Lawmaker looks to curb crime with front license plates


SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Aesthetically, a lot of New Mexicans love not having a front plate on their vehicle. One legislator is now trying to change the law and believes that adding the second plate can help crack down on crime in New Mexico.

The Land of Enchantment is one of 19 states without front license plates, but House Bill 158 could change that.

Rep. Patricio Ruiloba (D-Albuquerque) a former police officer of 27 years, is sponsoring the bill to require New Mexico vehicles have both front and back end license plates.

If it passes, the bill would go into effect this summer and drivers would get that second plate and registration sticker the next time their registration was due. The cost would be an extra $2.

Rep. Ruiloba says the additional plate would help with the crime problem plaguing much of the state, particularly the Albuquerque metro area.

“The idea of having another plate on the vehicle is just a resource for not only the community but also for law enforcement to have identifying markers in the front and the back of the vehicles to try and identify who’s involved,” he said.

The bill is headed to the House Rules and Order of Business committee.

It’s a measure that Rep. Bill Rehm, also a retired police officer, tried to pass in 2009. Rehm’s bill didn’t even make it out of the House of Representatives.

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