I am a fan of vehicle customization. I've seen some pretty wild details and even license plate frames in Missouri and Illinois over the years. But, did you know there's one thing you can do to your license plate that will get you busted except in Missouri?

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Let's repeat (again) that I'm not a lawyer. I only play one on TV. (Editor's Note: you don't do that either). I saw someone state that it's OK to make a modification to license plates in Missouri, but not other states so I had to investigate. Here's what I've learned.

So what's the big and bad thing you can do that will get you busted everywhere except Missouri?

Answer - License Plate Covers

There's a radar detector website that has a laundry list of what states allow you to have a license plate cover. According to their data, Missouri is on the OK list.

Yes, but...

They add a caveat to the license plate cover question. They say in Missouri "covers may not impair reflective qualities of plate". Say what? Why have a license plate cover if it doesn't cover the plate and protect it? I'm confused.

According to the State Journal-Register, license plate covers became illegal in Illinois back in 2007.

So what's the problem with license plate covers?

One of the reasons they were outlawed in Illinois was because some of the tinted ones made it nearly impossible to read the plates at night. Plus, there were so many variations, it was hard to know which ones were generally OK and which ones weren't.

From my research, I can't find anywhere that says license plate covers are illegal in Missouri as long as they don't cover up vital info on the plate. But, like I said, I'm not a lawyer. Make sure to check regulations yourself if you foresee having a desire for a license plate cover in the future.

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