SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois could join 19 other states that require only one license plate instead of two, under legislation recently introduced in the state House.

State Rep. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, sees the proposed change as a cost-saving issue.

"It is silly that we have two license plates," Rose said. "It's a waste of money. There are plenty of states that don't have this requirement."

Current law requires a license plate on both the front and back of vehicles.

The Illinois Secretary of State's Office, which oversees license plates and vehicle registration, favors two plates.

"We don't think this is an area in terms of law enforcement that should be skimped," said Secretary of State spokesman Dave Druker.

Illinois State Police spokesman Scott Compton said in an e-mail that the Illinois State Police would rather have two plates.

"This allows additional ability to identify an offender, stolen car, suspect, missing person with a vehicle involved, etc.," Compton said.

The state would save 50 cents per plate, or just under $800,000 per year, if the idea were adopted, Druker said. It costs $2.87 to make two license plates, and $2.37 to make one.

States that only require one plate on the rear of vehicles include Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan.

Graig Lubsen, spokesman for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, which oversees Indiana license plates and registration, said Indiana had required two license plates many years ago, but wouldn't consider going back to that.

"We don't find it necessarily beneficial," Lubsen said, and that it works for customers not to pay for a second license plate.

In addition to Rose's legislation, state Rep. Jerry Mitchell, R-Sterling, also has introduced a measure to require only one plate.

The legislation is House Bill 164 and House Bill 188.


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