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Front License Plates

About 1 out of every 20 cars I see in the Seattle area (especially Range Rovers) don't have a front license plate, or plate holder. I think a front license plate would be a "missing tooth on a beautiful woman" on the Model S.

Does anyone have a photo of a Model S with a front license plate?

Is there any way to opt out of a front license plate in WA? (like registering and paying a fee?)


If by "opt out" you mean exemption from the legal requirement in WA, then no, you can't. If you're asking about the installation of the front plate holder, then yeah, after you order, email Tesla and tell them that you don't want it installed on your car.

I know there are som pictures floating around showing the front plate installed. I couldn't find one just now.

I've been driving around the Puget Sound area for the past for years without a front license plate and I haven't had any problems, and cops have definitely noticed that I don't have a front plate.

Don't give police a reason to pay attention to you, and I would guess that you won't have a problem either.

*four years

I was told by Maddy at the Bellevue store today that if the car does not have a place for a front license, then you don't have to have one. From what she said, I think we can get by without one. I talked a Leaf owner there who applied for the variance of not having one and the license looked up Leaf and found the part number for their front bracket. Please Tesla, don't have a front bracket (at least for us Washingtonians.)

I guess I shouldn't have been so short with my dismissal. You can apply for an exemption, but they pretty much only grant it to cars for which no bracket is available, and even then, only sometimes.

If someone wants to try applying for it, I'm sure everyone else wouldn't mind hearing about it, but you can find many threads about this online, and most people are not successful.

Do the ticketing cameras take and the toll cameras take pics of front or rear plates?

I know of plenty of folks that have been ticketed for no front plate.

That's a good point. I have not driven across 520 since it became tolled.

Rear plates. Remember not all states have the front plate requirement and the DOT will want to send you a bill in your home state if you drive your car across their bridge.

Teoatawki, Maybe you just need a front plate, remember not all states

I've been stopped once in 8 years for not having a front plate in Washington. The State Patrolman simply told me that I was required to display a front plate, then asked about my Toyo tires. I intend to bend the plate and hang it from the lower air dam on the Model S.

And as soon as we get out of WA take it off.

Are the WA cars delivered with plates (front/rear) installed or is it up to the owner to get the plates?

You can elect to have the front plate holder installed at delivery or not. It can be installed later if you elect not to at time of delivery.

@epley | OCTOBER 30, 2012: You can elect to have the front plate holder installed at delivery or not. It can be installed later if you elect not to at time of delivery.

That is a nice choice. I was actually wondering if they register the car and get actual license plates from the DOL before delivering the car or would I have to go down and get them?

I think Tesla will register the car and get the plates for you. Initially you will get a temporary permit and I would suspect Tesla will call you when the permanent plates are ready, or they may even mail them directly to the address on your registration.

Once I go through the process I'll report back. Still waiting for the car (Sig #267, Vin#532). It's all done and ready to go, supposedly waiting for transport from the factory to Seattle.

Usually the new plates will be mailed to you directly by the State.

I have a friend that is a WA state representative, and I told him I'd pay $100 a year to legally not have a front license plate. He didn't laugh me off and said he would bring it up with someone on the transportation committee.

Would anyone else on this forum pay and extra $100 a year to not have to display a front license plate? If not, how much would you pay? Thanks.

@Getting Amped Soon | NOVEMBER 5, 2012: Would anyone else on this forum pay and extra $100 a year to not have to display a front license plate? If not, how much would you pay? Thanks.

I'd pay $100. I might go up to $250 max.

What is Washington doing different than other States so we need a front plate and others don't?

My understanding from talking with several plice officers regarding the front plate is: They use the front plate reflectivity for the speed radars. So many cars have plastic front ends that don't provide a good return for the radar. This seems to be confirmed by the fact the plates are replaced every 7 years.

@welockett - that makes sense and dashes my hopes that this might happen.

The next question to be asked is: Why are the vanity/personalized plates not made with the reflective coatings the regular plates use? If the reflectivity is used for the radar, and vanity plates don't have that reflectivity, then this would say a front plate would not be necessary. I think I will forgo the front plate, and deal with any repercussions later.

Would anyone else on this forum pay and extra $100 a year to not have to display a front license plate? If not, how much would you pay? Thanks.

I would rather not bring this up at all. Right now, you can drive around without the front plate, and there is no enforcement. We might as well leave it that way.

Superchargers might be installed in Lewis County.

Here's fair warning. They love to pull over out-of-town cars there and will use any excuse to issue a ticket. They get tired of pestering the locals after a while and are looking for something else to keep them busy.

If you don't have a front plate and drive a Tesla they'll assume you are out-of-town. I kid you not.

I had it added just before pickup. Just got my plates yesterday, added the good-to go sensor. Yeah, its not optimal. The sensor on the white plate does stand out a bit. I guess I can always remove it and just go with the sensor. I think its personal choice and weighing the hassle of a trooper vs compliance. The back end of the car gives it the iconic look anyway.

This weekend I was near Chehalis on a two lane road. A Sheriff was coming towards me in on-coming traffic and he quickly pulled to the shoulder and acted like he was going to do a U-turn to come after me. I was doing the speed limit. He ended up not coming for me. I think that he noticed that there was no front plate and then saw that I had the temporary tag in the rear window as I passed by and then let me go.

I want am interested in approaching a legislator about removing the requirement for front plates on EV's based on aerodynamics.

Anyone think that this might fly?

Well I'm on my phone right now, so I don't feel like searching around for it, but there has been a long-running petition campaign to cancel the front plate requirement in Washington, and one of the key arguments it makes is the effect on drag and fuel economy. I don't think the argument has had much impact.

That said, throw in a mention EV's in there, and maybe someone will listen.

So, now that I have plates, how have you gotten the front plate installed? I have the mount, but I don't really want to drill it on myself. Did the Tesla people do it for you?

I just dropped it off at the Tesla store and they did it. It only takes a few minutes. They did it at the same time they put on the rear spoiler, which took a bit longer.

Sorry.. tesla service center, not store.

When you get your delivery window, 'Install front license plate holder?' is one of the questions. We can't plead ignorance on this one.