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Author Topic: Call Sign Vanity License Plates  (Read 1309 times)
W7CLC
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Posts: 39




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« on: March 08, 2007, 03:31:34 PM »

I did a quick search and didn’t see this discussed before.  What are the pros and cons of having your radio call sign as a vanity license plate on your motor vehicle?  I’m not crazy about my home address being so easy to access, but I’ve never had an incident on the road that it would have mattered.
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K0CBA
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Posts: 302




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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2007, 05:42:55 PM »

There "ain't no kinda privicy no more".

In most states, license plate registration is public information...........they make you jump thru hoops to get it but its available none the less.

The biggest 'con' as far as I am concerned is the way the fee system works.  I can go along with an extra fee on the first issue, I mean after all, the state prison has to drag some rufus away from his favorite cable TV program to make it (them) but to re-cram you every year for the same "lick'em, stick'um" renewal tab as regular plates use just frosts my donut.  

I displayed them proudly for years until Missouri got so darn greedy.  Even in the tenth call district with the way cool slashed zero, most people have no earthly idea anymore what they are.

One last sort of 'con'...it used to be fun to toot CQ or HI in code at a fellow ham with call plates but sadly those days too are gone.

Save your money and get a window decal showing your call or a coupl'a cups of good coffee.


 
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KZ7B
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2007, 06:05:27 PM »

Washington State's plates are really cheap and there's no annual renewal fee. They get you big time if you want a vanity plate for the Huskies, but HAMs get a free ride here.
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2007, 06:24:34 PM »

hi,

We have them in NC, they are service plates so we just pay $ 10 fee instead of the higher vanity or custom fee.
This is in addition to the regular $ 28 fee for the registration.

I have them on both cars for over 15 years, no problem.

The antenna on the car gives me away !

when I travel, I put a few extra antenna on the
trunk lid, makes the crown vic look undercover !

73 james
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KB1LKR
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Posts: 1898




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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2007, 06:37:55 PM »

Re: cost & conditions it varies state to state, see: http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/local/plates.html   for a summary and web links
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K5LXP
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2007, 06:22:42 AM »

Well, they have vanity plates for school sports supporters, people in public safety, veterans, endangered wildlife, and who knows what else.  Why not ham radio?  I know several hams that won't get one because they consider it a flag to thieves that there might be radios inside, but I would think the antennas might be a giveaway too.  It's just a distinction that in most cases only another ham would recognize but what the heck, it's a custom plate you don't have to pay custom plate fees for (in most states).  Here in NM it's a one time $3 fee, almost as cheap as a sticker in the window.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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W6DPS
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Posts: 17




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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2007, 12:18:34 PM »

The only down-side I have encountered in California is the hassle of convincing the DM folks that they are not vanity plates.  There is a separate program for ham plates, but they process them so rarely it is difficult to walk them through it.

Even with more hams than any other state, they tell me that each DMV office only processes 1 or 2 applications per year.

Ham plates in California are special plates, on the same application form as the purple heart plates and such.  $20 to get them; $12 to move to new vehicle.

As for attracting attention--I have 2m/440, 220, and 10m antennas on my Jeep.  I think it doesn't matter much if my call sign is on my plates.

73's de Dave, W6DPS
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K6HWH
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Posts: 18




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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2007, 12:38:21 PM »

I've never understood paying money for vanity plates--no added convenience, just downside.  Can't see that ham plates are different, where they would just make it easy for everyone to look up my home address.
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W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2007, 05:59:24 AM »

Paranoia is alive and well in the amateur community.

Anyone who thinks keeping their call sign off their vehicle, either decal or tags, will keep someone intent on criminal activity from getting information about that person is living in a dream world.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
N3OX
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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2007, 07:44:55 AM »

"Anyone who thinks keeping their call sign off their vehicle, either decal or tags, will keep someone intent on criminal activity from getting information about that person is living in a dream world."

I'd also say the same if you replace "information about that person" with "property from the car" ;-)

You need money for drugs, you're not going to only target the ham radio license plates.

Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
K0RFD
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Posts: 1368




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« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2007, 01:05:10 PM »

We have them in Colorado and they're cheap.  I've been meaning to get callsign plates for years, but this year they're adding an Italian-American plate.  No joke.  Now I'm torn.  You think they'll sell me an Italian-American plate with my callsign?
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W3LK
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« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2007, 04:34:27 PM »

The only reason I don't have call sign tags is I drive a company vehicle and the hoops required aren't worth the effort.

I do have my call sign in nice, blue 2" letters on the rear window of my Windstar - matches the color of the vehicle. Smiley

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
K7PEH
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Posts: 1124




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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2007, 08:34:22 PM »

Regarding Washington State -- note that a ham radio license IS NOT considered a Vanity Plate.  Therefore, if you pursue this through the Vanity plate system you will run into a dead end.  In fact, a Vanity plate cannot have set of letters that might mimic a amateur call sign.

In Washington State this is called a Special Interest license plate and it is a lot cheaper than a Vanity Plate (as noted by the previous post).  You can order this via mail but you need to provide a zerox copy of your FCC license so have that ready.

Phil, K7PEH
Kirkland, Washington
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W7CLC
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2007, 11:07:22 AM »

Yes, I think I used the wrong term.  I did, nonetheless, send in my application for my specialty plate with my call-sign.  I mailed it on the 9th and they haven’t cashed the check yet.  Now if I can just figure out how to change my call-sign in these forums.

K7XFE
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KD7YVV
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2007, 03:44:40 PM »

I'd love a callsign plate, but my YL has a Mariner's
plate.
Although slim, if a person bent on stealing something
sees you on the road, then they know it's a good
possibility your QTH is unoccupied at the moment.
That would be my only concern, but I think all in all,
it's a good way to tell the world you're a ham.

--KD7YVV, Kirkland, WA

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