Whenever you drive, there's a chance that you could get pulled over for any number of reasons. Until recently, I thought I was the only one who's ever been ticketed for this. Apparently, I'm not alone.

Today I was reading a story from NJ Advance about how nearly 120,000 people were ticketed last year because of their license plate was obstructed. According to the law, the 'New Jersey' and 'Garden State' may not be obstructed by a license plate frame. If it is you could be ticketed. Think it doesn't happen? It happened to me.

About three years ago I was traveling down 34 and had to take part in a checkpoint. I nicely gave the officer my license and documents, he verified that I was not impaired and took a look at my car. Knowing that I was sober and that my license, registration, and insurance were valid, I thought I was good. Turns out I was wrong. The officer handed me back everything, including a $47 summons.

He said that my back license plate was obstructed and that I needed to take care of it right away. This wasn't an "I'm giving you a lesser ticket" deal. I hadn't done anything wrong. I was polite and cooperative the entire time.

Obviously furious, I took a picture of my back plate as soon as I got home.

Matt Ryan, Townsquare Media
Matt Ryan, Townsquare Media

You'll notice the top of New Jersey and the bottom of Garden State are just barely "obstructed." But, that's all it took. Needless to say, I took the dealer frames off immediately and begrudgingly paid the fine.

If you have special license plate frames, even the ones that came from the dealer, check that they don't cover any words. I'm living proof that you can and will get a summons.

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