Hi Officer Ness,
I heard recently that a "new" law started this month (Aug '07) that made all license plate covers illegal. I found your blog when I was trying to research the subject after a friend got a ticket. I didn't realize there were laws like this (in some form or another) that were already enacted before this month.
My question is - is it just the covers that cover a plate - or does this law also include frames (which may obstruct tags/stickers, but not the plate info).
Shelly - Palatine, IL
The change that was made this August, 2007 was only to amend an older, contradictory section in the law. The law that made all covers illegal took effect January 1, 2006, and applies to license plate covers (clear or tinted). It is 625 ILCS 5/12-610.5, and the section amended August 2007 is 625 ILCS 5/3-413(b).
License plate frames are legal as long as they do not obstruct the view of the plate or the sticker. That law about obstructing the plate or sticker has been in effect for many years. Most frames are constructed so they do not cover either.
As I mentioned, the covers have been illegal since Jan. 2006, however a different section of the law referred to the old requirements, which had previously allowed clear covers only. That was what was amended to correct the contradiction and avoid confusion, but there was no actual change in the 2006 law. Just thought I would clarify, Thanks for writing.