(625 ILCS 5/12‑610.5) Sec. 12‑610.5. Registration plate covers. (a) In this Section, "registration plate cover" means any tinted, colored, painted, marked, clear, or illuminated object that is designed to: (1) cover any of the characters of a motor vehicle's registration plate; or (2) distort a recorded image of any of the characters of a motor vehicle's registration plate recorded by an automated red light enforcement system as defined in Section 1‑105.5 of this Code or recorded by an automated traffic control system as defined in Section 15 of the Automated Traffic Control Systems in Highway Construction or Maintenance Zones Act. (b) It shall be unlawful to operate any motor vehicle that is equipped with registration plate covers. (c) A person may not sell or offer for sale a registration plate cover. (d) A person may not advertise for the purpose of promoting the sale of registration plate covers. (e) A violation of this Section or a similar provision of a local ordinance shall be an offense against laws and ordinances regulating the movement of traffic. (Source: P.A. 94‑304, eff. 1‑1‑06.)
Why do I bring this up today? Well, gentle readers, I am the proud owner of a $105 ticket because of that law ($75 if I want it to appear on my record as a moving violation).
Apparently they can pull you over for this and only this. My 8 year old clear license plate cover is a little dirty and he called it "tinted." Granted, the law was changed in 2006 to include clear covers--glad that was publicized--and ignorance of the law does not mean I am innocent, but still. Was the cop having a bad day to pull me over for this? Was he ticked off because I was doing the speed limit on the highway--I made sure that when traffic cleared I set the cruise at 55 so that I wouldn't go above it, especially when I saw him tailgating me in traffic--and couldn't get around me? Is it the end of the month and he was running behind on his quota? Oh wait... They "don't have quotas."
Whatever the reason, the guy was a pretty big jerk throughout the whole encounter, and started rattling off a whole bunch of things wrong. He "let me off" with a warning for not having my registration sticker applied (the state got their money, I just didn't put the sticker on--he could see all that in his SCMODS, and on my registration that I handed him). He was "nice enough" to not give me a ticket because I had an insurance card with an expired date on it (mental note: find the current one). He commented that my front plate was missing, but didn't say anything else about that.
I think the biggest thing that ticks me off is the 30 minute waste of time this morning, and the half a day I'm going to have to waste in court or the half a day I'm going to have to waste in traffic school. I should have asked him for a screwdriver to take the stupid piece of plastic off. Meanwhile, people were flying past us at the normal 70mph. Didn't he have anyone better to pull over?