Preserving Road Safety: The Critical Need for Enforcement Against Altered License Plates


By Scott A. Petri

The open road is a shared space where safety and accountability go hand in hand. License plates play a pivotal role in maintaining order and ensuring responsible conduct on our streets. However, an emerging challenge faces law enforcement and traffic management authorities – altered or filtered license plates.

In this blog, we delve into the significance of enforcing unaltered license plates and the various methods employed to curb this growing concern. From the identification of vehicles involved in traffic violations to preventing illegal activities, the enforcement of intact license plates is a linchpin in preserving the integrity of our roadways.

Enforcement of unaltered and unfiltered license plates is crucial for several reasons:

Identification and Accountability: Clear and unaltered license plates are essential for law enforcement and other authorities to identify vehicles accurately. This is crucial for maintaining public safety and holding individuals accountable for any violations.

Traffic Violation Enforcement: Unaltered license plates are necessary for automated systems, such as traffic cameras, to accurately capture and enforce traffic violations. This includes red-light violations, speeding, toll evasion, and other offenses.

Prevention of Illegal Activities: Altered or filtered license plates can be used to evade law enforcement, engage in criminal activities, or avoid detection in various situations. Enforcing unaltered plates helps prevent illegal activities and ensures that vehicles are traceable.

Methods of enforcement include:

  1. Automated Systems: Traffic cameras and license plate recognition (LPR) systems are used to automatically capture and identify license plates. These systems can flag altered or filtered plates for further investigation.
  2. Law Enforcement Patrols: Police officers on patrol actively check license plates for any signs of alteration or filtering. They may use handheld devices or visually inspect plates during routine traffic stops.
  3. Vehicle Inspection Programs: Some regions conduct periodic vehicle inspections to ensure that license plates are unaltered and comply with regulations. This may include verification of plate readability and condition.
  4. Legislation and Penalties: Implementing and enforcing laws that specifically prohibit the alteration or filtering of license plates. Penalties for violations can include fines, license suspension, or other legal consequences.
  5. Community Reporting: Encouraging communities to report suspicious or altered license plates to law enforcement. This collaborative effort enhances the effectiveness of enforcement measures.

Enforcing unaltered license plates contributes to public safety, upholds traffic laws, and facilitates the identification of vehicles involved in various activities, both legal and illegal.

Scott Petri is the President of Mobility Parking Advisors, LLC. He can be reached at