Good Question: Do I have to have a front license plate?

(KUTV) When you register your car, the state is going to hand you two license plates - one for the front and one for the back.

But according to state officials, approximately one-in-five cars on Utah roads do not have a plate on the front of their vehicle.

Is that okay?

No, according to DMV spokesperson Charlie Roberts.

"The law says that we're required to issue two license plates and drivers are required to have them on the front and the back," he says.

Roberts says that everyone who is on the road without a plate on the front is breaking the law.

“It's a secondary offense, which means that if the officer pulls you over for something else, he can issue a ticket for that."

Roberts says that a few years ago, the idea was floated in the legislature to do away with the two-plate requirement - presumably as a way to save money - after all, making twice the plates costs twice as much. But law enforcement shot down the idea.

Front plates are crucial at nabbing crooks who are often busted with the help of security cameras catching pictures of a car’s plate, like a gas thief. It also makes it twice as easy for an officer to identify a stolen car.

And, now we know: if you're among the roughly 20% of people who don't put your front plate on your car, you're breaking the law, and it’s the law for an arguably good reason.

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