Fla. drivers face fines, check your license plate frame - WFLA News Channel 8

Fla. drivers face fines, check your license plate frame

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

If you have a decorative bracket around your license plate tag - even if a car dealer put it there - chances are good you're breaking Florida law.

The brackets, advertising dealerships, universities, or just there to spice up the look of the plate, are all over Tampa Bay roadways.

But some drivers are finding out they're illegal. If the bracket covers any of the words on the plate, including myFlorida.com or Sunshine State, it's illegal and you could be pulled over for the violation by law enforcement. The ticket is over $100.

Law enforcement doesn't track this specific violation, but court records show the statute used to cite this type of ticket was used in Tampa Bay more than 2,000 times last year.

Anecdotal evidence suggests more drivers are hearing about this violation from law enforcement.

Kevin Munsey, of Pinellas County, was shocked when a Florida State Trooper told him his Elder Ford bracket was illegal and had to be taken off.

"I've had these brackets on every car I've ever owned," he said. "I've never heard of this. How can something the car dealer puts on your car cost you money?"

But Sergeant Steve Gaskins, of Florida Highway Patrol, says the "everybody else has one" excuse won't work.

"Law enforcement must be able to see all of the plate clearly," he said.

8 On Your Side asked Gaskins to check out photos of plates from around the area. Even some of News Channel 8 vehicles had illegal brackets. A quick drop by Tampa City Hall showed every car in the lot had a bad bracket. a

Even Mayor Bob Buckhorn laughed when he learned of the violation. "That's ridiculous," he said.

"I understand if it's blocking the letters or blocking something that would impede their ability to determine what it is," he said. "But to put a Penn State frame around my license plate? You know, whatever."

Related content:  list of banned license plates

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Spokesman Larry McKinnon said he can't imagine his deputies pulling drivers over for bad plates. But, he admits, they can, and he doesn't doubt that some do.

"Just because you can write a ticket for something doesn't mean you should," he said.

McKinnon said even he has a decorative bracket on his personal car.

Don’t miss out on the day’s top Facebook conversations http://on.fb.me/18y81Cl

  • NewsMore>>

  • Youth soccer coach in Manatee accused of sex abuse

    Youth soccer coach in Manatee accused of sex abuse

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:21 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:21:26 GMT
    Gabriel Gallardo booking photoGabriel Gallardo booking photo
    A youth soccer coach in Manatee County has been charged with forced fondling and capital sexual battery on a young girl.
    A youth soccer coach in Manatee County has been charged with forced fondling and capital sexual battery on a young girl.
  • Largo police say fight led to death

    Largo police say fight led to death

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:43 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:43:54 GMT
    Largo Police are investigating a death after being called to the scene of a fight at the Royal Pine Condominiums at 4500 East Bay Drive at 5:38 p.m.
    Largo Police are investigating a death after being called to the scene of a fight at the Royal Pine Condominiums at 4500 East Bay Drive at 5:38 p.m.
  • Manatee massage therapist rejects plea in groping case

    Manatee massage therapist rejects plea in groping case

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:57 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:57:05 GMT
    Kevin Holmes Kevin Holmes
    Kevin Holmes knew the nearly naked woman on his massage table last March was an off-duty detective.
    Kevin Holmes knew the nearly naked woman on his massage table last March was an off-duty detective.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • VIDEO: Intense gator battle at Odessa golf course

    VIDEO: Intense gator battle at Odessa golf course

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:56 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:56:27 GMT
    YouTube imageYouTube image
    An amazing video of two big gators locked in an intense fight might have you wondering how something so dangerous could happen at a golf course. A golfer shot the video using a cell phone
    An amazing video of two big gators locked in an intense fight might have you wondering how something so dangerous could happen at a golf course. A golfer shot the video using a cell phone
  • 'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:37:35 GMT
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Photo of cat at gunpoint on Facebook sparks investigation

    Photo of cat at gunpoint on Facebook sparks investigation

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:00:28 GMT
    Animal Control officers are investigating a post that sparked outrage on Facebook - it was a picture of a man holding a cat by its scruff and pointing a gun at it, NBC-2 reported.
    Animal Control officers are investigating a post that sparked outrage on Facebook - it was a picture of a man holding a cat by its scruff and pointing a gun at it, NBC-2 reported.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.