What Happens if I Use Illegal License Plates in Georgia?

License plates play a vital role in traffic law. Without them, police would find it impossible to charge drivers with a multitude of offenses. Traffic cameras would be virtually useless. Even serious crimes like murder and drug trafficking would become much harder to solve. This is why driving with illegal license plates is considered a serious offense in the state of Georgia. What happens if you are caught with illegal plates in the Peach State? 

If you are facing traffic offenses of any kind, you should get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Georgia right away. Ideally, you should team up with a defense attorney who has specific experience with cases involving traffic law. During your initial consultation, we can explain your unique situation. We will then provide you with targeted legal advice. From there, we can explore a number of options and defense strategies.

What Constitutes an “Illegal License Plate” in Georgia?

There are a number of things which may make your license plate “illegal” in the eyes of Georgia lawmakers.

Firstly, your license plate must be fastened to the rear of your vehicle at the very least. You cannot “get creative” and place your license plate wherever you like. Your license plate must also be fastened in a way that it does not swing, and it should be “plainly visible” at all times. This means that you cannot cover it up, bend it, or spray it with some kind of artificial rust that will make it difficult to see. The only time you can cover your license plate is if the covering is “transparent and colorless.” 

Many people intentionally bend or cover their license plate because they think it will stop them from getting a ticket when spotted by a traffic camera. While this might work, you could face much worse consequences if you are caught with an obstructed license plate – even if you claim it was an accident. 

In addition, it is also illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a license plate that has been improperly removed from another vehicle. 

Finally, Georgia makes it illegal to use a number of so-called “vanity plates” or “custom plates.” You’ll need to check the full list of banned vanity plates, but here are a few examples:

  • “ASSMAN”
  • “BARF”
  • “COKANE”
  • “DEPUTY”
  • “EXC0P”
  • “FUPAYME”
  • “GSTRNG”
  • “COVFEFE”

Penalties for Using Illegal Plates

Generally speaking, using illegal plates is considered a misdemeanor. Removing plates from one vehicle and using them on another, however, is considered a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature, and it can result in up to 12 months imprisonment. 

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced traffic attorney in Georgia, look no further than Lankford & Moore Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous defendants with traffic offenses, and we know how to help you strive for the best possible results in a highly efficient manner. For best results, book your consultation as soon as possible and take your first steps towards justice.

I realized the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder. The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby — not even money, certainly not my soul.

Mahatma Gandhi

Lankford & Moore Law in Downtown Lawrenceville

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