US and Canada State and Province License Plate requirements.

Honda Ridgeline with Green License Plate in Florida

Does your State or Province require that you mount an issued DMV License Plate to the Front of your vehicle?


These US States require a Front and Rear DMV License Plates:

Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming,


These US States only require a Rear DMV License Plate:
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia,


These Canada Provinces require a Front and Rear Issued License Plate

British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan


These Canada Provinces only require a Rear Issued License Plate

Alberta, Quebec, Northwest Territories, Prince Edward Island, Yukon Territory


15 responses to “US and Canada State and Province License Plate requirements.

  • Michael Rose

    My vehicle is registered in CT, so clearly it has to have front and rear license plates while being driven in that state. But I’m now using it in Mexico, where the police can effectively prevent you driving a vehicle by removing the plates. As a precaution, do you think I could remove the front plate myself for safekeeping reasons and still be street legal?

  • earthrehab

    If the State in Mexico requires that you have a front license plate on your vehicle I would leave it on.
    If the State in Mexico does not require having a front license plate displayed you would not get pulled over for not displaying a plate as per your US State requirements.
    If you drove your car in Florida,where we clearly do not require a Front Plate, you would not be pulled over in Florida for not displaying a Connecticut license plate mounted on the Front.
    Florida does not enforce Connecticuts State DOT laws.
    When it come to Police removing your plates so that you cannot operate the vehicle legelly, in Florida your plates get confiscated for DWLS, and DUI infractions.
    The police can confiscate your plates in all of our United States for such infractions.
    The priveledge to drive is a priveledge.

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  • Bob

    Nova Scotia does not require a front plate.

  • Manu Dasa

    🙂 We got pulled over in Mexico City last December by a police man who insisted that in Mexico we “HAVE TO HAVE FRONT LICENSE PLATES” it is the law there. Otherwise we get pulled over and fined an infraction for not complying with the law.

    So unfortunately, our vehicle is registered in North Carolina and the DMV there says they do not and will not issue duplicate license plates (for mounting on the front when we drive in Mexico.)

    Any suggestions? There’s got to be a way to get a front license plate to drive in Mexico with a US vehicle, if you (like me) live in a state that won’t issue duplicates…


  • drupy

    the cops in Mexico want bribes. Put any licence plate in front if this is what they want. You can find lots of plates in the junk yard.


    Thanks much for post. It’s very good read.
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  • Kathleen

    I purchased my vehicle from an authorized dealership in Calif in 2006. The vehicle has only a rear bumper licence holder. The dealership indicated that it was not a requirement to display a front plate. Today I was stopped for not displaying a front plate.

  • Isaac

    Is it illegal to have an unlit rear license plate on a motorcycle in British Columbia?

  • Applefish

    A front license plate is not required in Saskatchewan. The law changed about 7 years ago…

  • DAA

    To clarify, a front plate has not been required in Saskatchewan since July 1, 2004. Of course, it’s your choice whether or not to remove it from your vehicle…

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  • Nigel

    A front license plate has not been required in Nova Scotia for a long while now.

  • G.P.Venkateswaran

    I have Ontario car licence plates. I will be staying in Alabama for 1 year. Do I need to have an Alabama car licence plates? Do I need to have an Alabama driver’s licence? My Ontario car insurance will be valid for 6 months. Do I need to have Alabama car insurance for the entire 1 year?

    Thank you.
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  • Tyler Edmondson

    It should be noted most all states have a collector vehicle plate which generally does not require a front plate.



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