Ohio State Leaders Propose Getting Rid Of Front Number Plates

Much to the delight of some Ohio drivers, state leaders are contemplating getting rid of the front number plate law.

"There are some cars that don't look good with a front number plate. Having met with car dealers, that's one of the things they said. There are a lot of folks with Corvettes that will like this idea," said Sen. Jason Wilson, of St. Clairsville.

Though getting rid of Ohio's front number plate could be construed as solely a question of looks, Wilson said it's really about state money.

He said if Ohio residents still pay the same fee they pay now -- but only get a back number plate -- the money saved from not making the front number plate would go into the State Patrol fund.

"Our roads need to be safe; we need to be protected," Wilson said. "No one wants to see a trooper with red lights behind them, but they do want to see a trooper when there's a problem."

Some police officers said there is good reason for the front number plates, however.

"Just general identification, you know. It makes it easier. You get two looks at the same number," said Sgt. Don Britton of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. "If someone, let's say, committed an abduction, it's a better chance for people to see the number plate."

Wilson said he's talked with patrol leaders about vehicle identification issues and said the concerns are something all parties feel can be handled without the front number plate.

"Certainly, identity is a question. It's a concern," adding that other states only require a front number plate and handle it just fine.

Wilson said the state will make a decision about the front number plates by July 1. He said even if the front number plate only costs $1 to make, about $12 million would be freed for funding the state patrol.

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