Renewed effort for bill that would require front end license plates

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – There is a renewed effort to require front end license plates in New Mexico. It’s an effort we see pop up every few years in the Roundhouse, but this time it is gaining bipartisan support.

KOB 4 spoke to one of the new sponsors Tuesday, Majority Floor Leader Gail Chasey.

Chasey says law enforcement agencies across the state are investing in technology that depends on reading license plates, so while a bill to require front plates might not sound like a public safety bill, that’s how sponsors are pitching it this session.

“In 70% of all crimes there is a vehicle involved. So if you double the chance of being able to identify the owner of that vehicle you have gone a long way to apprehending the culprit, and keeping the community safe,” said Chasey. 

House Bill 56 is backed by law enforcement, including the Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff. 

But what does this mean for you? The folks who drive cars without front license plates every day to and from work or school. If HB 56 passes you’d have until 2027 to install a front license plate on your car.

Chasey says on average that would cost $3 to $7 per car. Plus all dealerships would have to start selling cars with the front license plate holder already attached. 

While this bill would mean a big change for a lot of New Mexicans there is a popular group who won’t need to drill holes in the front of their cars.

“We have exempted in the bill any classic cars, so it wouldn’t inconvenience those individuals,” said Chasey. 

Other exemptions include busses, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, and government vehicles.

HB 56 has yet to be heard by any committee. 

Track HB 56 during the legislative session.