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Author Topic: CAUTION: CA Hams w/Amateur Plates  (Read 1393 times)
KE6PCM
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« on: June 13, 2003, 04:18:51 PM »

Everyone,

I have found the hard way that (As the CA DMV put it) "The DMV Computer does not like Amateur Radio Plates".

Last year I paid my registration and got a smog test. The smog results are sent electronically from the shop to the DMV. Well I was far to trusting and didn't give it much thought until my car was impounded for no registration. It cost just shy of $500 to get my car back. I have since proven to the DMV that I did everything right (cancelled check, proof of passing smog test), but they claim that "No business handled by the mail or electronically is guaranteed by the CA DMV."

IF YOU LIVE IN CALIFORNIA MAKE SURE YOU GET THE TAGS FOR YOUR CAR AFTER EVERY SMOG TEST. BECAUSE YOU HAVE A AMATEUR RADIO PLATE THE DMV SAYS IT IS VERY LIKELY THE COMPUTER WILL FAIL AND YOU WILL END UP UNREGISTERED.

I’m currently working with my local State Assemblyman’s office on this. If there is any others in CA out there that have had a similar situation, please let me know.

Thanks & 73’s
Jim
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N3BIF
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2003, 05:48:41 PM »

     Another good reason not to have specialty tags .
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KL7IPV
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2003, 01:40:50 AM »

So I guess what you did was forget and continue to drive the vehicle after the plates expired and you did NOT get the new tags for them. Is that correct? If so, what one really needs to do is contact the DMV if the new license plate tags don't arrive in the mail before the plate expires. DMV may not guarantee any transaction done thru the mail, but the ultimate responsibility rests with the registered owner to be sure they plates are current and ask why if they aren't receiving tags as expected BEFORE the plates expire. Have I read the post correctly? Is that what happened? In all the years since 1967 when I first has a ham plate, I never had that problem when I started with California plates first have had five other states and Wash DC since.
73
Frank
KL7IPV
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2003, 12:17:01 PM »

Another GOOD reason not to live in CA.  At times it is like living in an asylum and, unfortunately, the nuts are running the asylum (and the DMV).
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N5ZFW
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2003, 07:36:32 PM »

Jim,

    In Texas, every year we register our vehicle like everybody ele with regular plates. Also once every year, usually four months before your plates expire, the State mails you a form to fill out and mail back to reregister the "specialty plate". We go to the local county tax office/ vehicle registration office and pay a $2 fee to initialy get the ham plates. We then pay $1 every year there after. This process is the same (amount varys for different specialty plates)for all specialty plates. Our call plates state "Texas Radio Operator" above the callsign.
                                     Greg N5ZFW
                  (Tx. Police Officer and devoted HAM)
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2003, 08:48:39 AM »

Hi,

As reported in other posts about CA Ham plates,
DMV and LEO have to key in a special field when
running a plate or updating the DMV records, otherwise, the plate query returns as invalid and problems happen.

Unless the DMV clerk has training for the ham plates, most of the time there will be problems as others have posted.

In NC we have easy procedure but CA has a much larger popluation and different rules and systems.

Hope this will be corrected in your favor !

73 james
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KC8WCW
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2003, 11:59:37 AM »

N3BIF: I couldn't agree more. Not to rib anyone who gets them, but "Vanity Plate" is an appropriate title in my opinion. I always get a kick out of those who'll do a stealth installation of some expensive gear, only to put a "plackard" on the back of their vehicle that essentially says, "Here I am, come and steal me!" Am I missing something? Why advertise to the world that there's a good possibility there's some radio gear stowed away in your vehicle? Even if there isn't, you certainly increase the chances of someone breaking in just to find out.

The other issue, is that normal license plate information cannot be checked by civilians. They can write down your plate number, but they sure can't run it to determine who you are, where you live, etc... Well, you can certainly do that with a callsign! I for one, don't need some psycho finding his way to my residence because he didn't like the way I was driving or whatever. When you get right down to it, what is the real reason for having the plates in the first place? Nobody outside the Amateur community is impressed one way or another anyway.


