Can a police officer pull you over for not having a front license plate? 3 Answers as of May 17, 2012

I was recently followed by a pair of officers and soon after stopped. When I asked why I was pulled over, one officer insisted I give my license/registration to the other officer and then they'll explain it to me. I insisted on knowing why, then the other officer said you don't have a front plate. Just to add some detail, I drive a pretty hooked up car with black rims etc. I feel they were digging and wanted to pull me over just in hopes they would find anything. Can an officer actually pull me over for this or do I have to have violated an actual traffic law first? I have been pulled over before for normal traffic violations when I was in the wrong and still had no plate and it was never mentioned. This time I feel I was profiled and want to contest it.

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Law Offices of John J. Connors, Esq.
Law Offices of John J. Connors, Esq. | John J. Connors, Esq.
In Massachusetts there are red plates and green plates along with the specialty plates. A red plate requires a front and a rear plate. the officer can pull you over to question you on the missing plate. this is so they are sure that you don't split the plates and put them on two cars or that the plate isn't stolen. They can pull you over for this and ask for your license and registration. Be polite and provide them with what they ask for. It doesn't pay to do otherwise. By the way, whenever they pull you over for anything they are always looking to find something else. That's what police do. They constantly look for crimes that are being committed.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 5/17/2012
DeVito & Visconti, PA
DeVito & Visconti, PA | John E DeVito
According to Massachusetts General Laws chap 90 sec 6 you must display number plates provided by the RMV on your motor vehicle. If you were issued one plate it goes on the rear of the vehicle. If you were issued two plates one must be displayed ont he front; the other on the rear.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 5/16/2012
Germaine & Blaszka, P.A.
Germaine & Blaszka, P.A. | Donald L. Blaszka, Jr.
In NH, you are generally required to have a front and rear license plate on your vehicle. If you live in and register your vehicle in NH, then you must have a front license plate. The police can lawfully stop you for failing to have a front license plate on your vehicle.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 5/15/2012
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