In the past, drivers in California who had new vehicles had three months (90 days) to go out and get a license plate. That’s all going to change in 2019. A new law has been passed by Governor Jerry Brown that makes it so dealers must give people temporary
plates when they buy new cars. For the service, the dealership can make the person buying the car pay as much as five dollars.
There are a few goals with this new law, but the main reason it’s been passed is to help police officers catch criminals who use cars without plates to commit crimes. Additionally, the state hopes to bring in $19 million every year for tolls that are currently
not being paid.
A Hit and Run
One case that ties to the law involves a man who was hit and killed by a Mercedes without a plate. The vehicle appeared to be speeding, and it didn’t stop, even after hitting him and dragging him for the length of a football field. His best friend watched
it happen and noted that the car had black wheels and was a rare model. However, that wasn’t enough to go on, as there was no plate and police haven’t been able to track it down.
In another case, a number of women had their purses stolen, and one woman was hurt when she was knocked over. In that case, the police actually got a video of the suspects getting into a Jeep and fleeing the scene. However, even the video evidence wasn’t
enough since there was no plate. Had there been, the police would have had a serious lead that could have cracked the case open.
As noted above, this doesn’t come into play until 2019, but California residents need to keep an eye on these future changes and remember that they’re coming. Failing to use the proper plates could lead to penalties and may make drivers far more likely to be pulled over.