Wrong, Fictitious, Altered, Or Obscured License Plate
(a) A person commits an offense if the person attaches to or displays on a motor vehicle a license plate that:
is issued for a different motor vehicle;
is issued for the vehicle under any other motor vehicle law other than by the department;
is assigned for a registration period other than the registration period in effect;
has blurring or reflective matter that significantly impairs the readability of the name of the state in which the vehicle is registered or the letters or numbers of the license plate number at any time;
has an attached illuminated device or sticker, decal, emblem, or other insignia that is not authorized by law and that interferes with the readability of the letters or numbers of the license plate number or the name of the state in which the vehicle is registered; or
has a coating, covering, protective substance, or other material that:
distorts angular visibility or detectability;
alters or obscures one-half or more of the name of the state in which the vehicle is registered; or
alters or obscures the letters or numbers of the license plate number or the color of the plate.
Except as provided by Subsection (e), an offense under Subsection (a) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $200, unless it is shown at the trial of the offense that the owner knowingly altered or made illegible the letters, numbers, and other identification marks, in which case the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.
Subsection (a)(7) may not be construed to apply to:
a trailer hitch installed on a vehicle in a normal or customary manner;
a transponder, as defined by Section 228.057, that is attached to a vehicle in the manner required by the issuing authority;
a wheelchair lift or wheelchair carrier that is attached to a vehicle in a normal or customary manner;
a trailer being towed by a vehicle; or
a bicycle or motorcycle rack that is attached to a vehicle in a normal or customary manner.
A court may dismiss a charge brought under Subsection (a)(3), (5), (6), or (7) if the defendant:
remedies the defect before the defendant's first court appearance; and
pays an administrative fee not to exceed $10.
An offense under Subsection (a)(4) is a Class B misdemeanor.
Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1296, Sec. 223, eff. January 1, 2012.