Covering your number plate while parked on a public road is technically an offense under Section 43(1) of the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act of 1994. Only a police officer or a regulated [by the police] traffic warden, however, has the authority to issue a fixed penalty notice for such offense. Conviction can lead to a fine of up to $1000 and six months in prison.
The act states that "A person who does any of the following commits an offence: (a) wears a device which clearly indicates his intention not to move from his vehicle; or (b) remains in a vehicle except with the consent of the owner; or (c) uses a device to conceal any part of his number plate.
However, this is rarely seen in practice. Police officers have the power to stop vehicles at random and check their numbers plates without reasonable suspicion. They can also ask people why they are covering their number plate if they suspect them of doing so to hide something illegal - for example, if there's a crime scene nearby. Finally, drivers can avoid being charged by simply removing their covers when parking on a public road.
To avoid fines, you can conceal your license plate from traffic cameras. It is definitely illegal for you to coat or conceal your license plate with material in order to fool a traffic camera. I say "probably" because the specifics of these laws differ across all 50 states. But it's safe to assume that every state has some law regarding license plates. Some states require them to be visible and attached to your vehicle at all times. Other states allow you to hide them if you can still see them. Still other states don't care as long as they are not covered by any material that could hide their true identity.
In most states, covering or obscuring your license plate will result in a fine or jail time. Even if you were just trying to be cute with your tagline and weren't actually hiding it, many police officers consider this a sign that you might not have proper insurance. They use this as an excuse to pull you over even if you were following all the rules - which, by the way, is required by law in most states.
Stealth plates are popular among car thieves because they make it harder to identify your vehicle if it is stolen. This may not be such a good idea if you are one of the many people who report their stolen car to the police.
In conclusion, stealth plates are illegal in most states.
It is forbidden in the eyes of the law to drive about with a number plate that is not plainly visible. If it's tampered with, damaged, cracked, or faded, you'll almost certainly be detected up by police ANPR cameras and detained permanently. They can also seize your vehicle if they want to - but usually don't need to. Criminal penalties include fines and imprisonment.
However, as long as the writing on the plate matches the color of the background, its presence should not be readily apparent. Also, many states allow drivers to cover up defective plates with other material if they choose to do so. For example, some people attach colored tape over their license plates to make them less visible. This is generally allowed under most laws because it is only visible when you close the door or roll down the window.
In conclusion, a cracked number plate is not illegal per se, but it could be evidence of something else - such as drug trafficking or terrorism. You should never put yourself or others at risk by driving with a hidden number plate.
However, it is now lawful to sell the devices—but drivers may only be prosecuted if they are used to disguise their license plate. According to a Home Office official, "failure to show or disguise a number plate is a crime under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994."
In addition, there are local authorities that have the power to issue fines for not wearing your seatbelt. If you're found not wearing a belt, you could be given a fine of £30.
Finally, it's an offense to drive any vehicle without appropriate personal protective equipment such as a helmet or eye protection. This includes medical devices like cervical collars that are required by law to be worn by all motorcycle riders.
If you're arrested for any of these offenses, you will probably be taken to jail. You might even get sent back home if you can't pay your fine. In addition, if you have multiple convictions, you may be ordered to attend driver improvement school. A conviction also makes it harder to get licensed in some states.
The laws regarding flip plates change from state to state, so before you travel through an intersection, check the regulations in effect in that particular area. Also, remember that if you're pulled over by a police officer, you should stop immediately. No matter what, don't run!