Robert/KC8WCW
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WA9SVD
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Posts: 2198




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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2003, 03:32:06 PM »

Anyone working for a Police Department in CA should be able to recognize and "run" any kind of CA plate.  An Amateur Call sign plate is no different from any other "vanity" plate in the state, and with plates that have a "hand" or "heart" symbol, there should be no problem whatsoever running a straight Amateur Call license.  It's straight text, 4-6 characters.  WHY should that be a problem?
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K6SDW
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2003, 10:47:10 AM »

Hmmmmmm....I just bought new truck and switched ham-call plates to new truck at no cost here in CA!! The gal at DMV said there's no cost switching ham-call license plates -- of course, registration and taxes for new truck were DAMN expensive!

It did cost me $12 to get new plates for my old car I was getting rid of....I believe I still have receipts for all this...

73..
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AD7DB
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2003, 10:48:09 PM »

Next time, as soon as you've passed the smog test, go over to the Auto Club (AAA), armed with your old registration, old and new insurance cards, the works, and pay for your sticker right there. All done. One of the benefits of AAA membership. (But don't get your car insurance through them... they treated me like total dirt when I had a claim once.)
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W0JOG
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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2003, 03:04:39 PM »

"When you get right down to it, what is the real reason for having the plates in the first place?"

Those of us old enough as hams to remember the hard fights it took to get amateur radio call signs recognized by the state legislatures and given special tags can recall why. It was to affirm that there was a licensed amateur radio operator and reliable mobile equipment ready for any communications emergency.

That was the original reason. Most of it is, as with Morse Code, now ancient history in a world grown dependent on sophisticated equipment, third party support and mostly minimum listening and speaking skills in case of need for emergency communication.

 
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KA5S
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Posts: 229




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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2003, 02:45:08 AM »

Local law enforcement has to know they are Amateur plates, too, and not vanity plates. I was detained by M16-toting military police at Travis AFB a few months ago in the Base Exchange parking lot. Someone who'd seen me operating from the car thought I was a terrorist or something, and reported suspicious activity. My ID card (retired Army) and ham license _normally_ would have been the end of it -- but when they ran the plates and got back a "not found" from the DMV they got nervous.

(Now I have to tell OSI before each visit -- so I don't shop there any more.)

Cortland

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N6AJR
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2003, 11:39:03 PM »

I live in California, and resent the rude comments you seem so easily able to put on here.  We are not a society of fruits, nuts or any other vegatable. I have met more of those in almost any other state than here.

This state has great jobs, a high standard of living, a literate work force, and a great spirit.  There is a reason there is so many folks that choose to live here, ya think???  

And I believe there are more hams in this state than any other.  I have ham Plates on my truck, and I don't worry about being Identified for theft.  I think the 3 big antennas are a dead giveaway.

 73 tom  N6AJR
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N8ZUX
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Posts: 12




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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2003, 11:22:06 PM »

Well I will tell you how it operates in Michigan only one advantage I was working at a Heavy Duty Track Dealership and actually made acquaintances with what we call in MI Secatary of State's Office, I requested a Application for an Amateur Radio License Plate OK no problemo, filed that paperwork, with my proof of insurance and mailed to Lansing, MI. in meantime I was Issued a 15 day temporary plate plate came by mail, I attached it and removed the 15 day temporary. Done deal, by the way if anyone is Planning to run Phoney, or expired plates, be advised the Michigan Law enforcement do love their MDT's and they can ping 3 plates in 3 seconds, and those lights come on real quick after a message can come up INVALID and  ORDER TO CONSFISCATE .

I have Insurance that has a Internet PIN code for renewal, slick and fast if your insurance carrier is a participating member, and I'll have to say for those reading those silly fear books that some green critter is flying in a spaceship is out to get you I have news.. Had same plate 10 years already renewed my ticket now a General and I can say if some moron wants to harass me 911 in Michigan, IN. and Illinois has Harassment laws or road rage laws that will spin a troublemaker behind bars so fast, their head will still be spinning. let along I have relation in the Justice system including a County Prosecutor ! and I can get suit colors swapped to Hot Pink when they serve the slammer time.  heh heh !

Use to work in 2 Saftey Divisions made some GR8 freinds.
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WA9SVD
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2003, 11:56:48 PM »

Hey!  You fellows forgot to mention Yosemite National Park, one of the premiere National Parks in the Country, or the world for that matter! ANY season.  And great beaches.
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