Hearings Underway to Keep Front License Plate Requirement in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--Ohio lawmakers began hearing arguments on Thursday over a bill that would keep the requirement for registered vehicles to have a front license plate.

As it stands now, the requirement will be removed on July 1st. That was included in the state's two-year transportation budget, that was passed and signed this past summer.

Critics and law enforcement agencies argue that the front plate helps solve violent crimes and helps track down missing people.

State Senator Jay Hottinger testified before the Senate Transportation Committee Thursday, citing the case involving OSU student Reagan Tokes, who was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 2017. Hottinger says law enforcement may never have caught her killer, Brian Golsby, without the front license plate, which was used to identify her vehicle in the investigation.

Hottinger noted other cases involving human trafficking, "silver alerts", "AMBER Alerts", and suicide attempts that have been resolved using only the front license plate on the vehicle.

Critics argue that vehicles are not designed for front plates, and require special drilling to hold it. They also say the state is just trying to enhance revenues by keeping the requirement.

None of Ohio's surrounding state require a front license plate on a registered vehicle.

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