Just about everyone’s car has a license plate frame. And if it covers either the state’s name or motto you can get a ticket.
Now the New Jersey Supreme Court has stepped in and said that the state needs to fix the law about how much is too much. When it comes to covering up either the state’s name or motto.
Two different cases recently came up before the court. In the first case the person’s license plate frame did partially block the motto “Garden State”. But it was still readable. In the second case the motto was completely covered up by the license plate frame.
Well both were stopped by the police and the court stated the following.“Countless license plate frames cover a small fraction of the top of “New Jersey,” or the bottom of “Garden State,” but the words can still be easily identified. That is not true if a frame instead covers a single letter or number of the registration marks in the center of a license plate,” Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote for the court.”
Now here is the kicker, “If “Garden State,” “New Jersey,” or some other phrase is covered to the point that the phrase cannot be identified, or the plate numbers can’t be read, the law would likewise apply. But “if those phrases were partly covered, yet still recognizable, there would be no violation,” he said.”
What does this mean? Well in the first case the police search of the person’s vehicle was illegal because they had no justifiable reason to stop them in the first place. In the second case, because the motto was fully obscured. The police did have a legal reason to stop that person.
So, what does the court’s ruling mean? For one thing it gives the motorist some ammo to be able to defend them from illegal motor vehicle stops. And the court has clearly stated that the legislature must review the law so it is no longer vague.
That is my opinion- Jumpin Jersey Mike