Florida House Bill 137 Becomes Law. Read.

“The bill that wanted to originally confiscate motorcycles for speeding and or stunt riding was contested by many during the Florida 2008 Legislative Session. During the hearings the bill sponsor stated that it had the endorsement of ABATE of Florida. Doc Reichenbach president of ABATE and paid lobbyist for the organization later said that was not true.  The AMA sent out a call to action to their membership requesting they contact their legislators about not passing this bill. BOLT (Bikers Of Lesser Tolerance) had representatives at the hearings as did other motorcycle rights groups and some of the wording was changed though the bill did eventually pass.  ABATE of Florida has taken credit for the changes in the bill.
There were specifics in this bill about the front wheel of the motorcycle not leaving the ground and that the rider must have a leg on either side of the motorcycle while operating it. There was also a change that outlawed license plates from being mounted incorrectly. They must be mounted horizontally.
Many people felt that this law was an attempt to get money and or property from the motorcyclist who some feel are wealthy and can afford it as opposed to a safety matter.  The final bill appears to back up that as the stated fine for the license plate will be $1,000.00 for the first offense with the second violation being $2,500.00 and third being $5,000.00.  This is the same as if the violator was doing reckless and or stunt riding.
Mike “Radar” Price who is ABATE of Florida’s State Legislative Director has sent out a letter of explanation on this and says he has discussed his findings with Doc (ABATE Lobbyist) and they have begun a level of communication to correct this situation.  In the mean time motorcycle riders in Florida BEWARE!!!! To read the bill go to Florida Abate”.  Rogue, Sturgis Freedom Fighters.


42 Responses to “Florida House Bill 137 Becomes Law. Read.”

  1. 1 Dave B. Sep 17th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    The old saying “you can’t fight city hall” has been proven yet again. I have stated in previous posts about this topic, and others, I feel we have no political voice that commands respect and we’ve had no luck acquiring one. I’m starting to feel a few good riots are in order… might not change any laws but it would certainly vent some steam!

  2. 2 Mike Greenwald Sep 17th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Isn’t this the bill that Doc Reichenbach advised everyone that it was dead and to not worry about it?

  3. 3 Dave B. Sep 17th, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Like I said Mike, even with paid lobbyists, we seem to get nowhere. Has the time come to create a new organization to combat this crap? Can it even be done, given the diversity of the modern riding demographic?
    Riding, being a very personal experience, makes it difficult to unify motorcyclists due to brand loyalty, personality conflicts, bad press, biker lore, fear of patched clubs, political cynicism, etc. One thing is certain, politicians are using our inability to unite to pass any law they like with little or no opposition.
    How do we combat this, perhaps a “Malcolm X” approach… equality or mayhem! It worked for him, at least until they killed him. So this may be the larger question, is the a martyr among us? Probably not.

  4. 4 Mike Greenwald Sep 17th, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    What is the common ground that all motorcyclists share?

  5. 5 rc Sep 17th, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Yes it is Mike and and now ABATE of Florida has already gone into “damage Control” via their post here. http://www.floridaabate.com/Library/Library/HB137explained.htm

    Part of which reads: “I have discussed my findings with Doc (our Lobbyist) and we have already begun a level of communication to correct this situation. It is important to understand that virtually no one with certainty has interpreted this law the correct way until the Clerk of Courts offered an “official” position. While there have been questions and confusion, that I have tried to address myself, it is the court system that ultimately has defined the position and has distributed the answer.”

    However as Rogue points out there were a number of people that saw the egregiousness of this bill and fought against it despite the constant vilification from from the ABATE of Florida President.

    We documented HB137 from day 1. To try and clarify the situation on 1-12-08 we posted the following: http://www.bigbendbikersforfreedom.com/2008/01/brief-chronology-of-fl-hb137-and.html

    The are three pages of links to posts we made subsequent to the one above continuing to track the truth of HB137, it’s companion bill and then the bill they were rolled into to insure their passage. They can be found here: HB137 blogurl:http://www.bigbendbikersforfreedom.com/

    The passage of this bill into law has implications beyond the severity of it. It clearl demonstrated to the Florida legislature that the Motorcycle Rights Movement in Florida isn broken. I would pray not beyond repair. rc

  6. 6 Pitbull Sep 17th, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    California law is that if you get caught street racing they can legally take your vehicle and crush it!

