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Can't block license plate tags

I have just made one of those vanity license plate holders for my wife. It has the names of the grandkids on it, so it’s likely something she’d really appreciate for Christmas. When I asked the guy who made it if it was legal to have on her car, he said yes. But looking at it and holding it up to the license plate, I could tell that it will block out the two tags on the bottom of the plate. Is it legal to use in Oregon?

— David, Medford

Well, David, it turns out you probably needed to ask that question to someone without a few bucks to make on the answer before you got that vanity plate holder made.

License plate holders that block clear view of the month and date of registration are against the law in Oregon.

“What a lot of folks don’t realize is that while it is legal to buy, you can’t legally use them,” says Mike Moran, spokesman for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

“Most of them do cover up the tags, but you can’t obstruct vision of them,” Moran says.

That’s even true for see-through plate holders, Moran says, because they could get coated in mud or other debris that would make them unreadable.

So perhaps you’ll need to honor your grandkids with a sticker on the back window or bumper, David. Gotta show those grandkids that following the law is important.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.