Illegal license plates: What you didn’t know

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PROVO, UT — Check your cars because your license plate might be illegal. 

The Provo Police Department and the Utah Highway Patrol started warning drivers last week that black license plates with white writing are illegal, and if they’re caught on a vehicle, the plate will be confiscated, the vehicle registration will be suspended and the owner of the plate will get a ticket. 

The vintage-looking plates can easily be bought online on Ebay, Etsy and even Walmart.com. All you have to do is type in your legal license plate number then order it onto your own custom plate. Sounds pretty cool, right?

Here’s the problem: Officer Troy Cook from the Provo Police Department said that putting an online custom plate on your vehicle could be as serious as a third degree felony.

“The issue with the back license plates, and really any other type of license plate accessory,” said Cook, “is that, a lot of the time, they’re in violation of the law.” 

Officer Cook explained that license plates in Utah are issued by the state and DMV and are governed by strict laws. These laws include the size, color, reflectiveness and even the font of a license plate. 

Fortunately for the license plate collectors out there, Officer Cook said that it’s not illegal to purchase or own these vintage plates, it’s only illegal to display them as a valid license plate.

To see all the regulations for Utah license plates, you can check out dmv.utah.gov/plates.  

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