  7. 7 Dave B. Sep 17th, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Careful Mike, you’re on the verge of converting me.
    Let me be the first to admit that I have done nothing to help the situation over the years, and hold little regard for the political process in general because it no longer exists to promote the freedoms it did when first created. I’m not a person that joins organizations, but rather enjoyed not being a member of any group or needing the safety of a herd. I’ve been riding, customizing, building, and designing parts for motorcycles all my adult life. I’ve tolerated the EPA, CARB, DOT, NHTSA, local ordinances and federal ones too whenever they apply… I’ve always paid to play and tried to ignore that the regulations are coming faster and growing more ridiculous. I’m getting sick of it.
    Truth is, I don’t see any groups out there boosting bikers rights (if there is such a thing) to any real degree, so what group deserves monetary support and promotes my agenda? Haven’t found it yet, but I am looking!

  8. 8 jspfc Sep 17th, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    While I don’t do it and don’t think it is very smart, I have never seen anyone cruising on the highway pulling a wheelie cause an accident. What I have seen are people talking on their cell phones, text messaging or looking at their crackberry’s cause accidents. What about the people parked in the left lane on the interstate going 60 mph which causes people to have to “weave” around them? Or maybe the older population who can barely walk let alone drive a car and swerve across 2 lanes of traffic to get to a store. Where are the laws and extreme citations for those folks??????? And as for the license plate law, when have you ever seen a license plate cause injury because it was mounted vertically? A $1000.00 fine for that is down right ridiculous. The Daytona police department is going to make some serious coin this October and March if that is enforced.

  9. 9 J Sep 17th, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Agreed, jspfc, that fine is ridiculous, and has no basis in reality. For anyone who actually picks up one of these fines, I hope they fight it all the way up the court system- it’s simply a capricious penalty…..

    What was that thing we founded this country on? “No taxation without representation”? Umm, not seeing much representation here…….

  10. 10 Ken Glenn (Rat Judge) Sep 17th, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    The squeaky wheel gets the oil. This bill gets no press coverage, and that is one of the ways that most things get attention is through the press. Both good and bad legislation get acted on when there is coverage on TV. Abate or other organizations should organize a ride on Tallahassee. It shouldn’t be that hard to get a bunch of bikers to ride when it their own rights at stake. A couple of thousand bikers riding to the Capital steps would make the news and put the eye on those inside.
    Sitting around posting on blogs won’t get anything done.

  11. 11 Sheridan Sep 18th, 2008 at 12:14 am

    And to quote Zack de la Rocha : “What? the land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy”

  12. 12 Rogue Sep 18th, 2008 at 7:44 am

    DOC the current president of ABATE of Florida has stated on numerous ocassions that he controlled the bikers of Florida and would make sure that there were no protests.
    Hopefully he will change his thinking. If he does not then maybe others in ABATE will put someone in office that thinks differently.
    I see members of BOLT doing more in Tallahassee for motorcyclist than ABATE.
    I am one of the original founders of ABATE and I think that it is a good organization. I think through the years it along with other groups have done alot for motorcycling. I believe the problem in Florida is due more to the leadership than the organization and membership. Hopefully the membership will see that changes in the way the organization is being run at this time and make changes and again become a respected organization speaking for all motorcyclist.

  13. 13 Rogue Sep 18th, 2008 at 7:52 am

    I would like to suggest that people listen to what RC has to say as he was one of the people that was at the hearings. He spoke before the legislature, informed motorcyclist through numerous media sources and tried to get motorcyclist to contact their legislators to vote against this and other bills affecting motorcyclist this past year.
    I would also like everyone to know that he was not paid to be there.
    For the record “Doc” Reichenbach recieves $50,000.00 per year as the lobbyist for ABATE

  14. 14 Troy Sep 18th, 2008 at 10:10 am

    The way to get people’s attention is to hit them in the wallet. I suggest that riders boycott any and all bike rallies in the state of Florida, including Daytona. When they see how much money isn’t coming to local governments and business, they may start to realize how stupid this whole thing is. I agree with those who call this a money-making law. Daytona is a cash cow for them and will be even more so at the rally when people get busted for these infractions. If you ride down on the city hall, they will be there to bust you, if you don’t give them any of your money they will suffer and that’s what we want them to do.

