It’s OK to Drive Around San Francisco with Expired License Plates, As Long as They’re Not California Plates

The SFPD and CHP would be all over you if you cruised the 415 with a rear license plate equipped with tags from 2004.

But, if you have Nevada state plates, then it’s all good.


Click to expand

Or Oregon. Many people love to avoid taxes and parking tickets and other hassles by using license plates from Oregon.

You’ve beaten the system, baby.


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8 Responses to “It’s OK to Drive Around San Francisco with Expired License Plates, As Long as They’re Not California Plates”

  1. deeray says:

    the nevada plate expires in april of 2012

  2. sfcitizen says:

    All right, fair enough.

    But how would CA authorities know about that?

    In CA, stickers only last for one year so it’s easy to see if they are out of date…

    thx for your comment.

  3. deeray says:

    The color designates the year and its hard to see in the picture, but 2012 is written vertically on the side of the sticker. (I had to double check mine. I’ve got NV plates.)

    CA authorities may not know about this… then realize the flub after they pull someone over.

  4. sfcitizen says:

    I got you – I didn’t know that – I’ll take a look on the big version of the photo.

    What’s stopping somebody from getting a car with NV plates and then just driving around CA for eight years? I don’t know. There could be a hassle with insurance but, based on the number of Lambos I see with NV plates, the hassles are worth it to avoid paying the ad volerum tax to DMV every year…

  5. JT says:

    Cops will use almost any excuse to pull you over in CA. I was once ticketed for expired tags & having tinted windows too dark.

  6. Pamela says:

    Really?? – I’ve never had trouble in California driving with cars’ license plates from our neighboring states because I’d gone to LIVE in those states, meaning Oregon and Washington. I even drove for a year and a half with the Washington ones expired all over Northern California and nothing. No getting pulled over, nada. Now, in NEVADA, on the other hand, with that same car, I got pulled over outside of Winnemucca and got an $80 ticket just for the license plates. If they stop you and are asshole enough they will run the license plate number through and they can do that in any state, OF any state. Oh, and recently (2011) I’ve gotten pulled over in Pennsylvania driving with 2010 California license plates and the guy took up like 30 minutes of my time grilling me and running everything through the interstate system; and I’ve gotten $300 worth of tickets in Colorado just for being PARKED with expired California license tags.

    But no, I’ve never had problems in my home state (California)!!

    States that don’t bother you with license plates from another state if those plates are expired seem to be limited to the New England states and New Jersey, and for some reason New Mexico, currently. States are going broke these days so have to step up the “ticket” revenue one way or another…..

  7. Pamela says:

    Here’s a good rule of thumb: you will get harassed more over license plate tags in areas where there seems to be no REAL crime, so the cops have nothing better to do and the jurisdiction has to get their revenue from SOMEWHERE.

  8. Elli says:

    Here’s a novel idea……. why not actually register your car in the state in which you live, pay parking tickets, and obey the law? What a concept!!

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