Harrison argued that numerals and letters referred only to the registration number and not the county. He further noted that Iowa law stating requirements for a license plate refers to "alphabetical or numerical characters" as the license plate number, not the county. Last, he argued that the law intended for officers to view registration numbers to run a check. Officers have no similar use for seeing the county.
However, the Iowa Supreme Court was unswayed. It noted that "all numerals" includes the county. Therefore, police officers can stop citizens and issue traffic citations if a frame covers a county. In light of this new decision, please check all license plate frames on all your vehicles. The county name on an Iowa plate is placed fairly low, and is easily covered by a frame. To view the entire decision, click here.