Is My License Plate Frame Legal in Washington?

If your license plate frame doesn’t cover up any letters or numbers, it’s legal in the state of Washington.
Written by Sarah Williams
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
You can customize your Washington license plate with a license plate frame or cover—provided that all the letters and numbers can be plainly seen at all times
Custom frames are a great way to personalize your vehicle. Whether it's advertising your business, standing out on the road, or sharing your personality, a custom frame is a great way to go. 
Proceed with caution! Each state has different regulations regarding what kind of license plate frames or covers are legal. In Washington, failing to abide by their rules can lead to a fine of over $100. 
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Yes—license plate frames are legal in Washington as long as the frame doesn’t cover any letters or numbers on the plate. Identifying letters or numbers need to be able to be seen and read at all times. 

What are the rules for license plate frames in Washington?

According to
Section 46.16A.200
of the Revised Code of Washington, “License plate frames may be used on license plates only if the frames do not obscure license tabs or identifying letters or numbers on the plates and the license plates can be plainly seen and read at all times”.
As long as you abide by these rules, you are free to get your custom frame! 

What about license plate covers?

While the rules are clear about frames, covers are not mentioned under Washington state laws. We can conclude from this that there is no law prohibiting the use of covers, but be careful to keep them clean and ensure that no letters or numbers on your plate are obscured. 
Any form of obstruction on your license plate could lead to a hefty fine. 

What are the fines for license plate frames in Washington?

The fine for an obscured license plate in Washington could be up to $101 according to
local news
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While heeding state laws on license plate frames will spare you a nasty ticket, finding the right car insurance can save you hundreds of dollars. 
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