SAN DIEGO — Have you ever wondered what the law is for front license plates in California?

CHP Sgt. Brian Pennings joined FOX 5 Wednesday to discuss the rules surrounding license plates in the state.

California Vehicle Code 5200 states that if your vehicle is issued two license plates at the time of registration, it shall have both a front and rear plates, and the front plate shall be attached to the frontless portion of the vehicle in a secure manner.

Motorcycles, trailers, special construction vehicles and special equipment vehicles are only issued one license plate at the time of registration. Passenger vehicles and pickup trucks are issued two plates. Residents who purchase used vehicles with only one license plate must contact the Department of Motor Vehicles so they can report it as missing or stolen.

Pennings says the only paper license plates that are legal are those that are issued at the time you purchase your vehicle as a temporary way to identify your vehicle. The DMV sends new license plates within a week or two.

Digital license plates are issued through a a new program. Drivers who are interested in participating may contact the DMV.

California Vehicle Code 5201 prevents drivers from putting any form of covering over the front of a license plate. This includes license plate frames that obscure the month, date, or name of the state.

Any spray or coating that is applied over the plate to make it non-reflective for identification purposes is also illegal, Penning says.

“That license plate doesn’t belong to you,” Penning says. “It’s assigned to your vehicle. It’s property of the state. The state of California owns that license plate.”