Can I Have My License Plate In My Windshield?

Having your license plate displayed properly is a legal requirement in most jurisdictions. But what about placing it on your windshield? Is it legal, safe, or advisable? 

Let’s delve into the details to understand the implications of having your license plate in your windshield.

Legal Regulations and Restrictions

In many places, the law is explicit about where your license plate should be displayed. Here’s a breakdown:

State Laws: Each state or region has its own laws regarding the placement of license plates.

Visibility Requirements: Plates must be clearly visible to law enforcement and automated systems, such as toll booths and traffic cameras.

Obstruction Prohibitions: Laws often prohibit anything that obstructs the view of the license plate, including tinted covers or frames that cover any part of the plate.

Mounting Specifications: Regulations may specify the method of attachment, such as screws or bolts, and the location, usually on the front and rear of the vehicle.

Is It Legal to Have Your License Plate in the Windshield?

Is It Legal to Have Your License Plate in the Windshield?

Placing your license plate in the windshield is generally not legal due to several reasons:

Visibility Concerns: Placing the plate in the windshield can obstruct the driver’s view, especially if it’s near the line of sight.

Reflection and Glare: Sunlight reflecting off the plate can create glare, potentially hindering other drivers or traffic enforcement from reading the plate.

Interference with Equipment: It can interfere with sensors used in toll booths, automatic license plate readers, or other automated systems.

Exceptions and Special Circumstances

Classic CarsAllowance for vintage vehicles without front bumpers
Temporary PermitsSpecific regulations for temporary permits
Special PermitsIssued for specific purposes with strict guidelines
Construction VehiclesTemporary windshield placement during work projects
Emergency VehiclesSpecial exemptions for certain emergency vehicles

In these exceptional cases, regulations may allow temporary or special placement of license plates in windshields, but adherence to guidelines is crucial to ensure compliance and safety, especially when considering factors such as ‘can a bike rack cover your License Plate?’

Safety Concerns

Safety Concerns

Apart from legal considerations, safety is a significant factor to ponder when contemplating unconventional license plate placement:

Impaired Visibility: Placing the license plate in the windshield can obstruct the driver’s view, potentially leading to accidents, especially in critical situations where visibility is crucial.

Glare and Distraction: Glare from the plate or its surroundings can distract the driver, reducing their ability to focus on the road ahead.

Impact on Airbags: In the event of a collision, objects placed in the windshield area can interfere with the proper deployment of airbags, posing a serious safety risk to occupants.


Is it legal to have my license plate in the windshield?

Placing your license plate in the windshield is generally not legal due to visibility and obstruction concerns.

Are there any exceptions to this rule?

In some cases, exceptions may apply, such as for classic cars or vehicles with temporary permits.

Why is placing the license plate in the windshield not advisable?

It can obstruct the driver’s view, create glare, and interfere with equipment like toll booth sensors.


While it might seem convenient to place your license plate in the windshield, it’s generally not advisable due to legal and safety concerns. It’s essential to comply with local regulations regarding license plate placement to avoid fines or penalties and ensure road safety for yourself and others. 

Always refer to your local laws and regulations to determine the appropriate placement for your license plate on your vehicle.

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