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Tuesday Edition


Florida Vertical Motorcycle License Plate Warning

Could be dicey to run a Vertical Plate in Daytona for Bike Week

By Rogue and Imre F. Szauter from the AMA, with images courtesy of the Bob T. Collection
2/5/2011


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Recently I researched information on Vertical License Plates for motorcycles and the new Florida law pertaining to them. This was done so that people planning to attend Bike Week in Daytona Beach and or visiting Florida anytime would be aware of the new ordinance.
Then another source said they were a Legal Counsel and felt that I was wrong.
 
In an effort to provide good information to the readers of Bikernet I contacted Attorney Brad Sinclair who is also a motorcyclist and sent in his comments. Again Legal Counsel commented to the contrary.
 
In our unending efforts to bring you the most accurate word, I contacted the Prestigious American Motorcycle Association, the largest motorcycle association in the country and asked their opinion.
 
Here's their response:



Dear Rogue:

Thanks for your inquiry regarding the Florida statutes on motorcycle vertical license plates. I have attached three PDF files that contain specific sections of the Florida Statutes; they are available online at http://www.flsenate.gov/statutes . Please keep in mind I am not an attorney, so nothing I provide should be taken as a legal opinion or advice. I am simply responding on how I believe the statutes address this issue.

The first reference, §316.2085(3), outlines the requirements for license tags on motorcycles and mopeds. It specifies that motorcycles and mopeds may display a vertical license tag, “… provided that the registered owner of the motorcycle or moped maintains a prepaid toll account in good standing and a transponder associated with the prepaid toll account is affixed to the motorcycle or moped.”

Because this portion of the statute does not differentiate between motorcycles and mopeds registered in Florida from those registered in another state, I interpret the requirement for a prepaid toll account and a transponder to apply to all who exhibit a vertical tag and travel on Florida roadways.

In §316.2085(7), it states “A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.”

In §318.14(13), reference is made to §316.1926. In §316.1926(1), it specifically refers to violations of §316.2085(2) [both wheels on ground] and (3) [license tags] and reads, “A person who violates the provisions of s. 316.2085(2) or (3) shall be cited for a moving
violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.”

Referencing back to §318.14(13), the penalties are outlined in (a), (b) and (c); they read:

(a) A person cited for a violation of s. 316.1926 shall, in addition to any other requirements provided in this section, pay a fine of $1,000. This fine is in lieu of the fine required under s. 318.18(3)(b), if the person was cited for violation of s. 316.1926(2).

(b) A person cited for a second violation of s. 316.1926 shall, in addition to any other requirements provided in this section, pay a fine of $2,500. This fine is in lieu of the fine required under s. 318.18(3)(b), if the person was cited for violation of s. 316.1926(2). In addition, the court shall revoke the person’s authorization and privilege to operate a motor vehicle for a period of 1 year and order the person to surrender his or her driver’s license.

(c) A person cited for a third violation of s. 316.1926 commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Upon conviction, the court shall impose a fine of $5,000, revoke the person’s authorization and privilege to operate a motor vehicle for a period of 10 years, and order the person to surrender his or her driver’s license.

The statute sections I located support the information Brad provided you.

I hope these specific references provide you the documentation you need to warn motorcyclists, especially those from out-of-state attending events such as Daytona Bike Week, about the severity of the penalties as outlined in the statutes.

Thanks again for your inquiry and your lifetime support of the AMA.

Best regards,

Imre

Mr. Imre F. Szauter
Government Affairs Manager
American Motorcyclist Association
13515 Yarmouth Drive
Pickerington, OH 43147-8214
1 (800) AMA-JOIN
1 (614) 856-1900, ext. 1125



Bottom line is that lawyers, legal counsel and even many of the courts do not agree on some of the laws. If you have a Vertical Tag on your motorcycle and you ride in Florida you will have to decide for yourself, which information is correct. In an effort to make this somewhat entertaining, we recruited vintage motorcycle images from the infamous Bob T. Collection. Enjoy.

--Rogue
Sturgis Freedom Fighters
Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Member 2005

www.bikerrogue.com




Not so fast Rogue,

As a follow up to my message of last week, I did some additional research on the motorcycle vertical tag issue you raised.



It appears there were two recent modifications made to 316.2085(3). I’ve attached the relevant pages from Ch. 2009-183 and Ch. 2010-223 for your review.



Ch. 2009-183 deleted the horizontal mounting requirement and prohibited anything that would conceal or obscure the tag.



