Ask the DMV: License plates are needed on the front and back

By: George Valverde, California Department of Motor Vehicles
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Q: I have a new Corvette and have not put plates on the front. How can I get an exemption from the law that requires two plates (front and back) on all vehicles? If I were to get a ticket, how much would it cost me? A: I’m sorry to tell you but there is no exemption to the requirement that your vehicle must display both a front and rear license plate. California Vehicle Code Section 5200 requires two license plates. You will have to check with the court regarding the amount of the fine. A license plate bracket is available from the dealer that sold you the vehicle. California Vehicle Code Section 11713.17 requires the manufacturer to provide a license plate bracket. Q: My grandmother just received her disabled persons placard, but is unsure as to where she is able to park. Are the spaces marked with the handicap sign the only spaces she is allowed to park? A: Your grandmother would be able to park in spaces marked with the handicap sign as well as blue curbs authorized for handicap parking. Additionally, she is able to park at green curbs for as long as she would like and in metered spots at no charge. For more information about the privileges of having a disabled persons placard, please visit the DMV website at and click on the vehicle registration tab, then Registration, then the Disabled Person Parking Placard/Plates link, then Disabled Person Parking Placard or Plates link. Q: I am looking into becoming a firefighter. Is there a special driver license needed to drive a fire truck? A: Yes, according to the Vehicle Code 15250.6 (a) and 15250.6 (b), any person operating firefighting equipment must have in their possession a valid driver license for the appropriate class of vehicle operated, or a valid firefighter restricted driver license for the appropriate class of vehicle. Firefighters who drive Class A or B vehicles, such as a fire engine, must obtain a commercial license. However, as of Jan. 1, 2011, Assembly Bill 1648 changes the requirements for operating fire engines and trucks. The new law allows for the operation of firefighting vehicles with any class of license, with a firefighter endorsement, except a motorcycle only license. Drivers must be employed by a fire department or agency, successfully complete training and testing requirements and submit a medical report signed by a physician to DMV. Additional information regarding this new law can be found at For more information on how to obtain the firefighter endorsement, visit and click on the Publications tab, under Vehicle Industry Handbooks select Employer Testing Handbook, then select Chapter 7 Firefighters License. George Valverde is the director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Do you have questions about general driving related requirements like registration or insurance? Are you unclear about laws and restrictions related to driving? The California DMV has answers at And now, you can submit any DMV-related questions at