“As I drive around town, I’ve noticed that there seems to be a growing number of vehicles that have very faded Vermont license plates. They are so faded that you can’t possibly read them. They seem to be more recent plates. The one I’ve had on my car for 15 years is still bright and readable. Are these plates made of some material that fades rather quickly in the sun maybe?
I just wondered if this is a problem for the police, who I would think would have considerable difficulty reading the plates. And would these drivers be able to get a newer copy of the same plate somehow?”
Regarding license plates, Vermont law section 511 of Chapter 7, Title 23 requires that, among other things, “The number plates shall be kept entirely unobscured, the numerals and the letters thereon shall be plainly legible at all times.”
The State of Vermont owns all license plates, and loans them (or rents them, if you like) out to us to use. However, it is the vehicle owner’s responsibility to insure they comply with the above law. If a license plate is faded to the point that it is illegible, a replacement should be obtained from the VT DMV for $10.00. The link below will take you to a form to do that.
I do not know exactly what license plates and their paint are composed of. A call to the DMV might get an accurate answer. It has been my experience that vehicles regularly driven on dirt roads often fade faster. I have never heard of the sun doing it. Does anyone else have any anecdotal evidence of a reason for quickly faded plates?
If you have a question for the Brattleboro Police Ask a Cop, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Ask-a-Cop” in the subject line.