Front license plates for New Mexico vehicles proposed in Santa Fe | KOB 4

Front license plates for New Mexico vehicles proposed in Santa Fe

Kai Porter
February 09, 2018 05:42 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. – New Mexicans could soon be paying more to register their vehicle if lawmakers pass House Bill 158 in the tail end of this year's legislative session.


The piece of legislation would require a front license plate on vehicles in New Mexico, which is currently one of 19 states that doesn't. The change would tack on an extra $2 when registering cars or renewing that registration.

“Other states – Colorado, Nevada – they both require front-and-back plates. Why not New Mexico? An extra two bucks? No biggie,” said Chris Pacheco, who KOB found installing a new license plate in the Santa Fe MVD parking lot.

The motivation behind the bill: Making it easier for police to identify vehicles involved in crimes.

“For law enforcement purposes it would be good,” Pacheco said.

But other drivers, like Doris Pecos, don’t like the idea of an additional fee at the MVD.

“It would be good to have it in the front without the two bucks,” she said.

The Albuquerque Police Department isn’t taking a position on the bill, but Officer Simon Drobik says a front plate could also help officers find stolen vehicles.

“Just when it comes to stolen vehicles, if the car’s backed in, it takes that extra step to figure out who that car belongs to. I know some border issues, some vehicles going through the border – they made not be able to read a rear license plate," Drobik said. "With that front plate, they could."

The bill has already passed on committee in the House and has one more committee to go before it’s up for a vote on the floor.

If the bill passes and is signed into law, it’ll take effect in July.


Kai Porter

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