(A) No person shall operate or drive a motor vehicle upon the public roads and highways in this state if it displays a license plate or a distinctive number or identification mark that meets any of the following criteria:
(1) Is fictitious;
(2) Is a counterfeit or an unlawfully made copy of any distinctive number or identification mark;
(3) Belongs to another motor vehicle, provided that this section does not apply to a motor vehicle that is operated on the public roads and highways in this state when the motor vehicle displays license plates that originally were issued for a motor vehicle that previously was owned by the same person who owns the motor vehicle that is operated on the public roads and highways in this state, during the thirty-day period described in division (A)(4) of section 4503.12 of the Revised Code.
(B) A person who fails to comply with the transfer of registration provisions of section 4503.12 of the Revised Code and is charged with a violation of that section shall not be charged with a violation of this section.
(C) Whoever violates division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section is guilty of operating a motor vehicle bearing an invalid license plate or identification mark, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on a first offense and a misdemeanor of the third degree on each subsequent offense.
Effective Date: 01-01-2004 .