an incentive of some sort from the dealer to keep the cover on? Maybe $10 off on a tune up? Or do you love the dealer that much (even though their logo is stamped on the car anyway) that you want to advertise? Or do people just not take them off because it’s no big deal to them, only to me?

Please let me know what you are all doing, and why I am left out of this secret society (I would never keep a plate cover on like that. The dealer makes no difference to me!) I’m not saying you’re weird for doing it. I am asking if I am weird for NOT doing it!

Bingo. It has a functional plate holder - why change it? It’s not as if it’s that obtrusive, or says something objectionable.

Chalk it up to laziness.
I see those all the time and I hate 'em, too.

I think most people are too lazy to take them off.

I don’t bother to take the brackets off, although once I had a Mitsubishi, and the dealer put their name on the edge of the trunk lid with vinyl stick-on. I was so irritated at this that I scraped it off and cleaned it up with a little Goo Gone. Worse are the dealers who drill a hole in the trunk lid and attach a logo, kind of like what the manufacturer puts on for the make.

In general, I don’t like them - after all they aren’t paying me for it - but after the crappy treatment I got immediately after the sale, I for sure took the damn thing off. Later, after the Owner of the dealership got involved, things worked out. But to the OP, I agree, you want me to advertise for you … pay me.

[sub] PlanMan returns after exile forced by the SDMB “situation” followed by my cable-modem getting fried in a lightning storm on Sat. and waiting for the ‘cable guy’ til Wednesday. I was going thru withdrawal symptoms.[/sub]

/blatant hijack coming/

What I really don’t understand is that in the midwest, south and northeast… any place accept the west coast I think, dealers put a nameplate DIRECTLY ON the body of the vehicle… usually the trunk of the car. This isn’t just a decal that you can easily peal off… but an emblem that says something like “Turner Ford, Bushwack Texas”. Why would anyone put up with that? At least license plate holders are temporary and can be removed easily. Getting these emblems off must be a pain in the you know where and there will probably be two holes left to rust out where it was originally attached.

Can someone help me out with this since coming from the west coast it seems like such an odd tradition…

Good question.

I got a new Corvette a couple weeks ago and haven’t yet removed the plate frame from the dealership. I did make a conscious effort to seek out black tinted license plate covers last week, but that was before I learned that such things are illegal in New York State. Instead, I ordered some plate frames from my alma mater.

While I wait for the frames to arrive in the mail, I’m not going to take off the dealership’s frames. That would leave the edge of the plate free to scratch the paint, which would suck. So I guess the long answer to your question is that I have them on there only because I’m waiting to get something better, and the dealership’s frames do have some functional value.

That’s pretty much it. Also, IMO, the plate looks better with a frame, even an advertising one, than bare, and I’m too cheap to buy a non-functional accessory for my car…

When I bougt my last new car, it was in a state that only required rear plates, so they put a custom plate with the dealership’s name on the front. It was ugly but they offered me free oil changes for as long as I kept it there. I declined the offer and ditched the plate.

In Pennsylvania the state updates your license plate with registration stickers every year. The stickers go in little indentations on the corners of the plate. The state requires proof of insurance in order to register a car and get the initial license tag and renewal stickers each year.

For the past several years insurance cheats have made a cottage industry out of using tinsnips to cut off the corners of license plates in order to get registration stickers. Then they carefully scrape off the stickers and use them on their own plates or sell them to other cheats. Using a license plate frame makes it difficult to cut the corner off the tag quickly and it’s therefore less likely that somebody will target your plate and sticker.

So I left the plastic frame from the dealership on my car. But when they punched holes in the front bumper to hang a dealership logo plate on the front (PA requires only a rear plate) I raised such hell that they ended up replacing the front bumper of the car before I took delivery.

Yer pal,


In the UK the dealers put their names directly onto the license plate. So the only way to get rid of this free advertising is to buy a new set of plates.

FYI, as I suspect some people don’t know this.

In the UK, license plates belong to cars for life, unlike North America where license plates follow the owner from car to car.

When you order your car you CAN request that no dealer logos
be attached to your car.

I told them I wanted no Dealer logos in any way, shape, form or fashion on my vehicle. They of course complied.