  15. 15 Tony "Pan" Sanfelipo Sep 18th, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Many in the motorcycle right’s community warned about this bill and the consequences of its passage. Apparently, the Florida leadership and their paid lobbyist knew better. Maybe they should seek out a solid candidate who knows these issues and would volunteer some time to do some lobby work for free. Florida would save a lot of money it wastes on paying the current lobbyist who misses the point time after time, and perhaps they would even achieve some measure of success that would encourage members to remain in ABATE there instead of drop out to seek other right’s groups or worse yet remain members and fall into the apathetic coma of non-participation that we see happening so much today.


  16. 16 Thorsblood Sep 18th, 2008 at 10:54 am



  17. 17 Mike Greenwald Sep 18th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”

  18. 18 rc Sep 18th, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    “It shouldn’t be that hard to get a bunch of bikers to ride when it their own rights at stake.”

    I can pretty much agree with every post to date except that one sentence. Some of us who are just now realizing that we have become almost as old as dirt remember when thousands hit the streets for a variety of causes/issues and some went further than that.

    However unless I am totally divorced from reality I don’t see any mass of people anywhere from any segment of the population acting out re the loss of rights and freedoms that has become epidemic of late, motorcycle related or not.

    At the last ABATE of Florida freedom run on the Capital (Tallahassee) statewide they mustered 300+/- and not all those were ABATE members. Tallahassee Chrome Divas pull 350+ local riders for their annual breast cancer run.

    I am currently of the opinion, that I hope somebody can change, that there has been has been a massive paradigm shift in the world of activism that requires us to think outside of the box and no longer rely on some of the methods that me may prefer. Such as a thousand bikers surrounding the capital shutting down traffic and risking arrest in order to
    to draw attention to our cause and let them know we are serious.

    My suspicion is that we are going to need to think smarter and faster and learn to be creative in regards to actions that will capture public and political attention/awareness.

    One thing is for certain, if we continue to do nothing but preach to the choir, we will find that not only the world of motorcycling, but the country as we know it will change not only beyond our recognition, but beyond anything many of us will be comfortable living in.


  19. 19 Mike Greenwald Sep 19th, 2008 at 12:24 am

    Ken Glenn,
    I am glad that you said, “It shouldn’t be that hard to get a bunch of bikers to ride when it their own rights at stake.” Does this mean that we can count on you to ride on Tallahassee when needed? Thanks, and thanks to the others that will ride with you.

  20. 20 Mike Greenwald Sep 19th, 2008 at 1:04 am

    Dave B,
    The last thing in the world I want to do is convert you. I do believe that you have had enough of the bureaucratic BS that is changing motorcycling. It is my experience that the most effective rights organizations are not in it for the attaboys nor are they tooting their own horn nor putting spin upon stories to take credit for what they accomplish. To effect change, you will work for it and you will network with like minded individuals. Moving from thought to action is not really difficult. The mental blocks are bigger than any other thing. You will use your time efficiently and effectively and change things because you believe in what you are doing. You will speak to others from your heart and they will also follow their hearts. It works. We need you to do what is right/ for you.

  21. 21 Hildy Sep 19th, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Aside from everything that has been said the group of bikers that this legislation was aimed at could give a rats ass about the legisaltion.

    It is a mind set they have not only in riding their motorcycles but in most of their daily lives. They do this becuase they can and do not care what the consequences are. What’s sad is that it has an impact on other bikers who disagree with that mind set.

    Additionally the retailers of the sport bike industry promote this type of behavior. Stop in one of their shops and you’ll find that they sell tapes that have this exact type of riding exhibition promoted.

    Turn on the Speed Channel and it also promotes this trick riding.

    What society should be providing is an outlet for this where they can go off road, to an abandoned air port or some or such place and not have them on the public highways. Not passing punishing legislation that affects masses of individuals who do not participate in this reckless endangerment.

    Unfortunately they would rather be in the public eye. We have a group here in Delaware that call themselves Street Killers and video themselves on the roads and highways, doing stunts, tricks, and evading the police then posting their activities on U Tube.

