Good afternoonTrooper Ness.
I have a question about the above subject. My wife was stopped this morning on her way home from work by an office with the Carol Stream police department. She was amazed, and so am I, that she was ticketed for having tinted license plate covers. We have had these covers on both of our vehicles for six years and this is the first incident anyone has even suggested that they are not valid. These covers are not darkly tinted. They are a very light gray.
I have asked other officers in the past if they saw anything wrong with the covers and none have indicated it was an issue. If they had, I would have changed them.
Is this evaluation an individual thing or are tinted covers of any kind strictly forbidden by law? I fully understand the concerns that law professionals might have if the covers were in place to hide our identity. They are not on the vehicles for that purpose. I simply have them to keep the plates clean so they will last longer, and because it looks good with the covers on.
I would appreciate your comments and any suggestions you might have on how this issue could be over turned.
Tinted license plate covers have been illegal for many years under 625 ILCS 5/3-413b. More recently, the use (and sale) of any type of license plate cover, clear, tinted, plastic or glass.. was made illegal under 625 ILCS 12-610.5, which was effective January 1st, 2006. The latter charge is a moving violation. The 3-413b charge is an equipment charge. I have attached the text of the CURRENT statute (until 6/1/2008) below.
Incidentally, wording in 3-413 will change as of June 1, 2008, clarifying that even clear license plate covers are not allowed Hope that information is helpful.
(625 ILCS 5/3-413) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 3-413)
(Text of Section before amendment by P.A. 95‑29)
Sec. 3‑413. Display of registration plates, registration stickers and drive-away permits.
(a) Registration plates issued for a motor vehicle other than a motorcycle, trailer, semitrailer, truck-tractor, apportioned bus, or apportioned truck shall be attached thereto, one in the front and one in the rear. The registration plate issued for a motorcycle, trailer or semitrailer required to be registered hereunder and any apportionment plate issued to a bus under the provisions of this Code shall be attached to the rear thereof. The registration plate issued for a truck-tractor or an apportioned truck required to be registered hereunder shall be attached to the front thereof.
(b) Every registration plate shall at all times be securely fastened in a horizontal position to the vehicle for which it is issued so as to prevent the plate from swinging and at a height of not less than 5 inches from the ground, measuring from the bottom of such plate, in a place and position to be clearly visible and shall be maintained in a condition to be clearly legible, free from any materials that would obstruct the visibility of the plate, including, but not limited to, glass covers and tinted plastic covers. Clear plastic covers are permissible as long as they remain clear and do not obstruct the visibility of the plates. Registration stickers issued as evidence of renewed annual registration shall be attached to registration plates as required by the Secretary of State, and be clearly visible at all times.