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  • Front License Plate is required on the bumper

    A very nice DPS trooper asked me to pass this to fellow club members as heeding this advice may help them avoid getting a ticket in the future. I believe many police departments have this notice posted and they are enforcing the law, no warnings given.

    Texas drivers must display license plates on the front bumpers of their vehicle, the state's top criminal court ruled Wednesday while upholding the conviction of a man sent to prison for 60 years on a drug charge.

    The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in a split decision Wednesday said it's not good enough to just have a plate displayed somewhere else toward the front of the car or truck, like inside the front windshield.

    The case involves a man pulled over in Lubbock four years ago because his plate was wedged between the dashboard and the windshield. An officer subsequently found Tawin Spence had about a half-pound of cocaine stuffed in his pants.

    Spence appealed, saying his plate clearly was visible, that he shouldn't have been stopped and that the drug evidence used to convict him of possession with intent to deliver cocaine was obtained improperly.

    The ruling resolves conflicting opinions from lower state courts.

    An appeals court in Austin held the Texas Transportation Code didn't require a plate on the front bumper.

    An Amarillo appeals court looked at the code and said the plate must be displayed "where the car begins ... the foremost area of the car."

    The Court of Criminal Appeals, agreeing with the Amarillo court, took that to most commonly mean the front bumper.

    "'Front' means the foremost part or beginning of a vehicle, not in the front half, or in the front portion” Judge Cathy Cochran said in her majority opinion. "This meaning of 'front' as a location is not ambiguous and does not lead to an absurd result.