Does anyone know why we actually need a front plate?

I've kind of always wondered this. Even as a kid. I've always been strangely fascinated with useless knowledge, and I'd say this fits that bill perfectly. As long as I've lived here we've always had them front and back, and yet there are plenty of states who don't require them at all. I was quite surprised to see that list split fairly evenly. Although, that same site claims we don't need front plates in Maine. Go figure.

But I scoured the internet looking for the definitive answer. And you never have to look much further than Maine's website. But I did come across some legislation that was introduced about repealing the need for a front plate. And why not? I'm assuming they're to make a vehicle more identifiable. But they're otherwise pointless, right?

So do we actually legally need it?

Short answer: yes. The state makes it pretty plain and simple. It says this right on the website:

Only one set of Maine registration plates may be displayed on one vehicle. A registration plate must be attached to the front and the rear of each vehicle except as follows.


Now, as a person on Reddit just recently pointed out, I've seen literally tons of cars with a Maine plate on the back, and some kind of after-market decorative plate, or no plate at all. I'm not sure if just no one cares, but it's definitely an odd choice. Why invite being pulled over? I'm not inclined to do anything wrong, but why advertise being illegal?

Nothing ever became of the legislation introduced back in 2018 to get rid of front plates. My guess is that state legislators probably felt they had bigger fish to fry. But I still think it's a bit odd to have them. Or maybe it's even more odd that I care?

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