License Plate Ticket

Discussion in 'Trucking Industry Regulations' started by Mark Pellicle, Mar 17, 2020.

  1. Mark Pellicle

    Mark Pellicle Bobtail Member

    Mar 17, 2020
    Greetings from the east coast.

    I recently received a ticket for improper display of a trailer license plate. My company created their own license plate: a stenciled plate number on a piece of metal attached to the back of said trailer. Multiple people, including myself, had tagged trailer out but management kept telling drivers it was legal and put it back into service. I just happened to be the lucky one who found out that was wrong.

    My company has agreed to pay for the ticket, but I want to fight it in court. They have requested a copy of the ticket. My concerns are the following:

    1) I don't think the management has the same priorities as I do. I am afraid that, if I provide the ticket, they will just pay the ticket and I will have the points on my record because I trusted them. Can they do this?

    2) Although I have tagged this trailer out multiple times, and have proof, I am concerned I might still be found guilty. Is it possible to be found guilty but not lose any points on the mvr?

    Thanks in advanced.

    Edit: I forgot to mention that the trailer is legal, the plate had been lost at some point. The registration was on the trailer and I was allowed to leave the scene after being given the ticket.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
    Reason for edit: more clarification
  2. ZVar

    ZVar Road Train Member

    Sep 10, 2010
    Flint, MI
    No points on your license as it's not a moving violation (I believe, double check with you state)
    As for fighting it. Well it was an illegal plate. What do you hope to happen? No, just let the company pay it and move on.
  3. clausland

    clausland Road Train Member

    Dec 5, 2014
    North Woods
    You can only get away with that in Mexico, and maybe Quebec...
  4. Mark Pellicle

    Mark Pellicle Bobtail Member

    Mar 17, 2020
    It is a moving violation in my state. My company is still standing by and saying that it IS a legal plate. Nothing in the statute I was cited for says anything about this particular plate being illegal.
    ZVar Thanks this.
  5. zaroba

    zaroba Medium Load Member

    Aug 28, 2012
    South East PA
    It might be state dependent, but if your original plate is lost, you technically are allowed to create a fake one to use until the new one arrives in the mail, which can take 1-2 months. The law has to allow *something* or people with a single vehicle may be screwed, unable to work etc. But this is simply a case of a LEGITIMATE plate getting lost. The numbers on the fake plate would reveal that it matches the vehicle, vin, etc that it's on.

    But it's definitely illegal if you make a fake plate with random numbers just to avoid registration of said vehicle.

    Comes down to exactly what your boss did and the rules of the state you got pulled over, not the state the company is in.
    deathB4decaf Thanks this.
  6. Mark Pellicle

    Mark Pellicle Bobtail Member

    Mar 17, 2020
    So the numbers on the plate that was on the trailer matched the original plate that was lost, sorry if I didn't make that clear.
    Thanks for this information, that really helps. Do you happen to have a source with more info on the topic? Gotta make sure I walk into court with all the right evidence.
  7. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2015
    The North
    Can't just walk into the motor vehicle office and get a new plate?
  8. jammer910Z

    jammer910Z Road Train Member

    May 28, 2015
    If they get a new plate by the court date I'd have to believe any reasonable DA would drop that cite.
    Sort of like a fix it ticket.

    But, not all of them are reasonable.
    I'd go in myself and present my case with the new plate and let them know how the owners inaction on a non safety issue will affect your DL.

    Worth a shot.
    Doealex, clausland and ZVar Thank this.
  9. TankerYankr

    TankerYankr Medium Load Member

    Jan 16, 2010
    Central US
    1) If you give them the ticket, yes they can just pay it.
    If the ticket is in your name you are responsible.
    2) If you are found guilty (you probably will be) it will go on your record.

    It doesn't matter if you or anyone else wrote the trailer up, you took the trailer out, you are responsible for doing a pre-trip on the equipment that you operate, if anything is wrong including license and registration then it is up to you to not move the equipment until fixed.
    roshea Thanks this.
  10. zaroba

    zaroba Medium Load Member

    Aug 28, 2012
    South East PA
    Sorry, but the best I can find so far has been this article from a Boston news site, no clue on other states though. Haven't been able to find anything other then info on truly fake license plates. Seems beyond my normally excellent googlefu.

    Unfortunately it's not just as simple as tossing on a temp plate, need to prove you took action. At the very least, it seems like in every state you are supposed to file a police report when a plate goes missing due to possible criminal activity with it and you need to have that police report with you as evidence if pulled over, along with vehicle registration etc.

    The law says
    I posed my questions to Registry spokeswoman Ann Dufresne, who e-mailed a list of answers.
    As for painting plate numbers on your car, Dufresne wrote, “I am not certain of the laws in the early 1900s. You can not do this now.’’ Well, that’s no surprise.

    But what about a homemade license plate?

    Dufresne said that if your plate is “lost or mutilated or if the register number thereon becomes illegible,’’ you need to apply immediately for a new plate. But that will typically take four to six weeks to arrive in the mail. In the interim, you are supposed to create your own temporary plate.

    A temporary plate needs to be displayed on your car in the same location as your real plate would. That means you have to position it in the middle of your front or rear bumpers, and the rear plate must be illuminated. Putting a temporary plate anywhere else, such as inside the rear window, isn’t legal, Dufresne wrote. “The driver could be cited for improper display of plate,’’ she wrote. Also, your temporary plate isn’t legal just by itself. If an officer stops you, you need to produce a permit from the Registry that verifies that your real plates are coming in the mail.

    What are the RMV’s guidelines for making a temporary plate, I asked? Do numbers and letters have to be a certain color, size, and height? Can a person’s temporary plate be stylish, or even artistic, so long as numbers and characters are clearly legible? Can it be made of cardboard, wood, or any other material you’ve got handy?

    Dufresne pointed to the lone section of Massachusetts General Laws regarding temporary plates, Chapter 90, Section 6, which leaves the creation of any temporary plate almost entirely in the driver’s hands.

    “The legislation says approximate a standard plate as best as you can,’’ Dufresne wrote. “There are no specific requirements for size, shape. It just needs to be legible from 60 feet away like a real plate. The hope is that one would use common sense.’’

    I reminded her that Massachusetts drivers aren’t always known for that. But when I think about it, the temporary plates I’ve encountered have all been simple, plain, and legible, so I guess the system works.

    Is our homemade license plate law a holdover from those olden days of driving, when simple solutions were often the best? Alas, Dufresne couldn’t say. But I’d like to think so.
    clausland Thanks this.
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