Are License Plates or License Plate Frames An Appropriate Personal Expression Platform?

There have been many news reports lately of governments denying applications for certain customized license plate messaging or revoking customized license plates which have already been issued. Here are two which caught our attention.

There have been many applications for vanity license plates for groups or affiliations denied as well. These stories should all remind us that we pay for our license plates and they are a requirement by law but we don’t actually own our license plates. In pretty much every jurisdiction in the US and Canada the license plates are the property of the government and are issued to us at their discretion.

Now this fact is going to make a bunch of lawyers some money as they fight over whether a message on a license plate is a form of free speech and personal expression or whether the government has the right to censor any custom license plate or vanity plate affiliation at will. As fairly passive watcher of this aspect of the industry we find it good theater. There are great arguments for both. As with anything moderation will hopefully prevail we find can find some middle ground.

Fighting over license plates, or at least the messages on the license plates, who would have thought? To date we haven’t heard of any censoring of license plate frames. They are yours and you own them. You can put whatever message on your license plate holder you want. As we noted in our last post, the recent StreamlineJK License Plate SURVEY found that 20% of all cars have a license plate frame on them with a custom message such as a sports team or a college alumni. This is a good percentage of all cars and trucks on the road and is a great sign that people understand how easy it is to put on a new license plate frame.

A growing trend which StreamlineJK is proud to be a part of has car and truck owners putting on an elegant stainless steel license plate frame or a carbon fiber license plate frame with no messaging on them. You pay so much money to have a great looking car. To us the choice is simple. Don’t leave dealer advertising on your license plate frame and for sure don’t put a cheap plastic license plate frame on just to display a message to people who don’t care. Use Facebook for that. Keep your car looking great with an awesome stylish license plate frame.

What do you have on your car?


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