House votes down front-end license plate bill


Heath Haussamen /

The Roundhouse in Santa Fe.

Legislators hear from constituents on all manner of issues.

But several lawmakers said Saturday they had gotten more emails about a proposal to require two license plates on each vehicle than about any other piece of legislation this year.

The inconvenience seemed to outweigh the potential public safety benefits as the House voted down the idea by a vote of 27-38.

Sponsored by Rep. Patricio Ruiloba, a Democrat and former Albuquerque Police Department officer, House Bill 158 would have raised the vehicle registration fee by $2 a year starting in 2018 and require a front-end license plate starting in 2022.

New Mexico is one of 19 states that require only a single license plate on each vehicle. And as crime has risen, Ruiloba has argued the bill is a commonsense measure to address crime.

Backers, including the New Mexico State Police, argue the requirement would help law enforcement identify vehicles involved in crimes.

Still, others questioned the merits of raising the fee and about the hassle for New Mexicans who do not currently have a place on their vehicles for a front license plate.

And there is no accounting for taste, as they say.

Rep. Jason Harper, R-Río Rancho, said his own father was among the many who had asked him to oppose the bill.

“He said, ‘please don’t make me mess up the front of my car.’ ”

This article comes from The Santa Fe New Mexican. is paying for the rights to publish articles about the 2018 legislative session from the newspaper. Help us cover the cost by making a donation to

This BBSNews article was syndicated from, and written by Heath Haussamen, Read the original article here.

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