MELBOURNE, Florida (October 10, 2011) – Florida has started to crack down wrongly on motorcyclists with vertical mounted license plates. The current Florida statute allows vertical plates to be affixed that can be read top to bottom, however normal horizontally read license plates that are affixed in the vertical position are causing a problem with the law. The issue has caused some motorcyclists to mistakenly receive citations.
Florida Statute 316.2085(3) currently reads in part that “the license tag of a motorcycle or moped may be affixed horizontally to the ground so that the numbers and letters read from left to right. Alternatively, a license tag for a motorcycle or moped for which the numbers and letters read from top to bottom may be affixed perpendicularly to the ground….”
“According to the Legislative Administrator at the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Department, the proper vertical mount means turning the license plate clockwise so that the numbers and letters are read from top to bottom,” said attorney Brad Sinclair from Sinclair Law Offices. Therefore, “if you turn your plate counter clockwise so the numbers and letters are read from bottom to top it is illegal and you will most likely get a fine.”
Unfortunately, the confusion regarding “top to bottom” has led to some local police agencies issuing citations to motorcyclists. Some agencies believe that the plate has to be printed with vertical numbers and letters. However, this is not an option since Florida does not produce such a plate. In Sinclair’s discussions with the Legislative Administrator at the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Department, he has indicated that the intent of the statute was to allow a plate to be turned clockwise to meet the “top to bottom” requirement. Therefore, Sinclair Law hopes to see some clarity on the “top to bottom” issue as well as how this statute applies to motorcycles from out of state. To find out more, please visit www.sinclairlaw.com.
Sinclair Law Offices