I guess some people are so non-confrontational and compliant they just accept things as they are, no questions asked…
I can’t stand those kind of people…
Which brings me to the people who order their checks from their own banks, because they seem to think it’s some kind of LAW or something…
Yes, in this day and age I know people who believed they had to until I set them straight… duh…

I actually keep the Dealer Frame on my license plate because I love my car, and I love the dealership, and I hope people will see my car and go to the dealership to buy one like it. This way I can spread my happiness to others.

Actually, the dealer I bought my Subaru from ended up selling their Subaru dealership to another dealer, so they could be Volkswagen only. When I brought my car to the new dealer for scheduled maintenance, they replaced the license plate frames with their own. Since I was happy with the service, I kept them on there for the same reason I kept the original dealer’s frame.

If I didn’t have the dealer frames, I’d probably put back my “Let’s Go Rangers” plate frames, since I think it looks much better with the frames.

Dad? Is that you? :wink:
My dad is the same way, and I guess I inherited the trait. I also hate the dealer logos on my cars, and especially hate the frames. I always take them off. If you must have a frame, you can buy a plain black/white/silver/gold/whatever one from an auto supply place for a couple bucks.

Hubby and I both have the personalized frames for the back that say, “My other vehicle is a fire engine.” :smiley:

Oh yeah, that’s not a problem. The dealership I bought my Taurus from punched holes in the front bumper to put a logo license plate on the front of the car. The car didn’t have a front license plate or a dealer emblem when I test-drove it so I didn’t think about it when I signed the papers.

When I went to pick up the car my first reaction was to tell them I was fine with carrying their billboard on the front of my car as long as they credited my car loan with a $2000 per month advertising allowance. When they balked at that and took the plate off the car, I refused to accept delivery. Since the car had been “defaced” (my word) while in the dealer’s control I refused to take it.

Needless to say, the dealer wasn’t happy.

After slinging a bunch of legalistic double talk at them for a while, they agreed to replace the front bumper cover on their nickel and give me a rental car for the week it would take to fix it since my trade-in had already been spirited away. So I got to drive a new Town Car for a week while they fixed my new Taurus, and I had a fine time.

Oddly enough, since then I’ve been back for service several times and they’ve been fantastic. If I decide to buy another car of that make I’ll probably go to them first. Go figure.

Yer pal,


I guess I was lucky. The only kind of dealer advertising is a sticker on the back of the trunk that says “Duval”. It doesn’t mention anything else (unless I totally forget), not even the town it’s in, or the fact that it’s a dealership. And although I have no front-end license plate, they didn’t put a dealership one on.The sticker doesn’t stand out much (grey on a dark green car) and doesn’t bother my one bit, but there are some licenseplate holders and whatnot that do bother me. Around here, I see a lot of cars with “johnbear” on the back trunk - when I first saw it, I thought it was a vanity thing, but then saw it on all kinds of cars. It’s kind of annoying!

I don’t think I’ve EVER seen a dealer nameplate on a car in Michigan. I’m confident in this, 'cos whenever I’ve gone to strange places like Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas, the fact that there WERE nameplates or stickers really stood out and struck me as odd.

I don’t know if it’s a law, or just competitiveness here for not doing so. Anyone from Michigan know the reasons for NOT defacing our cars?

Are far as the license plate frame, I still have them on both vehicles. They don’t hurt me any. They do protect the finish, and not using a frame at all is kind of ugly IMHO. On the other hand, if I’d bought a car at “Joe’s Tote the Note” I’d probably remove the frame the second it were in my driveway. :slight_smile:

Here in Oklahoma, and as far as I know in Texas, the tag goes with the car, not with the owner, unless it’s a vanity tag or something.

I know it’s unusual for someone to take theirs with them when the car is sold, because one of my friends in Texas did that. Texas has two options for disability stuff…you can either get a special sticker for your car, or special plates, and my friend took the plates. He sold his blue Ford van and bought a grey Chevy van, and then hit a tire on the highway and rolled it. They took him to the hospital, where he had only minor injuries, and then the sheriff came in to ask him why his plate which was supposed to be on a blue Ford was now on a grey Chevy! Turns out the sheriff had never heard of plates that go with the owner (most disabled folk just take the sticker instead of the plates) and was surprised to find out that it was legal.

I’ve never bought new plates for a car, personally, because all my cars have been used and came with them.


Dearest Zappo,

We need more people like you in the world…
Bless you, :slight_smile: