Arizona License Plate Cover Law

Vehicles in Arizona are not allowed to have license plate covers installed unless specifically authorized.

Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 28-2354(D) is the license plate cover law, and says:

Unless authorized by the department, a person shall not apply a covering or any substance to the license plate or use an electronic device or electrochromatic film that obscures from any angle the numbers, characters, year validating tabs or name of the jurisdiction issuing the plate.

The license plate cover law was signed by Governor Ducey in March, 2017, in large part due to efforts of law enforcement concerns that officers would not be able to identify vehicles with obscured license plates.

There has also been a history of people using covers, or polarized plastics, to prevent photo radar cameras from capturing the vehicle’s information.

The law, under subsection (C) also requires license plates to installed so that the name of the state of Arizona can be seen at the top of the license. This is a bigger concern for people with borders or frames covering their licenses.

The penalty for a violation of this statute is $30, plus surcharges, and is a civil non-moving offense.

If an individual receives a section violation within 12 months, the penalty increases to $100.

While this penalty may not seem severe, the larger issue is how law enforcement may use violations of this nature to conduct other traffic stops to investigate more serious crimes, such as Driving Under the Influence or the possession of illegal substances.

As such, we recommend that people do not use license plate covers or borders in a manner that obscures the plate in any way.

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