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  1. #1
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    Front License Plate Question

    Anyone here going without the front plate? Dallas in particular, but throughout Texas, too?

    Picked up my plates at the dealer today and they weren't even going to say anything until I brought it up, and then they said its not a problem, just about no one with a Z4 puts the front plates on.

    I'm curious if that's true, or if they were just getting rid of me since they actually have to drill holes to put the front plates on. I suppose people don't get tickets for it unless they get stopped for something else, and even then its just a fix-it ticket.


    2003 2.5 Black/Beige/Beige, Con/Prem/Sport, SMG, Xenon, Prem Sound


  2. #2
    vnc
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    Yes | No

    Dallas is probably ok ...

    Most folks report running for years there (Dallas) without a front plate and never getting stopped. However, the smaller towns, especially in Central and West Texas will stop you and give you a warning ticket (no big deal as long as you are nice to them and don't get caught there again).

    vc

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    I\'d go for it if you\'re in Dallas...

    The cops around here don't seem to care about anything. I made it a condition of purchasing my car that they couldn't drill...if I picked it up and it had holes, they'd have to replace the entire bumper. Fingers crossed, but no issues yet and without a doubt I think it's worth taking a chance.







    2003 BMW 540i 6-speed ~ Sterling Gray/Black
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  4. #4
    Rusty
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    Yes | No

    Can\'t say I\'ve really looked at a Z4 close enough

    to have noticed whether or not it has holes already for a license plate frame, but it would be surprising if it didn't already have them. Are you sure there aren't already plugs there for a frame?

    Anyway, back to your question, it is illegal in Texas not to sport a front plate, but I think it's safe to say that it isn't generally enforced. Fwiw, I don't use mine either. As I understand it, they won't pull you over for not having one, but, if you're pulled over for another infraction, don't be the surprised if they add the infraction at that point.

    That said, there was a a report just last week or the week before on the local ABC or NBC stations that said that police may start more actively writing tickets for not having a front plate. It talked about how many states do and don't require one. The message I got from the story was that Texas police departments lobby hard and fast to keep the requirement on the books, and evidently, there is also a push by police departments to start becoming more active in writing tickets for not using one. I guess we'll have to wait and see. I just hope I don't get one, because the fine can be up to $200.

    Rusty
    '00 ///M in Cosmos

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    No front plate in Houston for years.

    Puleld over twice (other stuff caused the stop).

    Once a ticket, once a verbal warning. Ticket dismissed when I told the judge I put it on. (I did put it on just long enough to take a picture.)


    Giray (hubby_lubby) and Medusa (750iL)
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  6. #6
    vnc
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    If you install it, a frame might be illegal.

    There is a new Texas law which limits the size of license plate frames. I haven't read the text of the law, but our local police department is already threatening to issue citations if any number, letter, or logo on the plate is even partially covered by a frame. The example pictures they posted in our local newspaper of illegal frames were just typical dealer frames. They were illegal because the frame touched either the "Texas" lettering on the top or "The Lone Star State" lettering on the bottom.

    vc

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    Thanks for the help...

    ...I'll take my chances and see how it goes.

    Also, I did a search and found that the Texas Comptroller is recommending going to a one plate system to save money. Not sure how old the proposal is or if its been shot down yet. They claim that 20 states have one plate and don't have a significant impact on crime/witnesses/police/etc. Ironically, all the states surrounding Texas only require one plate. So, I guess we should all write our Texas congress people and get them to vote it in. See the link if you're curious.

    2003 2.5 Black/Beige/Beige, Con/Prem/Sport, SMG, Xenon, Prem Sound

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    Re: Can\'t say I\'ve really looked at a Z4 close enough

    I had looked yesterday and I'm pretty sure their weren't any holes, plugs, or dimples. Though I forgot to double check when I drove it today.

    Earlier today I went with a friend to pick up his new Mini Cooper S and same thing with the front plate. The car doesn't have the front plate attached already, though it does have two dimples, not holes, to act as screw (drill bit?) guides when installing it. Interestingly enough, the Cooper, but not the Cooper S, comes with a bumper that has a molded space for the front license plate and the dealer put a paper plate with their name in it.

    In some of the messags I found on the Z4 board, people in California were saying its a $10 fix it ticket or a $100 fine. Hopefully its the same thing here and we can either give in and attach it or pay the $200. If I put mine on, its supposed to cover the bumper and part of the grills, too. Maybe I'll see if I can attach it to the grills in a way that it will be firmly attached and won't damage anything.


    2003 2.5 Black/Beige/Beige, Con/Prem/Sport, SMG, Xenon, Prem Sound

  9. #9
    glaws
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    I have had none in the D/FW area for two years and

    have had no problems.

  10. #10
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    This is the question I have for the police

    What if my plates don't say "The Lone Star State" on the bottom?

