Not that long ago, I finished paying off my car.  It is nice to not have a car payment anymore.  I also went through the process of officially getting Missouri license plates.  I had remembered that when I was a resident of Missouri in 2013-2018, that one perk was I could get them for two years instead of needing a renewal every year.

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When I received my plates from Missouri, I received two plates.  I was living in Indiana before I came back to Missouri, and when I got plates from them, I was only given one.  In all of my years living in Illinois, we always had front and rear license plates. So it got me to thinking...do I HAVE to have two plates of my vehicle in Missouri or Illinois?

Most Vehicles In Missouri & Illinois Need A Front License Plate

According to the state laws, if your vehicle is registered in Missouri or Illinois and you are issued two plates at the time of registration, you are required to display two license plates, one on the front and one on the back.  However, there are some exceptions.

The Missouri Department of Revenue notes that a front plate may not be required for motorcycles, vehicles with a historic year of manufacture registrations, and commercial vehicles registered for 18,000 pounds or above. The Illinois Secrtary of State’s office does not mention any specific exemptions on vehicle registration.

You can click HERE to find out what states do and do not require front plates.  In that link it also gives the pros and cons for having them.

You Can Get A Ticket If You Don't Have A Front Plate

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Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Driving without a front license plate is a primary violation under Missouri law, meaning that a police officer can pull you over simply for failure to display a front plate. Failure to properly display a front license plate carries a $30.50 fine. 

So know that you know, in case you didn't before, you can be prepared going forward.

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