Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Switched Tags: Taking the License plate off one car and putting it on another...NOT A GOOD IDEA!

Switched Tags:  Taking the license plate off one car and putting it on another car.  People contact our office often with this problem.  Here are the usual scenarios.

1.  I bought a used car and didn't have the money for sales tax so I took the plates off my old car and put them on the new car.

2.  I have two cars and one has current registration the other does not, the one with current registration broke down so I took the plates off it and put it on the other car.

3.  I have a lien on my car and can't get it registered in my name so I put my other plates on the new car.

4.  I just bought this car and it had plates on it so I just drove it.

5.  My friend gave me his plates to put on my car.

Now you have gotten pulled over and ticketed for the switched license plate.  You want to know how much trouble you’re in and what it is going to cost you to get out of it.  Before I get to the law , let me tell you right now if you are thinking of putting false license plates on your car DON'T! This can lead to all kinds of problems for you.  Not only are you looking at a fine and a misdemeanor charge, but it could get worse.  If the license plates are stolen or reported stolen you could be charged with theft or possession of stolen property.

If you have been ticketed for switched tags or false license plate here is the law. (This is not the complete statute, it is to long for a blog post, I included the probable relevant part)  Please see the highlighted section to determine the possible fine amount and charge.

8-142: Unlawful acts. It shall be unlawful for any person to commit any of the following acts and except as otherwise provided, violation is subject to penalties provided in K.S.A. 8-149, and amendments thereto:
      First: To operate, or for the owner thereof knowingly to permit the operation, upon a highway of any vehicle, as defined in K.S.A. 8-126, and amendments thereto, which is not registered, or for which a certificate of title has not been issued or which does not have attached thereto and displayed thereon the license plate or plates assigned thereto by the division for the current registration year, including any registration decal required to be affixed to any such license plate pursuant to K.S.A. 8-134, and amendments thereto, subject to the exemptions allowed in K.S.A. 8-135, 8-198 and 8-1751a, and amendments thereto. A violation of this First by a person unlawfully claiming that a motor vehicle is exempt from registration as a self-propelled crane under subsection (b) of K.S.A. 8-128, and amendments thereto, shall constitute an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $500.
      Second: To display or cause or permit to be displayed, or to have in possession, any registration receipt, certificate of title, registration license plate, registration decal, accessible parking placard or accessible parking identification card knowing the same to be fictitious or to have been canceled, revoked, suspended or altered. A violation of this part Second shall constitute an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 and forfeiture of the item. A mandatory court appearance shall be required of any person violating this part Second. This part Second shall not apply to the possession of: (a) Model year license plates displayed on antique vehicles as allowed under K.S.A. 8-172, and amendments thereto; or (b) distinctive license plates allowed under K.S.A. 8-1,147, and amendments thereto.


  1. You would think it's obvious you shouldn't do this - I mean, the plates are kind of, you know, registered for that specific car.

    "I'll just put these plates that are specifically for one car onto another car... what could go wrong?"

    People, I tell ya...

  2. Question what should I do? A friend took my license plate off my car and put it on his car which was the same car as mine only they were different year makes however the car my plate was put on was primed to be painted so when hewas pulled over with my plate the car registration was bringing up his sister's name while the plate was bringing up my name the officer must have been confused about what was going on in this situation the officer then told my friend the car was no longer his sister's car that it was now mine the officer then got the car towed and pulled the plate off and kept it he proceeded to write my friend two tickets but not for switched plates only for driving without insurance he also gave my friend another ticket with my name on it as well for not having insurance on this ticket it states we must provide proof of insurance at the time he was pulled over or we will have to pay fines at the dmv is this even legal for the officer to have handled the situation the way he did putting my name as the owner of the car when clearly the registration along with the vin numbers was not adding up to anything registered to me the switched plate was the only thing that brought up my name so to me it is obvious the plates were switched also what steps should I take to clear my name and avoid having to pay fines and having this on my driving record

  3. In general, I think that the purchase of an old car should be approached with extreme caution, because if you look bad at a car this can lead to big expenses for its repair. Personally, I first check the car by VIN number https://vincarhistory.com/license-plate-lookup and only then make a decision.

  4. what is the penalty for using another cars registration on your other car which is same year color model no difference in them accept vin and you have the legal titles for both one title is listed as inactive but has only 60,000 miles like new ,other one wore out. state marked beautiful car as inactive now having a hard time straightening out the title costly mistake on the states part .