Arizona Law Squeezes License Plate Frames
License plate frame makers will have to contend with a new provision in Arizona that can earn residents up to a $200 fine for covering up the state's name on their license plates. The change – which went into effect at the beginning of the new year – amended the state law to eliminate confusion when law enforcement runs license plate numbers through it system.
Directly targeted are custom license plate frames made by ad specialty suppliers that often cover up the state name. Gary Hellinger, CEO of Gary Line (asi/55990), says such laws are nothing new. "This has been in existence for several years with different states, and Arizona would be one of several states maybe modifying their rules," he says. "What we do is offer license plates that do not cover up the state names." Hellinger, whose company is based in New York, notes that New York, New Jersey and Connecticut enacted similar laws in the past regarding the state name or inspection stickers. The CEO says his company prevents violation of state laws by sending samples to buyers to ensure they comply. "That's the only way to do it," he says. "That way the customer takes the time and the care to make sure there are no violations."
Catherine Baron, owner of California-based License Frame Inc (asi/67355), was aware of the Arizona law change before it went into effect last week. Her company, which offers over a dozen different frame styles, worked proactively by calling clients in Arizona to notify them of the change and get them to order the newer style, which is no more than a half-inch thick at the top. She says a similar law could be created in Florida. "We have somebody on staff that's contacting the DMV all the time to get updates or searching online to find out," she says about knowing the state laws.