Ch. 2010-223 added that motorcycle tags could be mounted horizontally or vertically, but if mounted vertically, required the registered owner to maintain a prepaid toll account.



I’ve also attached the entire documents for Ch. 2009-183 and Ch. 2010-223, in case anyone asks you for the entire citation.


--Imre






The 2010 Florida Statutes
Title XXIII
MOTOR VEHICLES Chapter 318
DISPOSITION OF TRAFFIC INFRACTIONS


318.14 Noncriminal traffic infractions; exception; procedures.—

(1) Except as provided in ss. 318.17 and 320.07(3)(c), any person cited for a violation of
chapter 316, s. 320.0605, s. 320.07(3)(a) or (b), s. 322.065, s. 322.15(1), s. 322.16(2) or (3), s.
322.1615, s. 322.19, or s. 1006.66(3) is charged with a noncriminal infraction and must be cited for
such an infraction and cited to appear before an official. If another person dies as a result of the
noncriminal infraction, the person cited may be required to perform 120 community service hours
under s. 316.027(4), in addition to any other penalties.
(2) Except as provided in ss. 316.1001(2) and 316.0083, any person cited for a violation
requiring a mandatory hearing listed in s. 318.19 or any other criminal traffic violation listed in
chapter 316 must sign and accept a citation indicating a promise to appear. The officer may
indicate on the traffic citation the time and location of the scheduled hearing and must indicate
the applicable civil penalty established in s. 318.18. For all other infractions under this section,
except for infractions under s. 316.1001, the officer must certify by electronic, electronic
facsimile, or written signature that the citation was delivered to the person cited. This
certification is prima facie evidence that the person cited was served with the citation.
(3) Any person who willfully refuses to accept and sign a summons as provided in subsection
(2) commits a misdemeanor of the second degree.
(4)(a) Except as provided in subsection (12), any person charged with a noncriminal infraction
under this section who does not elect to appear shall, within 30 days after the date of issuance of
the citation:
1. Pay the civil penalty and delinquent fee, if applicable, either by mail or in person; or
2. Enter into a payment plan in accordance with s. 28.246 with the clerk of the court to pay
the civil penalty and delinquent fee, if applicable.
(b) If the person cited follows the procedures in paragraph (a), he or she shall be deemed to
have admitted the infraction and to have waived his or her right to a hearing on the issue of
commission of the infraction. Such admission shall not be used as evidence in any other
proceedings. Any person who is cited for a violation of s. 320.0605 or s. 322.15(1), or subject to a penalty under s. 320.07(3)(a) or (b) or s. 322.065, and who makes an election under this subsection shall submit proof of compliance with the applicable section to the clerk of the court. For the purposes of this subsection, proof of compliance consists of a valid driver’s license or a valid registration certificate.
(5) Any person electing to appear before the designated official or who is required so to
appear shall be deemed to have waived his or her right to the civil penalty provisions of s. 318.18.
The official, after a hearing, shall make a determination as to whether an infraction has been committed. If the commission of an infraction has been proven, the official may impose a civil penalty not to exceed $500, except that in cases involving unlawful speed in a school zone or involving unlawful speed in a construction zone, the civil penalty may not exceed $1,000; or require attendance at a driver improvement school, or both. If the person is required to appear before the designated official pursuant to s. 318.19(1) and is found to have committed the infraction, the designated official shall impose a civil penalty of $1,000 in addition to any other penalties and the person’s driver’s license shall be suspended for 6 months. If the person is required to appear before the designated official pursuant to s. 318.19(2) and is found to have
committed the infraction, the designated official shall impose a civil penalty of $500 in addition to any other penalties and the person’s driver’s license shall be suspended for 3 months. If the official
determines that no infraction has been committed, no costs or penalties shall be imposed and any
costs or penalties that have been paid shall be returned. Moneys received from the mandatory civil
penalties imposed pursuant to this subsection upon persons required to appear before a designated
official pursuant to s. 318.19(1) or (2) shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue and
deposited into the Department of Health Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund to provide
financial support to certified trauma centers to assure the availability and accessibility of trauma
services throughout the state. Funds deposited into the Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund
under this section shall be allocated as follows:
(a) Fifty percent shall be allocated equally among all Level I, Level II, and pediatric trauma
centers in recognition of readiness costs for maintaining trauma services.
(b) Fifty percent shall be allocated among Level I, Level II, and pediatric trauma centers based
on each center’s relative volume of trauma cases as reported in the Department of Health Trauma
Registry.
(6) The commission of a charged infraction at a hearing under this chapter must be proved
beyond a reasonable doubt.
(7)(a) The official having jurisdiction over the infraction shall certify to the department within
10 days after payment of the civil penalty that the defendant has admitted to the infraction. If the
charge results in a hearing, the official having jurisdiction shall certify to the department the final
disposition within 10 days after the hearing. All dispositions returned to the county requiring a
correction shall be resubmitted to the department within 10 days after the notification of the
error.
(b) If the official having jurisdiction over the traffic infraction submits the final disposition to
the department more than 180 days after the final hearing or after payment of the civil penalty,
the department may modify any resulting suspension or revocation action to begin as if the citation
were reported in a timely manner.
(8) When a report of a determination or admission of an infraction is received by the
department, it shall proceed to enter the proper number of points on the licensee’s driving record
in accordance with s. 322.27.






