Front license plates in Texas could soon be a thing of the past if legislation recently filed in the Texas Senate makes its way into law.

Senate Bill 805, filed by freshman State Sen. Pat Fallon (R–Little Elm), would remove the state’s dual license plate requirement which many drivers say detracts from the appearance of their vehicle.

“Nineteen states do not require a front license plate,” Fallon told Texas Scorecard. “Every state that borders Texas (New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana) requires only the rear license plate to be displayed. A front plate is unneeded, redundant government.”

Though those opposed to removing the requirement claim front license plates help with vehicle identification by law enforcement, Fallon called the arguments “anecdotal.”

“It is also claimed that a front plate is required for toll roads,” he added. “Many cars drive on toll roads without a front license plate or a toll tag and the tolling authority is able to bill the driver.”

Meanwhile, in the Texas House of Representatives, one lawmaker has also filed legislation to remove Texas’ front license plate requirement…but not for everyone.

House Bill 673, filed by State Rep. Ken King (R–Canadian), would eliminate the requirement for “luxury passenger vehicles” with “a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of at least $60,000 for a baseline model.”

Car enthusiasts are less-than-thrilled with the arbitrary distinction with automotive journalist Dan Mihalascu of CarScoops writing that “the bill would forcefully define two categories of car owners: those who own expensive cars and those who don’t.”

King’s office did not return comment on why his bill would maintain the requirement for Texans who drive more affordable vehicles.

If legislation does ultimately pass, however, it won’t be the first time Texans can drive with their grills unobstructed. After legislators made tweaks to the law in 2011, they inadvertently removed the punishment.

In 2013, lawmakers fixed the error. Failure to display a front license plate is currently punishable by a $200 fine.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens


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