    Other than the 1%ers these people are the out laws today. Or think they are.

  22. 22 Fred Proctor Sep 19th, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Now just to clarify things. IF i ride an out of state bike into Florida that is legal in my state to have a vertical license plate, Florida DMV can ticket me? I would think that pertains only to IN STATE licensed bikes, correct? Or as stated in a previous comment, Daytona Bike week’s Police force is gonna make a lot of money. Luckily, our bikes plates flip in either direction so it won’t be an issue for our customers.

  23. 23 Mike Greenwald Sep 19th, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Section 1. Section 316.1926, Florida Statutes
    (3) The license tag of a motorcycle or moped must be permanently affixed
    horizontally to the ground and may not be adjusted or capable of being
    flipped up.

  24. 24 Fred Proctor Sep 19th, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Mike, I think the statute means, the plate can’t “flip up” like some sportbike guys do to “hide” the plate number. That’s how I understand it, anyway!

  25. 25 Mike Greenwald Sep 19th, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    The way that it is written is left ambiguous and therefore to the discretion and zealousness of the LEO and the courts

  26. 26 rc Sep 19th, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    HIldy, turn on FX and watch the “Sons of Anarchy”

    I know sportbikers who are not of “mindset”, whatever that “mindset” is. Just as chopper riders, custom riders and bagger/geezer glider riders have percentages of population that does not represent their mindset.

    I ride a Harley but I can tell you right now I am not of the same “mindset” as H.O.G.

    The problem is not even sport bikers. The problem is all of us, biker or not, who stand on the sidelines and bitch about the loss of Freedoms yet do “nothing”.

    HB137 is not first egregious law passed in this country and you can take it to the bank that as long as we act like “sheeple” instead of free men and women, it will not be the last!

  27. 27 Nicker Sep 20th, 2008 at 1:15 am


    “…Just because you do not take an interest in politics does’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you…”

    Your spot fucking on!

    As i see it, ya pick out one or two receptive Politicians, tell-em what it is ya don’t like and then back up your point with lots-a-bux.

    Toy runs may be fun, but they don’t fix a damned thing.
    But a political PAC, that’s a totally different animal.

    The MC industry has a vested interest in a robust customer base.
    If customers understood they should direct their buying power to vendors who support a PAC, ya might be able to start a slush fund that would wield some power.
    (see the NRA)

    But it’s work.
    It means setting up information tables at any event, collecting signatures, donations, and selling pins….. instead of partying and powering down brewskies.

    “Just wanna ride”…. Just don’t cut it any more.
    But that’s “Just” my humble opinion.


  28. 28 Bill Smith Sep 20th, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    “God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, & always well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independent 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century & a half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” Thomas Jefferson

    The system is broke. We either abolish it, or we end up in a place worse than Nazi Germany.

  29. 29 Mike Greenwald Sep 21st, 2008 at 2:57 am

    For years professionals within the criminal justice system have acted on the belief that traveling by motor vehicle was a privilege that was given to a citizen only after approval by their state government in the form of a permit or license to drive. In other words, the individual must be granted the privilege before his use of the state highways was considered legal. Legislators, police officers, and court officials are becoming aware that there are court decisions that disprove the belief that driving is a privilege and therefore requires government approval in the form of a license. Presented here are some of these cases:

    CASE #1: “The use of the highway for the purpose of travel and transportation is not a mere privilege, but a common fundamental right of which the public and individuals cannot rightfully be deprived.” Chicago Motor Coach v. Chicago, 169 NE 221.

    CASE #2: “The right of the citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, either by carriage or by automobile, is not a mere privilege which a city may prohibit or permit at will, but a common law right which he has under the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thompson v. Smith, 154 SE 579.

    It could not be stated more directly or conclusively that citizens of the states have a common law right to travel, without approval or restriction (license), and that this right is protected under the U.S Constitution.

    CASE #3: “The right to travel is a part of the liberty of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment.” Kent v. Dulles, 357 US 116, 125.

    CASE #4: “The right to travel is a well-established common right that does not owe its existence to the federal government. It is recognized by the courts as a natural right.” Schactman v. Dulles 96 App DC 287, 225 F2d 938, at 941.

