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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Criminal Defense Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 26741
Experience:  18+ years of high-volume criminal defense work from arraignment through plea or trial.
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I was pulled over NYS V and T 4021 no distinctive plate. the

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I was pulled over NYS V and T 4021 no distinctive plate. the vehicle i own is a 1998 Ford ranger that came from the factory with a bumper that has a ball integrated into it. The license plate in visible behind the ball and all numbers can be read from any vantage point. As i said the car came off of the assembly line with this feature. Is their anything in the wording of the law that takes this into account? Also I have had my vehicles NYSI done at the very same dealership that the police officer that wrote me the ticket had his done at. Part of the NYSIP says you cant pass a car with an obstructed license plate. Do i have any recouse there? The only reason I'm fighting this is because the office broke over $400 my hand blown glass christmas presents that i spent 12 hours making and want some leverage in getting the city of albany to pay.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an experienced NYS criminal lawyer.

This comes under Section 402.1(a) and (b) of New York traffic law. Here's the language of the statute.

§ 402. Distinctive number; form of number plates; trailers.

1. (a) No person shall operate, drive or park a motor vehicle on the public
highways of this state unless such vehicle shall have a distinctive
number assigned to it by the commissioner and a set of number plates
issued by the commissioner with a number and other identification matter
if any, corresponding to that of the certificate of registration
conspicuously displayed, one on the front and one on the rear of such
vehicle, each securely fastened so as to prevent the same from swinging
and placed, whenever reasonably possible, not higher than forty-eight
inches and not lower than twelve inches from the ground; provided,
however, that in any registration year for which only one number plate
is issued, such number plate shall constitute a set of number plates for
the time in which such use is authorized, shall be displayed on the rear
of the vehicle and none shall be displayed on its front, except in case
of a tractor, when such number plate shall be displayed on the front of
the vehicle and none shall be displayed on its rear.

(b) Number plates shall be kept clean and in a condition so as to be
easily readable and shall not be covered by glass or any plastic
material, and shall not be knowingly covered or coated with any
artificial or synthetic material or substance that conceals or obscures
such number plates or that distorts a recorded or photographic image of
such number plates, and the view of such number plates shall not be
obstructed by any part of the vehicle or by anything carried thereon,

except for a receiver-transmitter issued by a publicly owned tolling
facility in connection with electronic toll collection when such
receiver-transmitter is affixed to the exterior of a vehicle in
accordance with mounting instructions provided by the tolling facility.

I would certainly try to demonstrate with photos and with other evidence that your plates can be read from any angle, that you made no modifications to this vehicle and did nothing more than install the plate where the car manufacturer designed it to go.

Good luck!
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I read this section before i asked the question. My main question was to determine if there is any law or legal precedent in New York state that holds the manufacturer or the inspection station liable for manufacturing/passing a vehicle that is in violation with state law? When vehicles are developed they have to be made to conform to the guidlines of the market in which they are to be sold. How can a vehicle come off the showroom floor, turn out of the dealership parking lot, then immediatly be pulled over, ticketed and towed? That is what happened.

Hi Andrew,

I'm sorry, but I apparently misunderstood what you wanted here. You quoted the number of the License plate statute incorrectly and asked about the wording of the statute if it could help you and referenced another statute that you had read. So I thought you couldn't find and hadn't read 402.1.

So thanks for clarifying. Every state has its own laws and restrictions on the displaying of license plates. Car manufacturers don't check each and every detail for each and every state into consideration when they design new vehicles, so it is more than a little possible that a brand new vehicle can be in violation of one state's law. I have seen it happen, for example, as to window tinting, the legality of which varies from state to state, and the types of headlights, which also can.

So I'd fight the case and see if you could get the thing pitched outright, like I said, by demonstrating this was how the car was designed, that you made no modifications to the manufacaturer's specification and that the numbers on the plates are unobstruced and readable. If you fail, then your suit is not against the city of Albany but against the dealership and/or the manufacturer who, arguably owes you money to make this car fit in NYS for the use that it was intended.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That was exactly what I didn't want to hear. It's so nice being able to do this (ask a question to a lawyer) without getting charged $200/hr. By the way on my ticket it say 4021 in the violation section.