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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just got my first front plate ticket in NJ, and based upon the success of fighting this in MD I think I'm going to fight it too. It's not so much the avoiding the $50 fine, I'm just worried that I'll keep getting pulled over for it as I got pulled over in front of work.

The statute in NJ says the following:

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 issue here is that we do not have a horizontal surface to hang the plate that is more than 12 inches off the ground. The plate will actually hang at closer to 8-9in. (Don't have a tape measure at work, but it is less than 12). I'm thinking of bringing the bumper exemption ruling with me along with the wording of this statute.

Thoughts?
 

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I like the framework for your argument. I'd love to remove my front plate, so pls keep us updated as to the outcome.

Good luck
 

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If you win that would be great news for us Jersey folks. Whenever we get pull over for missing plate, we can cite the "jeffs vs. NJ state" case :D
 

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I think that with a couple of small angle irons you could mount it on the hood and meet the state's height requirement.
 

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I don't disagree with nj's law but i do think there needs to be an exempt listing for cars, (like ours) that really weren't designed to have a typical American licence plate on the front. That might be easier then trying to change the law for all cars.
 

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What did the court say in MD?

Fortunatly most people in NJ seem reasonable about this.

I was stopped at a police check point and they threatend to ticket me for having the coolest car they had seen
all day :) No mention of the front plate.

At another check point they said I should keep the front licence plate with me in the car just in case
I had any issues and needed to display it on the dash board.

The NJ state inspection facility just asked for me to show them the front plate, nothing was said
about needing to put it on the car.
 

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My plan was to go without a plate until I got pulled over 3 times for no plate. Well, that lasted about a year, then I put the plate on. Haven't been pulled over since. All I can say is, when the plate was off, I was stopped about 7 times. In 6 of the cases, I was issued a warning but never a ticket. The other time I did get a ticket, but I was slightly speeding. :no:

Seems like a no plate in NJ is just an excuse to be pulled over and issued citations for whatever they wanna get on you.
 

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Let us know the time and place, maybe you'll get a group show of support.
 

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No joke once had a cop in highland park nj force me to poke holes in my front bumper with a knife and screw my front license plate on...it was a miata and he was a douche,Told me if he saw me leave the lot without it hed tow my car and take me in
 

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Sounds like about as clear a case for an exemption as I had, although on differing basis'. Bring a good picture of the front of the car, with a standard 12" ruler standing vertical in front of it. If your car has a splitter, all the better, as the ruler will easily look like it nearly "towers" above the splitter area, illustrating it as only making good common sense, to be EXEMPT!

Good luck fellow fighting the good fight NJ Brethren! I'll be watching and rooting for you.

Cheers,
-Grant
 

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Good luck.

I think we'd be screwed in NY if we ever tried this, thanks to this language:

"...one on the front and one on the rear of such vehicle, each securely fastened so as to prevent the same from swinging and placed, whenever reasonably possible, not higher than forty-eight inches and not lower than twelve inches from the ground..."

Sounds to me like 12 inches isn't reasonably possible, so 8 inches will suffice.
 

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No joke once had a cop in highland park nj force me to poke holes in my front bumper with a knife and screw my front license plate on...it was a miata and he was a douche,Told me if he saw me leave the lot without it hed tow my car and take me in
The cops in that town are really bad.
Im surprised that he didnt arrest you for having a knife on you too! I would have stabbed the bastard if he made me poke a hole in my car.
I passed the police station and was at the light turning right onto 27 and a cop was behind me. The No Right on Red was hidden a few feet behind the light, and I heard a horn, so I thought it was the cop telling me to go. As soon as I went around the corner he turned on the lights and gave me a ticket and said he didnt beep, must have been someone else.

