I haven't ever put the front plate on my '08 M3... No tickets, but I also do not park it on the street downtown. I have been pulled over by state troopers for that though.
As for winter... I drive mine all year long. Winter tire setup. Even had a project up in Breckenridge and regularly drove it there.
For really bad days, I do have an old 4x4 though. No top, but the heater works quite nice. It will go through a couple feet of snow without issue. That beast only comes out when we get over 6"... other than that, it's the M3.