What is the right way to display a motorcycle license plate in Florida? Trooper Steve explains

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

Trooper Steve was asked by News 6 viewer Robert, “Is it illegal to turn your license plate and vertical instead of horizontal on the back of a motorcycle?”

Montiero admits this is a bit of a difficult question to answer.

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“Over the last several years this law has gone through a complete overhaul,” Montiero said. “From words being put in, to words being taken out of the statue — it takes a little bit of digging to figure out if this is OK.”

Trooper Steve points out that some of the changes to the wording of the law have added to the confusion.

“There was a time when it was specifically written in law that a license plate must be read from left to right. There was even a time when it said that a driver would be required to have a toll transponder mounted on their motorcycle if they want to have a vertical license plate,” he said.

Despite that, Montiero said the law now is more straightforward, allowing for the license to be displayed vertically or horizontally.

“The law simply states a rider is responsible for all tolls that are received and required to pay for those tolls,” he said. “The obvious still applies a license plate must be clearly visible. Too often on motorcycles, we will see that license plate tucked away underneath the seat or folded to the side. These types of actions on your license plate would be illegal.”

About the Authors:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.