Can a Person Who Does Not Have Current Validation and County Identification Sticker Operate a Vehicle ?

In State v. Keane (Jan. 24, 2000), Stark App. No. 1999CA0182, 2000 Ohio App, the defendant was convicted of violating R.C. 4503.21 for displaying expired license plates. Id. The defendant argued that the statute, which governs the display of license plates and validation stickers, was not intended to charge the offense of "expired plates." Id. The court found that the statute, when read in conjunction with R.C. 4503.19 and 4503.191, revealed the Ohio legislature's intent that the displayed validation sticker be current, not expired. Id. In making this finding, the court recognized that "the validation sticker is an integral part of the license plate and makes the license plate, otherwise a simple piece of metal, valid for its intended purpose. The word 'validation' implies that which is in effect. Once a validation sticker expires, the sticker loses its effect and is merely a sticker." Id. Accordingly, the court found that "R.C. 4503.21 mandates the display of a current validation sticker." Id.; see, also, State v. Sands (Findlay Muni. Ct. 1997), 91 Ohio Misc.2d 1, 4, 696 N.E.2d 1107 (stating "R.C. 4503.21 clearly prohibits the operation of a vehicle by any person who does not have a current validation and county identification sticker").