Are Anti-Statehood License Covers Illegal?
Have you seen this car? Earlier today, Capitol Hill resident Jay Goodman Tamboli snapped a photo of this BMW parked on 4th Street SE between East Capitol and A streets and sent it out via Twitter. Take a closer look at the license plate. See the cover? It reads "DC's Not a State, Get Over It."And it completely covers up the "Taxation Without Representation" message on the plate in the process. A pretty bold declaration in a city that's been yearning for voting rights for years and years and years, eh?
We've heard there may be more such license plate covers on Capitol Hill, including what's been described as a Ford Excursion with Alaska plates. Does anyone have additional info? We'd love to hear from you.
So is such a license plate cover illegal? There are D.C. regulations on the books that dictate that license plates "shall be maintained free from foreign materials and in clearly legible condition." Five years ago, D.C. police started to enforce a law making license plate covers illegal. A cottage industry had sprang up selling tinted and clear plastic covers that could evade traffic enforcement cameras.
But are the anti-D.C. statehood covers—which only obscure the iconic protest message on D.C. plates, not the tag number itself—out of step with D.C. law? We have an inquiry in with the city and will report back when more information becomes available.