Section 4503.21 | Display of license plates and validation stickers or temporary license placard or windshield sticker.
(A)(1) No person who is the owner or operator of a motor vehicle shall fail to display in plain view on the front and rear of the motor vehicle a license plate that bears the distinctive number and registration mark assigned to the motor vehicle by the director of public safety, including any county identification sticker and any validation sticker issued under sections 4503.19 and 4503.191 of the Revised Code, except as follows:
(a) A manufacturer of motor vehicles or dealer therein, the holder of an in transit permit, and the owner or operator of a motorcycle, motorized bicycle or moped, motor-driven cycle or motor scooter, autocycle, cab-enclosed motorcycle, manufactured home, mobile home, trailer, or semitrailer shall display a license plate on the rear only.
(b) A motor vehicle that is issued two license plates shall display the validation sticker only on the rear license plate, except that a commercial tractor that does not receive an apportioned license plate under the international registration plan shall display the validation sticker on the front of the commercial tractor.
(c) An apportioned vehicle receiving an apportioned license plate under the international registration plan shall display the license plate only on the front of a commercial tractor and on the rear of all other vehicles.
(2) All license plates shall be securely fastened so as not to swing, and shall not be covered by any material that obstructs their visibility.
(3) No person to whom a temporary license placard or windshield sticker has been issued for the use of a motor vehicle under section 4503.182 of the Revised Code, and no operator of that motor vehicle, shall fail to display the temporary license placard in plain view from the rear of the vehicle either in the rear window or on an external rear surface of the motor vehicle, or fail to display the windshield sticker in plain view on the rear window of the motor vehicle. No temporary license placard or windshield sticker shall be covered by any material that obstructs its visibility.
(B) A law enforcement officer shall only issue a ticket, citation, or summons, or cause the arrest or commence a prosecution, for the failure to display a license plate in plain view on the front of a parked motor vehicle if the officer first determines that another offense has occurred and either places the operator or vehicle owner under arrest or issues a ticket, citation, or summons to the operator or vehicle owner for the other offense.
(C)(1) Except as provided in division (C)(2) of this section, whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.
(2) Whoever violates division (A) of this section by failing to display a license plate in plain view on the front of a motor vehicle as required under division (A) of this section while the motor vehicle is otherwise legally parked is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and may be fined not more than one hundred dollars.
A person who is subject to the penalty prescribed in division (C)(2) of this section is not subject to the charging of points under section 4510.036 of the Revised Code.
(3) The offense established under division (A) of this section is a strict liability offense and section 2901.20 of the Revised Code does not apply. The designation of this offense as a strict liability offense shall not be construed to imply that any other offense, for which there is no specified degree of culpability, is not a strict liability offense.
Available Versions of this Section
- January 1, 2004 – Senate Bill 123 - 124th General Assembly [ View January 1, 2004 Version ]
- July 1, 2015 – House Bill 53 - 131st General Assembly [ View July 1, 2015 Version ]
- September 14, 2016 – Amended by House Bill 429 - 131st General Assembly [ View September 14, 2016 Version ]
- January 1, 2017 – Amended by House Bill 429 - 131st General Assembly [ View January 1, 2017 Version ]
- June 30, 2017 – Amended by House Bill 26 - 132nd General Assembly [ View June 30, 2017 Version ]
- July 1, 2020 – Amended by House Bill 62 - 133rd General Assembly [ View July 1, 2020 Version ]
- June 30, 2021 – Amended by House Bill 74 - 134th General Assembly [ View June 30, 2021 Version ]