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This website is devoted to bringing you information about the traffic laws in the State of New Jersey. Here you can find information about tickets, fines, points, surcharges, and more.

39:3-33 Display of unclear or indistinct license plates, failure to mount front plate, or display of fictitious plate

Note: Failure to mount front plate and display of fictitious plate are court appearance required. You must appear in Court where the Judge will set the penalties.

Full Statute Text:

The owner of an automobile which is driven on the public highways of this State shall display not less than 12 inches nor more than 48 inches from the ground in a horizontal position, and in such a way as not to swing, an identification mark or marks to be furnished by the division; provided, that if two marks are issued they shall be displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle; and provided, further, that if only one mark is issued it shall be displayed on the rear of the vehicle; and provided, further, that the rear identification mark may be displayed more than 48 inches from the ground on tank trucks, trailers and other commercial vehicles carrying inflammable liquids and on sanitation vehicles which are used to collect, transport and dispose of garbage, solid wastes and refuse. Motorcycles shall also display an identification mark or marks; provided, that if two marks are issued they shall be displayed on the front and rear of the motorcycle; and provided, further, that if only one mark is issued it shall be displayed on the rear of the motorcycle.

The identification mark or marks shall contain the number of the registration certificate of the vehicle and shall be of such design and material as prescribed pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1989, c.202 (C.39:3-33.9). All identification marks shall be kept clear and distinct and free from grease, dust or other blurring matter, so as to be plainly visible at all times of the day and night.

No person shall drive a motor vehicle which has a license plate frame or identification marker holder that conceals or otherwise obscures any part of any marking imprinted upon the vehicle's registration plate or any part of any insert which the director, as hereinafter provided, issues to be inserted in and attached to that registration plate or marker.

The director is authorized and empowered to issue registration plate inserts, to be inserted in and attached to the registration plates or markers described herein. They may be issued in the place of new registration plates or markers; and inscribed thereon, in numerals, shall be the year in which registration of the vehicle has been granted.

No person shall drive a motor vehicle the owner of which has not complied with the provisions of this subtitle concerning the proper registration and identification thereof, nor drive a motor vehicle which displays a fictitious number, or a number other than that designated for the motor vehicle in its registration certificate. During the period of time between the application for motor vehicle registration and the receipt of registration plates from the division, no person shall affix a plate or marker for the purpose of advertisement in the position on a motor vehicle normally reserved for the display of the registration plates required by this section if the plate or marker is designed with a combination of letters, numbers, colors, or words to resemble the registration plates required by this section.

A person convicted of displaying a fictitious number, as prohibited herein, shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $500.00 or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 60 days.

A person violating any other provision of this section shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $100.00. In default of the payment thereof, there shall be imposed an imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding 10 days. A person convicted of a second offense of the same violation may be fined in double the amount herein prescribed for the first offense and may, in default of the payment thereof, be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding 20 days. These penalties shall not apply to the display of a fictitious number.

Amended 1943,c.173; 1952,c.46,s.2; 1968,c.363,s.1; 1973,c.164; 1981,c.133,s.1; 1983,c.428; 1989,c.132,s.1; 1989,c.202,s.1.