Yes it's illegal however the chance of getting stopped specifically for this is remote however if you are stopped for another violation chances are you'll be getting that fine tacked on as well. As previously stated it also gives an officer probable cause to stop you anytime regardless of how you are driving.
I agree with the other psters that you will likely not get pulled over specifically for the plate, but they may add it on if they catch you for some other infraction. Costa Mesa often sets up sobriety check points, and people have been selected for special attention for registration, and other fix it tickets.
I have Vanity plates and guess what? if they get stolen I cant get them replaced so when I got pulled over for a citation of speeding and the ***** officer wanted to cite me for no front plate I took it out of my glove box and showed it to him and told him I carried it but wouldnt affix it due to the no replacement thing, he said that was fine. but I guess it would be up to the officer. if you get a ***** and he wants to make some money for his department then your screwed.lol
I don't know you from Adam or eve but I gotta say your f'en rude. Obviously you don't like personalized plates. I do. I also pay a premium to have them. But as I have stated earlier if they get stolen the state will not replace them as they don't want the same plate duplicated. As for "hanging them on my wall and getting NORMAL plates" why don't you go hang on a wall.
I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just trying to understand your philosophy. You claim your personalized license plates are so valuable that you don't dare display the front plate for fear of someone stealing it, but you still display the rear license plate? Isn't that just as valuable?
I have nothing against personalized license plates, but call them by their true name...Vanity Plates!
Not having a front plate got me out of a speeding ticket. Got pulled over for speeding and the CHP let me off for the sppeding ticket and gave me fix it for no front plate. Bummer was that the bracket for the new plate on a Mercedes is $175. plus the installation of $100 but the install was covered by the warranty cuz I said the original fell off. Funny thing was there were no mounting holes were it would have been installed and they had to drill for the install.
I did in my first post. Not too many states require front plates and I've looked around since this topic and I gotta say less than 30% actually have a front plate. Many cars are manufactured without any mounting hardware or a place to install them so you gotta mess up your front bumper to appease some bureaucrat that wants to make money for the state.
When I had a '73 Land Cruiser it came with only 1 plate. I woke up one morning with a ticket stuck on my window. I sent a $10 'correction fee' and a letter attached citing the CVC. If you were only issued one license plate, or if there is not a designated place to attach it do not need a plate on the front. I basically used the argument 'it was like this when I bought it'. They accepted my reason and I didn't have to pay the 70+ bucks.