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For Immediate Release: 08/05/2014
CONTACT: MassDOT Press Office: 857-368-8500

MassDOT, Mass State Police Warn Motorists: State Law Requires License Plates be Legible, Uncovered

State Police to Enforce Law Prohibiting Plates that are Covered, Obscured

BOSTON- Tuesday, August 5, 2014- The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and Massachusetts State Police today reminded motorists that state law requires vehicle license plate numbers to be legible and unobscured by a glass or plastic cover or other device.

Chapter 90, Section 6 of the Massachusetts General Laws requires that a vehicle number license plate always be plainly visible with the numbers legible and not obscured by the installation of any device obscuring the numbers.

A violation of the legible plate requirements carries a $35 fine for first offense, $75 for second offense and $150 for third offense.

In the first six months of 2014, state and local police have issued approximately 4,000 violations of the legible plate requirement law. The Massachusetts State Police have issued 1,900 violations and say enforcement efforts will continue.

Legible plates allowing for prompt vehicle identification are a traffic safety priority and necessary for implementation of the new All-Electronic Tolling system now in place on the Tobin Bridge and set to expand on all Massachusetts tolled roads in the next two years. For those vehicles without an E-ZPass transponder, a camera captures an image of the vehicle license plate and a Pay-By-Plate invoice for the toll is mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner.

“Easily identifiable license plate information is not only critical to highway safety but also promotes the fair collection of tolls from vehicles lacking an E-ZPass transponder,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola. “We want to warn motorists about the legible plate requirement and also encourage everyone to sign up for E-ZPass.” 

Massachusetts drivers may sign up for E-ZPass transponders online at www.mass.gov/ezpassma, by calling 1-877-627-7745, or by visiting one of our E-ZPass MA Customer Service Centers or Sign-up Locations listed on the web. The E-ZPass Sign up Team is also visiting communities in Massachusetts this summer and fall to assist new customers in signing up for a transponder.

Passenger Vehicle Customers with an E-ZPass Massachusetts Transponder pay a discounted toll on the Tobin Bridge, Sumner/Callahan Tunnel, Ted Williams Tunnel and Boston Extension.

In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was created to unify the state’s various transportation agencies. MassDOT now includes the Highway Division, the MBTA and Rail Transit Division, the Aeronautics Division, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles.  MassDOT is committed to providing a safe and reliable transportation system to all those who travel in the Commonwealth and works to deliver excellent customer service. MassDOT has been nationally recognized for its innovative approach to transportation, including the Accelerated Bridge Program, the “Where’s My Bus and Train?” apps and “Fast 14” work.  For more information, visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot  blog: http://blog.mass.gov/transportation/, or follow MassDOT on twitter at https://twitter.com/MassDOT   and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo.

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