  11. #11
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    Re: Front License Plate Question

    I have never had a front plate on any of my cars since 1996 and it has not been a problem. The last time I was pulled over, I was in someone else's car so I can't comment as to if the trooper noticed. His IQ seemed sub-normal anyway. Here in Lubbock the BMW dealer does not deliver any cars with front license plates. They usually install the trim piece on the front that eliminates the front plate. The next time I am there and waiting for service, I will see if I can find a cool salesperson standing around and ask him about the lack of front plates. In regards to the license plate law, people around here don't seem to know about it. The dealer still installs their dealer frames on the new cars.

    I do know that in Fort Worth Autobahn BMW has asked the owners of cars with their frames on them to remove the frames, and they remove them from all cars coming in for service. Moritz is still putting them on. I do not know about the Dallas dealers. The accessory frames from the dealer parts department do not cover or even touch the Texas lettering, so they are a viable option. However, I feel that it is ironic if having a license frame is a more serious offense than no front plate. Maybe we need to get some new representatives in office.

  12. #12
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    Park Place is also removing frames...

    I have a personal frame that barely covers a tiny bit of 'Texas' on the 'State of the Arts' plate, and Autobahn was nice enough to let me know that I could be ticketed for it. That frame and my clean, plate-free front bumper will stay that way as long as possible.





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  13. #13
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    Since when???

    3 of 4 Park Place serviced cars in my family have been to Dallas MB shop for service within the past 4 weeks and all 3 came back with frame in place. I had already removed the frame from the 4th (ML320) b/c it was rattling really bad.

  14. #14
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    Interesting...

    My friend had his taken off (E320) recently, as did another co-worker. I think it's fine on the top but covers up part of the bottom (?). Their frames look fine, but that hideous 'plaque' they put on the trunklid of each car is hideous. I had to borrow that same friend's E320 one afternoon and took some dental floss and a hairdryer to that sucker without even asking...





    2003 BMW 540i 6-speed ~ Sterling Gray/Black
    Dallas, Texas (grew up in Laguna Beach, Ca.)
    M5 Bumpers w/Style-37 18" M-Parallel Wheels
    Digital Sound ~ Sunshades ~ 30% Window Tint
    Dinan Stage I Performance Engine Software
    Eisenmann Exhaust ~ Hardwired Valentine 1 Radar
    CDVectomy ~ UUC Short Shifter ~ M5 Rear Sway Bar

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  15. #15
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    Re: Interesting...

    I hate the "belt buckles" that they put on the cars. Only 2 of the 4 have it since I called and told our salesman we would not take delivery if it had pinstripes or belt buckles. They screwed up on the ML and put both on anyways and my sister took it without noticing. The 4th was purchased used and already had all the awful stuff on it. I've considered removing them, but I gave up trying to "care" for my sister's cars a long time ago...it's an uphill battle with her and my brother-in-law and I've given up. I'm beginning to think we have different parents :)

  16. #16
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    About those pinstripes...

    Don't they realize it was all the rage in 1983, not 2003? My car and most from Autobahn come with pinstripes, and I finally had them removed from mine a few weeks ago. Not tape pinstripes, but hand-painted. What a waste of the dealer's money! A co-worker with a Park Place-sold ML has a pinstripe with "ML500" written into it at one point! He's a pretty classy guy and I absolutely cannot believe he accepted the car with that on there, but I'm not a big enough jerk to bring up the topic and risk embarassing him. It's REALLY horrible.





    2003 BMW 540i 6-speed ~ Sterling Gray/Black
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  17. #17
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    Hmmm...

    I've never had that problem with Autobahn, but they don't automatically pinstripe M-cars and that's all I've purchased from them since they purchased the franchise in 1992. Park Place make ready dept just pinstripes everything (painted)!!! I was very lucky that my salesman did something to let them know NOT to pinstripe my CLK55.

  18. #18
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    Houston here...no problems with either of my cars



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  19. #19
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    Just saw a Park Place plate frame...

    It covers up half of 'Texas'. What a stupid law.





    2003 BMW 540i 6-speed ~ Sterling Gray/Black
    Dallas, Texas (grew up in Laguna Beach, Ca.)
    M5 Bumpers w/Style-37 18" M-Parallel Wheels
    Digital Sound ~ Sunshades ~ 30% Window Tint
    Dinan Stage I Performance Engine Software
    Eisenmann Exhaust ~ Hardwired Valentine 1 Radar
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    2001 BMW 530i Steptronic
    2002 Jaguar X-Type 3.0 5-speed
    1997 Mercedes-Benz SL500 AMG Sport
    1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited V8 4x4
    2000 BMW 328Ci 5-speed
    1993 Mercedes-Benz 400E
    1987 BMW 325 5-speed coupe (first car, sparked the Roundel fever)

  20. #20
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    Re: Just saw a Park Place plate frame...

    That is my whole thing with the law. It is easy enough to tell if the plates are from Texas unless you have a low IQ. Personally I like the frames from Autobahn and Park Place - they are just plain black and white metal. I have one from Alderson in Lubbock, black/white/metal just like the Autobahn frames.

    I originally purchased my M3 from Autobahn and it has the hand painted stripes, but I like them fine.

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