    As hard as it is for those of us in law enforcement to believe, there is no room for speculation in these court decisions. American citizens do indeed have the inalienable right to use the roadways unrestricted in any manner as long as they are not damaging or violating property or rights of others. Government — in requiring the people to obtain drivers licenses, and accepting vehicle inspections and DUI/DWI roadblocks without question — is restricting, and therefore violating, the people’s common law right to travel.

    Is this a new legal interpretation on this subject? Apparently not. This means that the beliefs and opinions our state legislators, the courts, and those in law enforcement have acted upon for years have been in error. Researchers armed with actual facts state that case law is overwhelming in determining that to restrict the movement of the individual in the free exercise of his right to travel is a serious breach of those freedoms secured by the U.S. Constitution and most state constitutions. That means it is unlawful. The revelation that the American citizen has always had the inalienable right to travel raises profound questions for those who are involved in making and enforcing state laws. The first of such questions may very well be this: If the states have been enforcing laws that are unconstitutional on their face, it would seem that there must be some way that a state can legally put restrictions — such as licensing requirements, mandatory insurance, vehicle registration, vehicle inspections to name just a few — on a citizen’s constitutionally protected rights. Is that so?

    For the answer, let us look, once again, to the U.S. courts for a determination of this very issue. In Hertado v. California, 110 US 516, the U.S Supreme Court states very plainly:

    “The state cannot diminish rights of the people.”

    And in Bennett v. Boggs, 1 Baldw 60,

    “Statutes that violate the plain and obvious principles of common right and common reason are null and void.”

    Would we not say that these judicial decisions are straight to the point — that there is no lawful method for government to put restrictions or limitations on rights belonging to the people? Other cases are even more straight forward:

    “The assertion of federal rights, when plainly and reasonably made, is not to be defeated under the name of local practice.” Davis v. Wechsler, 263 US 22, at 24

    “Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436, 491.

    “The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.” Miller v. US, 230 F 486, at 489.

    There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of this exercise of constitutional rights.” Sherer v. Cullen, 481 F 946

    We could go on, quoting court decision after court decision; however, the Constitution itself answers our question – Can a government legally put restrictions on the rights of the American people at anytime, for any reason? The answer is found in Article Six of the U.S. Constitution:

    “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof;…shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or laws of any State to the Contrary not one word withstanding.”

    In the same Article, it says just who within our government that is bound by this Supreme Law:

    “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution…”

    Here’s an interesting question. Is ignorance of these laws an excuse for such acts by officials? If we are to follow the letter of the law, (as we are sworn to do), this places officials who involve themselves in such unlawful acts in an unfavorable legal situation. For it is a felony and federal crime to violate or deprive citizens of their constitutionally protected rights. Our system of law dictates that there are only two ways to legally remove a right belonging to the people. These are:

    1. by lawfully amending the constitution, or
    2. by a person knowingly waiving a particular right.

    Some of the confusion on our present system has arisen because many millions of people have waived their right to travel unrestricted and volunteered into the jurisdiction of the state. Those who have knowingly given up these rights are now legally regulated by state law and must acquire the proper permits and registrations. There are basically two groups of people in this category:

    More- http://www.land.netonecom.net/tlp/ref/right2travel.shtml

  30. 30 Bigwoody Sep 22nd, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Big brother at his best. Whether a registration plate is vertical or horizontal has nothing to do with safety.

    Daytona and Myrtle both ruined. Come to Ohio, Chillothe Labor day weekend.

    Laconia still allright. They appreciate our business.

  31. 31 Gar Sep 22nd, 2008 at 1:21 pm


    Not a bad brief, not bad at all.

    Gar Out

  32. 32 customfighterer Sep 22nd, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    I’m totally with TROY . . . boycott florida events! fuck daytona, lakeland and all the other events. They dont want us around?? we wont be there!

    Come on up to Laconia folks!!

  33. 33 David Sep 22nd, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    This just goes to show you that unless you take control and get out there and vote that the lobbyists and those that pay them are the ones that will have the control.