(9) Any person who does not hold a commercial driver’s license and who is cited for an
infraction under this section other than a violation of s. 316.183(2), s. 316.187, or s. 316.189 when
the driver exceeds the posted limit by 30 miles per hour or more, s. 320.0605, s. 320.07(3)(a) or
(b), s. 322.065, s. 322.15(1), s. 322.61, or s. 322.62 may, in lieu of a court appearance, elect to
attend in the location of his or her choice within this state a basic driver improvement course
approved by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. In such a case, adjudication
must be withheld and points, as provided by s. 322.27, may not be assessed. However, a person
may not make an election under this subsection if the person has made an election under this
subsection in the preceding 12 months. A person may make no more than five elections within his
or her lifetime under this subsection. The requirement for community service under s. 318.18(8) is
not waived by a plea of nolo contendere or by the withholding of adjudication of guilt by a court. If
a person makes an election to attend a basic driver improvement course under this subsection,
18 percent of the civil penalty imposed under s. 318.18(3) shall be deposited in the State Courts
Revenue Trust Fund; however, that portion is not revenue for purposes of s. 28.36 and may not be
used in establishing the budget of the clerk of the court under that section or s. 28.35.
(10)(a) Any person who does not hold a commercial driver’s license and who is cited for an
offense listed under this subsection may, in lieu of payment of fine or court appearance, elect to
enter a plea of nolo contendere and provide proof of compliance to the clerk of the court,
designated official, or authorized operator of a traffic violations bureau. In such case, adjudication
shall be withheld; however, no election shall be made under this subsection if such person has
made an election under this subsection in the 12 months preceding election hereunder. No person
may make more than three elections under this subsection. This subsection applies to the following
offenses:
1. Operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license in violation of the provisions of s.
322.03, s. 322.065, or s. 322.15(1), or operating a motor vehicle with a license that has been
suspended for failure to appear, failure to pay civil penalty, or failure to attend a driver
improvement course pursuant to s. 322.291.
2. Operating a motor vehicle without a valid registration in violation of s. 320.0605, s. 320.07,
or s. 320.131.
3. Operating a motor vehicle in violation of s. 316.646.
4. Operating a motor vehicle with a license that has been suspended under s. 61.13016 or s.
322.245 for failure to pay child support or for failure to pay any other financial obligation as
provided in s. 322.245; however, this subparagraph does not apply if the license has been
suspended pursuant to s. 322.245(1).
5. Operating a motor vehicle with a license that has been suspended under s. 322.091 for
failure to meet school attendance requirements.
(b) Any person cited for an offense listed in this subsection shall present proof of compliance
prior to the scheduled court appearance date. For the purposes of this subsection, proof of
compliance shall consist of a valid, renewed, or reinstated driver’s license or registration
certificate and proper proof of maintenance of security as required by s. 316.646. Notwithstanding
waiver of fine, any person establishing proof of compliance shall be assessed court costs of $25,
except that a person charged with violation of s. 316.646(1)-(3) may be assessed court costs of $8.
One dollar of such costs shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the Child
Welfare Training Trust Fund of the Department of Children and Family Services. One dollar of such
costs shall be distributed to the Department of Juvenile Justice for deposit into the Juvenile
Justice Training Trust Fund. Fourteen dollars of such costs shall be distributed to the municipality
and $9 shall be deposited by the clerk of the court into the fine and forfeiture fund established
pursuant to s. 142.01, if the offense was committed within the municipality. If the offense was
committed in an unincorporated area of a county or if the citation was for a violation of s. 316.646
(1)-(3), the entire amount shall be deposited by the clerk of the court into the fine and forfeiture
fund established pursuant to s. 142.01, except for the moneys to be deposited into the Child
Welfare Training Trust Fund and the Juvenile Justice Training Trust Fund. This subsection shall not
be construed to authorize the operation of a vehicle without a valid driver’s license, without a
valid vehicle tag and registration, or without the maintenance of required security.
(11) If adjudication is withheld for any person charged or cited under this section, such action
is not a conviction.


