ASK A COP — What are Texas rules for posting 2 license plates

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Robert from Port Arthur asks: I purchased a new Ford F-150, and my license plates recently arrived. To my surprise, there’s not a bracket on the front bumper to install the front license plate. Talking it over with my wife, she told me it wasn’t necessary to put a front plate on because the vehicle isn’t designed for the front plate. I’m confused because everywhere we go there are many vehicles on the roadway without a front license plate. Is it the law in Texas that a front plate must be installed on the front of my truck, even when it didn’t come from the factory with a bracket for installation?

Answer: Motorist today stand on the fact that they are adamant they are NOT drilling holes in the front bumper of their beautiful expensive vehicles in Texas. I understand the dilemma you are facing, but may I put your mind to ease and let you know the answer is simple. In the state of Texas when you register a motor vehicle, you are issued two license plates, where we must display one on the furthermost rear and front of our registered motor vehicles. The Department of Motor Vehicles doesn’t issue two plates so we can have a spare license plate in case something happens to the first plate. Both plates must be displayed, and failure to do so could result in you being stopped by any law enforcement officer and issued a citation. Anywhere you drive a vehicle on any roadway in the state of Texas without a front license could result in you being stopped by a law enforcement officer.

Officer Rickey Antoine

Janice from Port Arthur asks: My coworker drives a truck and noticed the children from the neighborhood walking to school who had inadvertently missed their bus. Because she was going in that general direction, she picked them up and drove them to school in the bed of her truck. She was told by a coworker she couldn’t do that, and of course this started a conversation on who’s right. Is it illegal for someone to ride in the bed of a truck?

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Answer: It is NOT illegal for someone who’s 18 years of age and above to ride in the bed of a pickup. But, you break the law in Texas if you transport someone who is under the age of 18 in the bed of a truck on the road of Texas. Unless those three children were 18 years old, your coworker, as kind as her act was, broke the law if the children were not at least 18 years of age.

Derrick from Port Arthur asks: Is an empty container of an alcoholic beverage considered an open container? If someone is stopped by a police officer, and the officer observes an open container of an alcoholic beverage in the vehicle cup holder, but after further investigation, finds that the alcoholic beverage container is empty, is that open container a violation or does it have to contain the alcoholic beverage?

Answer: No one in the state of Texas is allowed to operate or park a motor vehicle on the roads of Texas with any amount of an alcoholic beverage in the passenger area of the vehicle. This is one of those questions that needs to be posted everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you poured the alcoholic beverage from its original container to a personal cup. If there’s ANY amount of the alcoholic beverage discovered by a police officer in the passenger area of a motor vehicle, that it is a violation in Texas. If it’s an empty can, bottle or container that was consumed at a much earlier time, even though the can, bottle or container is open and it once contained an alcoholic beverage, that is NOT considered a violation of the open container law in Texas. The open container of an alcoholic beverage MUST be found in the passenger area of the vehicle, which is the area of a motor vehicle that’s designed for seating the driver and its passengers.

The glove box, trunk or the area behind the third row is NOT considered the passenger area. There are vehicles that are exempt from the open container law in the passenger area in Texas i.e. bus, taxicab, limousines or living quarters of mobile home, recreational vehicle or self-contained campers. AC3 in addition if someone is driving or seated in the passenger of a motor vehicle, and if the seal has been broken on bottle or can opened of an alcoholic beverage, even though the beverage has not been consumed they commit a crime of open container.

Join Me, Officer Antoine and the CREW Stephen “Buzzard Boots” Mosley, Lelo “mouth of Hwy 69/73” I Washington & Tejas “Lil Man” Morning Star for Ask A Cop live on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze every Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. and beyond. Call in questions at 409-982-0247. You can also email questions to or leave a voicemail at 409-983-8673. Mail them to Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can always “Ask A Cop!”