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STUCK ON YOU: Improperly-displayed plate stickers a notable problem in central Oklahoma

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
The driver of this car incorrectly placed the "2019" year decal over the spot meant for the month expiration decal, making this car vulnerable to being ticketed for improper display.
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OKLAHOMA CITY --  In the state of Oklahoma, most motor vehicles are issued and expected to be firmly affixed to the rear of the vehicle.

But here in the Sooner State there is a growing problem – particularly since the issuance of the scissor-tailed flycatcher “Explore Oklahoma” plate, and it’s a puzzling one.

Going back to at least the early 1980’s, Oklahoma license plates required the month and year stickers to be placed in the top left and right corners of the plate. The month always was placed in the left top corner and the year in the top right corner.

However, when the new plates were first issued in 2017 and featured an-already printed “2018” expiration in the right corner, many motorists inexplicably chose to place the sticker over the month sticker, thereby covering up the required month sticker.

Red Dirt Report spoke with a deputy with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office and pointed out an automobile where a “2019” year expiration sticker had been placed over the month, leaving the black-printed “2018” spot still uncovered.

“That person could be pulled over for improper display of their license plate” by covering up the month sticker with a year sticker, we were told.

Talking to an Oklahoma City tag agent about this issue, the agent – “Catherine” – told Red Dirt Report that it had become a real problem, at least locally. The tag agent said she recently spoke to a motorist outside the tag agency who was about to place the year sticker over the month sticker and stopped her before she did so. The confused motorist complained that “no one ever told me that,” even though Oklahoma license plates have required this particular display of month and year decals for decades and it is clearly indicated on the plate itself.

However, speaking with Paula Ross, spokesperson at the Oklahoma Tax Commission, which is in charge of the titling and registering of motor vehicles, told Red Dirt Report that they had not received complaints that she was aware of.

“It’s not a big problem,” Ross said, adding, “We simply administer the tax laws.”


According to Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 1115.1,  the law requires a state license plate to be clearly visible and with current registration decals (stickers) affixed in the appropriate location. And while initial penalties may be minor, if the problem is not addressed, police may seize a vehicle for up to 90 days “after the expiration of the annual registration and may keep the car in storage until you can showproof of current license and registration and that all fees have been paid, including the fees for towing and storage of the car," according to the Seventh Street Tulsa Law Firm.

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Andrew W. Griffin

Editor & Owner.

Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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