Florida has solely issued one license plate per vehicle since 1922. However, from 1918 to 1922, cars had front and rear plates.
If you’ve recently moved to Florida from a state that requires front license plates, it might be a bit jarring to see all the cars driving around without them! But there are plenty of reasons why it might be preferable to attach license plates to the back of vehicles only.
For one thing, front license plates can reduce aerodynamics. Plus, if everyone is required to have a second license plate, the state would have to produce twice as many of them. For those reasons and more, Florida is opting out.
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Does Florida require front license plates?
No—if your car is registered in the state of Florida, you’ll only be issued a single license plate to go on the rear of your vehicle.
However, Florida is in the minority. Most U.S. states require front and back license plates. Only 18 other states require just one plate. But don’t worry! You can still drive your Florida-registered vehicle in two-plate states despite only having one.
You are required to make sure that your rear plate is as clearly visible as possible. In fact, vehicles must have a white light illuminating the plate so it can be seen from 50 feet away.
You are allowed to have a vanity plate on the front of your car in Florida (if that’s your thing). But just one is required on the back of your car.
Which US states do not require a front license plate?
There are 18 other states in addition to Florida that don’t require front license plates. Here they are in alphabetical order:
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Why Florida doesn’t require a front license plate
The main reason why state governments make laws requiring front license plates is to allow for easier detection by traffic cameras. Because this adds power to law enforcement, there are many people who would suggest that requiring front license plates is a suppression of freedom and an over extension of the state government’s authority.
Of course, the flip side of the argument is that front license plates make it easier for law enforcement to identify stolen cars, locate missing people, and enforce traffic laws—all of which benefit the public.
However, making front license plates doubles the cost of the state’s license plate production. Plus, some argue a front license plate could inhibit functions of 360-degree camera systems that aid driver-assistance features.
Which states have the highest rate of car theft?
According to data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Service,
Colorado is the state with the highest rate of vehicle theft, averaging 524.3 instances per 100,000 people.
New Mexico and
California come in second and third, respectively.
Of course, car thefts are usually more common in cities. Here are the Florida cities with the highest car theft rates:
All other cities in Florida have car theft rates below 300. The U.S. national average is 286.2.
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