Monday, November 30, 2009

Bye Bye Bye ... License Plate Frames

Craig and I both used to have license plate frames on our cars. We each had a string of rainbow cat heads that went along the top.

I say used to because as of tomorrow, December 1, a new law goes into effect that makes these illegal. (The no texting while driving law also goes into effect.)

Now, this isn't an antigay law by any means - it applies to all license plate frames, whether they be from CarMax, support the Steelers, say NASCAR, or sport the stars and bars.

The new state law basically bans license plate frames that cover any part of the word “North Carolina” or any part of the registration stickers on the plates. The highway patrol says this additional change will make it easier to identify law-breakers' license plates.

Marginalized groups, like the LGBT community, often use some kind of tag on their vehicles as expressions of solidarity. This just means there's one less avenue to use. No more 'family car,' rainbow bear paws, string of pink triangles, or 'hate is not a family value,' or at least not on the license plate frames.

Other vehicular expressions, like bumper stickers, static clings, vanity plates, and frames on the front of your vehicle, continue to be legal (and should be used - visibility leads to awareness and education).

(Along those lines, please also consider getting a red ribbon specialty license plate to increase AIDS awareness, especially in light of tomorrow being World Aids Day.)

Initially, violators of the the new license plate frame law will just get a warning, but ultimately there'll be a $100 fine for violations. (It'll be a great money-maker for the state, but not so much for the "framed" driver.)

I loved our rainbow kitties, but not enough to risk getting fined for them.


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