(12) Any person cited for a violation of s. 316.1001 may, in lieu of making an election as set
forth in subsection (4) or s. 318.18(7), elect to pay a fine of $25, or such other amount as imposed
by the governmental entity owning the applicable toll facility, plus the amount of the unpaid toll
that is shown on the traffic citation directly to the governmental entity that issued the citation, or
on whose behalf the citation was issued, within 30 days after the date of issuance of the citation.
Any person cited for a violation of s. 316.1001 who does not elect to pay the fine imposed by the
governmental entity owning the applicable toll facility plus the amount of the unpaid toll that is
shown on the traffic citation directly to the governmental entity that issued the citation, or on
whose behalf the citation was issued, as described in this subsection shall have an additional 45
days after the date of the issuance of the citation in which to request a court hearing or to pay the
civil penalty and delinquent fee, if applicable, as provided in s. 318.18(7), either by mail or in
person, in accordance with subsection (4).
(13)(a) A person cited for a violation of s. 316.1926 shall, in addition to any other
requirements provided in this section, pay a fine of $1,000. This fine is in lieu of the fine required
under s. 318.18(3)(b), if the person was cited for violation of s. 316.1926(2).
(b) A person cited for a second violation of s. 316.1926 shall, in addition to any other
requirements provided in this section, pay a fine of $2,500. This fine is in lieu of the fine required
under s. 318.18(3)(b), if the person was cited for violation of s. 316.1926(2). In addition, the court
shall revoke the person’s authorization and privilege to operate a motor vehicle for a period of 1
year and order the person to surrender his or her driver’s license.
(c) A person cited for a third violation of s. 316.1926 commits a felony of the third degree,
punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Upon conviction, the court shall
impose a fine of $5,000, revoke the person’s authorization and privilege to operate a motor vehicle
for a period of 10 years, and order the person to surrender his or her driver’s license.





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Reader Comments


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Had the issue of tag placement for motorcycles come up today (Panama City, FL) during bike week and from what I have read you have to maintain a toll account in good standing. Sounds like BS to me but here is a link for the transponder w/ info and costs. Not too much to have piece of mind but still BS imho.

https://www.sunpass.com/pdf/MiniWebPDF_E.pdf

Frank Crane
Panama City, FL
Friday, April 29, 2011
Editor Response Thanks. Did you receive a ticket?
--Bandit
Good point, Bandit. The funny thing is that I'm military, so I actually do wear the same shirt quite a bit.

But the way I see it, if "the man" tries to oppress me and tell me I can't where a shirt that offends some of my fellow countrymen or that I can't wear a shirt that inhibits someone else's freedoms, then I don't wear that shirt and I enjoy my ability to walk freely in another shirt. I would rather walk or ride free then worry about something as irrelevant my shirt color or where my little license plate is. Cuz when I ride, I don't even see my plate.

Love the site, love your work, love your inputs, keep it up!

T-sayer
SoCal
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Editor Response Thanks brother,

I agree with some of what you said. I don't want to offend others, but I believe freedom is everything. You fight for freedom not expanded regulation. But with freedom comes responsibility.
--Bandit
I live in Deland Florida about ten minutes west of Daytona , I have a vertical plate on my bobber which at first I was very hesitant about . Then I found back in 2009 Gov. Charlie Crist removed the word horizontal from the statute and reinstated the vertical plate. So come down for bike week and rock your vertical plate see you then . Check out this link stating the facts.

http://www.free-press-release.com/news-governor-charlie-crist-signed-amended-bill-res-1252720213.html


Bryan Hathaway
Deland, FL
Friday, February 11, 2011
Editor Response I noticed that, but wasn't sure if I could believe it.
--Bandit
What a crock of shit! Guess there is a reason they call it "Paytona"

Jumper
Marshall, , VA
Thursday, February 10, 2011
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