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NEW FLORIDA LAW EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2010 ON VERTICAL LICENSE PLATES FOR MOTORCYCLES
(Important Update 7/20/10)

For what should be a simple issue, Florida law pertaining to Vertical License Plates on Motorcycles have thoroughly confused many in the motorcycle community.
We have received numerous inquiries over the past few months concerning this issue and hope to finally clear this up for you.

A little History:
Governor Charlie Crist signed an amended bill (SB 1100) apparently restoring the legality of the use of a vertical tag/vertical license plate for motorcycles and mopeds. The new law went into effect on June 16, 2009.
Prior to the change, Florida Statute 316.2085(3) stated: “The license tag of a motorcycle or moped must be permanently affixed horizontally to the ground and may not be adjusted or capable of being flipped up.”

The new law amended Florida Statute 316.2085(3) to state: “The license tag of a motorcycle or moped must be permanently affixed to the vehicle and may not be adjusted or capable of being flipped up. No device for or method of concealing or obscuring the legibility of the license tag of a motorcycle shall be installed or used.” The language requiring a motorcycle license plate be affixed horizontally was deleted.

Currently there are some law enforcement agencies that are issuing citations for having a Vertical Tag by citing FL Statute 316.605 which states in part: “Vehicle license plates shall be affixed and displayed in such a manner that the letters and numerals shall be read from left to right parallel to the ground.”

As discussed in an earlier Press Release, Senate Bill 2400 was introduced in the most recent legislative session in Tallahassee. At first glance, it looked like this Bill’s intent was to fix the loophole in FL Statute 316.605 as it pertained to Vertical License Plates for motorcycles. The Bill added language that said “Except as provided in FL Statute 316.2085(3).” It finally looked like Vertical License Plates would be legal on motorcycles, until new language was added to the Statute at the request of the Department of Transportation.

Senate Bill 2400 was absorbed by House Bill 971 and was voted on and approved by the House and Senate at the end of the 2010 Session. The Governor signed the bill on June 4, 2010. The New Statute language is as follows:

316.2085(3) Riding on motorcycles or mopeds.—

The license tag of a motorcycle or moped must be permanently affixed to the vehicle and may not be adjusted or capable of being flipped up. No device for or method of concealing or obscuring the legibility of the license tag of a motorcycle shall be installed or used. 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, provided that the registered owner of the motorcycle or moped maintains a prepaid toll account in good standing and a transponder associated with the prepaid toll account is affixed to the motorcycle or moped.

In Simple Terms: You can have a Vertical License Plate on your motorcycle if you have a toll transponder affixed to the motorcycle and a pre-paid toll account in good standing.

Supposedly, the Toll Authority cameras have a problem reading Vertical License Plates. This and other future changes, which we will discuss at another time, prompted the D.O.T. to add language to the Statute.

This new law took effect on September 1, 2010

Sinclair Law Offices specializes in Motorcycle Accidents, Auto Accidents, Truck Accidents and all personal injury all types of Personal Injury. The firm is headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, at 5465 N. Highway 1. Attorney Brad Sinclair is licensed to practice law in Florida since 1984. He can be contacted at 321.253.4200 or toll free at 888.722.1974. Additional information about Sinclair Law Offices may be obtained from the firm’s website at www.sinclairlaw.com