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Ohio Lawmakers Drop Front License Plate Requirement

Sam Hendren

Gov. Mike DeWine has signed into law the state’s new transportation budget. Along with increasing the state gas tax, the budget will also do away with the requirement that Ohioans display a license plate on the front of their cars.

That might not sound like a big deal, but it proved a contentious issue among lawmakers.

The Ohio Highway Patrol argued in favor of keeping the front license plate. However, Republican House Speaker Larry Householder says requiring Ohioans to drill holes in the front of their cars hurts their value, especially when the cars are sold or traded across state lines.

Householder also says that new technology in vehicles will make it more difficult to put a front license plate on a car. 

“The other thing you’ve got to consider just moving into the future, aerodynamically, cars are starting to get narrower fronts and so it won’t be long before there won’t be a place in the front anyhow," Householder says. "And when you talk to the auto manufacturer, all of the technology that they have, the smart car technology, all of it is in that front bumper."

All of states surrounding Ohio have already scrapped the front license plate requirement.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.