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Registration requirements and motor vehicle laws tend to vary a bit from state to state. 

One thing that varies is the requirements for license plates and car tags.

First, the number of characters on license plates differs from state to state.  

Next, the placement and style of the registration decals vary. 

Finally, some states require your vehicle to have both a front and rear license plate, while others do not. 

Continue reading to find out which state requires both plates. 

Front License Plate Requirements by State

Most states require drivers to display both a front and rear license plate on their vehicle. 

However, a handful of states only require a license plate on the back of your vehicle. 

Refer to the table below to check the front license plate requirements in your state. 

StateFront License Plate Required?
AlabamaNo
AlaskaYes
ArizonaNo
ArkansasNo
CaliforniaYes
ColoradoYes
ConnecticutYes
DelawareNo
FloridaNo
GeorgiaNo
HawaiiYes
IdahoYes
IllinoisYes
IndianaNo
IowaYes
KansasNo
KentuckyNo
LouisianaNo
MaineYes
MarylandYes
MassachusettsYes
MichiganNo
MinnesotaYes
MississippiNo
MissouriYes
MontanaYes
NebraskaYes
NevadaYes
New HampshireYes
New JerseyYes
New MexicoNo
New YorkYes
North CarolinaNo
North DakotaYes
OhioNo
OklahomaNo
OregonYes
PennsylvaniaNo
Rhode IslandYes
South CarolinaNo
South DakotaYes
TennesseeNo
TexasYes
UtahYes
VermontYes
VirginiaYes
WashingtonYes
Washington DCYes
West VirginiaNo
WisconsinYes
WyomingYes

Mounting a Front License Plate

You may have noticed that not all vehicles are equipped with a front license plate mount. 

Does this exempt you from your state’s requirement?

Unfortunately, not in most states. Even if your car doesn’t have a factory-installed place for you to mount your license plate, you still need to display it. 

Learn how to install a front license plate here.

Your main options include:

  • Drilling screw holes into the bumper. 
  • Using strong adhesive. 
  • Using a tow-eye license plate mount. 

Penalties for Driving without a Front License Plate

Penalties for driving without a front license plate when one is required will vary from state to state as well. 

For the most part, you will receive a “fix-it” ticket or a fine of anywhere from $25 to $200. 

Parking your vehicle without a properly displayed license plate can also result in a parking ticket. 

There are some benefits to a state requiring a front license plate. Some of the main ones include:

  • They make your vehicle more visible from the front at night. 
  • They make it easier for law enforcement to do their jobs.
  • They make Amber Alerts more effective. 

Arguments against requiring a front license plate include:

  • Additional cost to the state and taxpayers. 
  • Ruins the appearance of certain vehicles. 
  • May add to the cost of registration.