Pa. state lawmakers hope to bring back license plate stickers

Some state lawmakers are sponsoring a bill that would bring back the tiny sticker on the license plates of Pennsylvania vehicles.

Good idea or bad idea? The public can’t decide and neither can state officials. Supporters contend hundreds of thousands of people stopped registering their cars.

“There are over 240,000 cars that aren’t registered in Pennsylvania and that can mean a whole lot of things. 240,000 people forgot to register them or 240,000 people are driving around with uninsured cars," bill co-sponsor Rep. Ed Neilson said.

They say that comes to more than $30 million in lost revenue. The bill would tie your inspection, proof of insurance and registration, possibly into one sticker, making it easier some believe for police to see if a car is legal.

Not everyone is on board. For one, the stickers were hot items for thieves. PennDOT, which has saved $7 million by no longer printing them also opposes them citing a Penn State study that found “ no statistical evidence that the elimination of stickers has any statistically significant impact on the number of vehicle registrations, the ability of police to make drug arrests, or the number of motor vehicle thefts.”

Bill supporters say quickly spotting an outdated tag would benefit police.

“They used to be able to view the back of a car and say that one is not insured, that one is not registered because they saw that tag. That’s no longer a tool in their box.”