  34. 34 Rogue Sep 22nd, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    How about getting a list of the legislative officials in your area and see how they voted on issues.
    That info is readibly available on the internet.
    Take the small amount of time it takes to go vote. Yes for those that voted against this kind of legislation and No for those that did. Then send a letter to the legislator letting them know you voted against them and why.
    Have your friends do the same thing.
    I can tell you that more than one official has been voted out of office because of this action.
    Myself and others actually went to town meetings everytime Jason Steel spoke and spoke out against him. He wanted Mandatory Helmet Laws ,We did not, he lost the election.
    There are other incidents as well.
    You Can Make A Difference!

  35. 35 Nicker Sep 26th, 2008 at 1:43 am

    “…went to town meetings everytime Jason Steel spoke and spoke out against him…”
    Way to go Rogue.

    And thanks for the legal info Mike.

    Good stuff.


  36. 36 Ironhead Oct 6th, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    I asked a family member who is a high ranking LEO and also a biker. he said it would be considered a mechinacal fix it type ticket and that the fine was not a grand for a vertical tag. I sent him a link to this thread to view. I have heard that the chief of police in south daytona posted a flyer at millers custom parts about the tag issue and he said it was a grand fine. so i am curious if this issue could be construed by each individual officer as to how they see fit. furthermore i do have a vertical tag on my HD and plan to change it out asap just this is not the best time when there are plenty of things i could do with that money these days.

  37. 37 Sgt. Sunshine Oct 15th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    I have been in law enforcement for fourteen years and I have never seen such a stupid law involving tags. I own a Harley and my tag is verticle, but you can see the tag numbers without any problems. The State of Florida could configure the bike take numers on the tag itself so people could choose to have the numbers and letters from top to bottom or from side to side. I will not enforce this law ;due to the crazy fine amount and for those who do, have fun in court, trust me you will be there.

  38. 38 Mike Greenwald Oct 15th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    There is talk of seizing the bikes within the bill and there is also talk of extending those seizures until the license plate placement has had its day in court.

  39. 39 gixxer324 Oct 22nd, 2008 at 11:23 am

    As I sit here filling out my ballet,I was looking to see who voted for hb137. You vote for hb137,I vote against you,plain and simple.

    Some are saying it’s a grand fine for tag violation. Some are not. A $1000.00 tag fine seems cruel and excessive.

    Thanks Sgt.Sunshine.

  40. 40 Jeff Nicklus Oct 23rd, 2008 at 11:07 am


    During our visit to Thunder Beach in Panama City Beach, FL a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to share a couple of adult beverages with one of the “Higher Ups” (who shall remain unnamed for these comments) of the Panama City Beach Police Department.

    During our meeting the subject of the Vertical License Plate Law was discussed. I was told that the “unwritten rule” among the officers of the PCBPD was that the new law, while just and enforceable, did carry a minimum fine that was “way out of the realm of fair” therefore, they had no intentions of writing anything other than warning tickets for the offense (“unless the person stopped was an asshole”). Naturally the law is only enforceable if you have a Florida tag on your scooter …. naturally the only bikes we took to Thunder Beach all had vertical tags on them. I was therefore relieved to learn that a scooter from “out of State”, with a vertical tag, was not probable cause to make a traffic stop of that motorcycle.

    I was also informed that if you had a Florida tag and it was in a vertical position that would used as probable cause to make a traffic stop. Once they had you on the side of the road then they could determine if a field sobriety test was in order.

    Over & Out,


  41. 41 Christi Kapp Dec 31st, 2008 at 12:05 am

    Our understanding from Florida State Police is that all bikes with vertical tags can be fined regardless of state (it all depends on police interpretation of the law and their mood). In any event, we have created an affordable vertical to horizontal converter for those who don’t want to risk the (too steep) fine on their rides into Florida and will be sending out public info on it soon.

  42. 42 Em Jan 18th, 2009 at 12:03 am

    I have been trying to find clarification for out of state friends coming in for bikeweek ’09 on the plate issue with no concrete answers.

    In Florida an automobile is only requred to have ONE tag on the back. In Colorado it is required to have one on the front AND one on the back. I have driven my car registered and liscensed in Florida across country many times, been pulled over a few times, and never cited for not following that particular states statute regarding “placement” of plates.

    It would be impossible for someone to know each and every states statutes and I believe if you follow the law in your state of resident that should be enough.

    So with that said can anyone tell me if the plate law applies to out of state tags? Thanks

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