There are a ton of rules you need to follow when it comes to driving in New York.  You need to make sure that both the driver and the vehicle are ready for the road.

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When it comes to driving in New York, one of the biggest "Oh no!" moments comes when you suddenly drive up on a roadblock where they're checking registrations and inspections.  You suddenly start to think, "When is the last time I had that taken care of?  Is it all up to date?"  And it stinks when it isn't.  Those two little things can add up some fines and some major inconveniences if they aren't up to date.

Something else that you probably don't think about is your license plates.  When you register your car in New York, they give you two plates.  There is one for the front of the vehicle, and one for the back.

Do you need both plates on the car at the same time?

This one is a resounding yes!  In New York State the law states that you must have a plate on the front and one on the back.

Do they have to be attached to the car?

Often, people try to get away with just putting one on the front and the other in the back window, or vice versa, they attach one to the back and put the other on the front dash.  The law says that you can get a fine for that.  Not only do they have to be attached, but they have to be unobstructed and illuminated so they can be seen at night also.

How much is the fine if I don't have them both on the car?

According to, "If a person is caught driving without a license plate in New York he or she will be charged $200 + $93 surcharge with no points added to his or her license."

What if I'm driving someone else's car?  Do THEY get the ticket?  Or do I?

Unfortunately, if you are the one driving the car, you are the one who will end up being responsible for the ticket.

Where can I read more?

Click here for the consolidated version of New York Traffic Law Section 402.

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