The only date on the citation would have been the court date. I suppose the officer COULD have written a "repair by ..." date, but that would certainly be the exception to the rule.
For the 5200(a) his defense should be relatively easy ... if it is a new car and no plates have yet been issued, then he is not required to display them. However, if it has been beyond the permit period (90 days, I believe - I haven't looked it up and am in a rush at the moment) then he will need plates and valid registration. He needs to look into getting those plates.
These were what he was cited for:
23302(b) VC I Evading electronic toll charge
5200(a) VC I Display vehicle front and rear license plates
5200. (a) When two license plates are issued by the department for
use upon a vehicle, they shall be attached to the vehicle for which
they were issued, one in the front and the other in the rear.
And the toll evasion charge he will likely have to show a pattern of payment, explain as you have the previous properly functioning, etc.
(b) For vehicular crossings and toll highways that uses electronic
toll collection as the only method of paying tolls or other charges,
it is prima facie evidence of a violation of this section for any
person to enter the vehicular crossing or toll highway without a
transponder or other electronic toll payment device associated with a
valid Automatic Vehicle Identification account with a balance
sufficient to pay those tolls. If a transponder or other electronic
toll payment device is used to pay tolls or other charges due, the
device shall be located in, or on the vehicle in a location so as to
be visible for the purpose of enforcement at all times when the
vehicle is located on the vehicular crossing or toll highway. Where
required by the operator of a vehicular crossing or toll highway,
this requirement applies even if the operator offers free travel or
nontoll accounts to certain classes of users.