I went to court and the cop got called away so I plea bargained and just paid the fine and didnt get any points. All of the other cases before me the cop kept saying "I dont remember" when he was questioned about what he said to the motorists. If they called my case, I was going to tell him about the horn horning and wait for him to say he didnt remember. I was then going to tell the judge that the cop had said that he doesnt rember and that he must be incompetant, since it is their job to rember details. I was going to say I hope Bin Laden wasnt in town since he probably doenst remember who he is either

My cousin went to school with the cop and said he was a real jerk and would ticket his own mother if he got the chance. My uncle who has lived there the last 60 years said that the town has no industry or large commercial properties so to increase the revenue, they ticket as may people as they can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the support. The court date is in another week and a half, I'll let you know how it goes.

The cop wasn't an ass about it at all (other than the fact that he did a u-turn just to pull me over), and actually took the time to confirm I had insurance rather than just writing me a ticket (forgot to put the new card in the car). It was rather sad that as he was sitting there writing me a ticket for no front plate someone ran the stop sign next to us...if only he wasn't busy doing something else...

It was in Basking Ridge.

Scrumpot, you mentioned in one of your earlier posts that MD recognized the federal exemption. Where did you find that info?
 

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It was in Basking Ridge.
Sorry, cant help you out. One of my classmates husband is the Chief in Summit, my cousin is a detective in Maplewood, and my brothers girlfriend knows a bunch of the cops in Union.

My brother used to be friends with the cops in Berkeley Heights. They used to hang out at the local bar with us when they were off duty and they used to drive us home because they wanted to make sure we werent too drunk to drive. I think my brother drove some of the cops home too when they had to much to drink.
 

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Thanks for the support. The court date is in another week and a half, I'll let you know how it goes.

The cop wasn't an ass about it at all (other than the fact that he did a u-turn just to pull me over), and actually took the time to confirm I had insurance rather than just writing me a ticket (forgot to put the new card in the car). It was rather sad that as he was sitting there writing me a ticket for no front plate someone ran the stop sign next to us...if only he wasn't busy doing something else...

It was in Basking Ridge.

Scrumpot, you mentioned in one of your earlier posts that MD recognized the federal exemption. Where did you find that info?
It's called Federal Pre-emption. I didn't necessarily "find" anything on it, as much as simply invoked this, during my oratory provided to the court, whilst presenting my evidence (including the NHTSA/DOT Federal Bumper Waiver document, from the Federal Register). The judge's ruling in my favor, defacto substantiates thereby, MD's recognition of this. Maryland cannot force an auto manufacturer to manufacture a Federal (NHSTA/DOT) front bumper, if one has been EXEMPTED by those Federal bodies in the first place! That, is quite simply, the crux of that. I would think that an NJ court should find similarly.

If you need reference to the actual NHTSA/DOT Temporary Exemption document, it is part of the Federal Register. It's been referenced in these forums several times before too, and is somewhere amongst even my own posting history, if you'd like me to search/find it for you.

Hope this helps!
 

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It's called Federal Pre-emption. I didn't necessarily "find" anything on it, as much as simply invoked this, during my oratory provided to the court, whilst presenting my evidence (including the NHTSA/DOT Federal Bumper Waiver document, from the Federal Register). The judge's ruling in my favor, defacto substantiates thereby, MD's recognition of this. Maryland cannot force an auto manufacturer to manufacture a Federal (NHSTA/DOT) front bumper, if one has been EXEMPTED by those Federal bodies in the first place! That, is quite simply, the crux of that. I would think that an NJ court should find similarly.

If you need reference to the actual NHTSA/DOT Temporary Exemption document, it is part of the Federal Register. It's been referenced in these forums several times before too, and is somewhere amongst even my own posting history, if you'd like me to search/find it for you.

Hope this helps!
These documents are handy to have in the car as well - I'd rather show them to a cop and explain the situation than waste my time (and theirs) going to court to do the same.

Quite a hefty sheaf of paper, but it doesn't weigh that much :p
 

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Wow - you guys sound like you know your way around a front plate. Anyone have any idea how I can look up the legal lingo about front plates in IL? Not that it matters - I don't even have a front plate on my Eclipse, but it would be nice to have an actual legitimate excuse when the cops pull me over. . .
 
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