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Author Topic: Got Ham License Plates? READ THIS!  (Read 7153 times)
K6LCS
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« on: June 27, 2011, 10:08:50 PM »

If you are a ham with personalized license plates (probably in ANY state of the US, but
particularly in CA), then you might want to check this Web page out ...

And if you just find me otherwise irritating, you'll love to see seven police units respond
to my traffic stop today ... (grin)

http://tinyurl.com/CLINT-BUSTED

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
AB2RC
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2011, 04:35:51 AM »

I had something similar happen a few months ago.

I was stopped at a traffic light along with about 10 other cars, when some fool decided that he did not have to stop and rear ended me (not much damage to either vehicle, surprising since it was a full size Dodge Ram that hit my 99 Subaru Outback).

Fortunately a police cruiser was going in the opposite direction at the same time, and turned around to assist.

The problem occurred when the officer tried to call in my plate – AB2RC-2 (the -2 is in a smaller font than the rest of the plate). AB2RC comes back to one of my other cars – in this case a 2000 Subaru Outback in a different color. The officer was starting to hassle me about an invalid registration (year & color of the car). I had to explain to him several times that the problem was that he called in the plate incorrectly, that he needed to call in the additional -2 also, the AB2RC plate belongs to one of my other cars.

In retrospect the problem is that when he called in the plate as “AB2RC with a little -2 following it” probably did not compute with the dispatcher. “AB2RC-2” did not work either (even thought that is how it is printed on the registration card). What did work was when he called it in as “AB2RC2”, apparently that is how it had to be entered into the dispatchers computer.

Actually it was kind of interesting hearing someone else saying “Alpha Bravo 2 Romeo Charlie” into a microphone.

Alex/AB2RC (dash two)
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K6LCS
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2011, 03:18:46 PM »

>> ... the -2 is in a smaller font ...

Oh my gawd ... Just when I thought that California was responsible for the most irregular, non-NCIC/CLETS-complaint plates, YOUR state has DIFFERENT FONTS for field personnel to decipher?

(grin)

Clint, K6LCS
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
N0ZNA
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2011, 06:23:20 PM »

never had a problem here in Missouri,and never heard any of my frends eather.73s de n0zna/John
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K3GM
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2011, 08:38:50 PM »

Massachusetts call plates have a lightning bolt (which is actually a space) located somewhere between the characters depending on the length of the call.  In my case, "K3GM" becomes " K3 GM".  In recent years when renewing the registration, the state registry has worked it out so  it recognizes the plate with or without the space.
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KC3EF
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2011, 08:45:31 PM »

I don't know what they would do in TX since you can have the same plates on up to six vehicles.  I have my call sign plates on on my Ford Escape and my 34 ft motor home.  If I robbed a bank which vehicle would the police put out the ABP out one, hi hi.

73's
Dick
KC3EF
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W0FM
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2011, 10:36:30 AM »

Hi Clint,

You may have avoided the problem from the start if your California plate had not been obstructed across the bottom.  If I recall correctly, California amateur radio plates used to say "Amateur Radio" along the bottom like Missouri and many other states.  If your plate says "Amateur Radio" on the bottom it appears to be obstructed in the photo and officers may not have been alerted to that.

Just a thought.

Terry, WØFM
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N4MJG
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2011, 09:33:59 AM »

I Have never have any problem with cops !

I got rear ended by 17 year kid on june 20 luckly only minor damage he notice that i'm  ham radio operator with emergency tag.no space or any kind !!

73
Jackie
N4MJG
WWW.N4MJG.COM (Website is down for now)
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VA2FSQ
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2011, 08:15:35 PM »

I always wondered if I should get ham call sign license plates.  Just think, you accidently cut off a person and this person is really full of road rage, so he types your license in the computer and guess what, he can get you full address and name...kinda scary no?
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VA2FSQ
K2CMH
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Posts: 278




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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2011, 07:29:28 AM »

>always wondered if I should get ham call sign license plates.  >Just think, you accidently cut off a person and this person is >really full of road rage

That is exactly why I have not and will not get call sign license plate.  Also, just a security risk in general.  Someone may decide they like your car, or may want to see if you have a lot of expensive radio gear they can take off your hands.

As a general matter, I wonder how often that happens, not that there would be any reliable way to collect that kind of data though.
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W3LK
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2011, 07:44:46 AM »

As a general matter, I wonder how often that happens, not that there would be any reliable way to collect that kind of data though.

Probably so close to never as to be a non-issue. Besides, that's what I carry insurance for.

That said, I have had call sign tags for several years and the only people who pay attention to them are other hams. I have four antennas on my current vehicle, a cell phone, a dual band, a 6m base loaded whip and a High Sierra screwdriver. The control heads are in plain sight on the dash. I've driven, parked or lived in 14 states with this setup and no one has ever bothered the vehicle or the antennas, including in NYC, Atlanta, Baltimore and a few other crime-ridden cities. I've left the vehicle in airport parking garages, the latest just last month, for up to two weeks and never had it bothered.

I've had radios of one kind or another in vehickles for the last 40 years and have yet to have one bothered. Lots of unfounded paranoia in the amateur community, IMHO.
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
W5DQ
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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2011, 09:27:11 AM »

>always wondered if I should get ham call sign license plates.  >Just think, you accidently cut off a person and this person is >really full of road rage

That is exactly why I have not and will not get call sign license plate.  Also, just a security risk in general.  Someone may decide they like your car, or may want to see if you have a lot of expensive radio gear they can take off your hands.

As a general matter, I wonder how often that happens, not that there would be any reliable way to collect that kind of data though.

I doubt that this is much of a security risk or personal endangerment issue. I have had ham tags on all my vehicles from 3 states over the last 35 years and never once had a single instance of negative response. In fact, just the opposite. Once I pulled over facing the wrong direction on a side street just to drop something off and a cop saw me. He pulled up behind me (wrong side too but hey! he's got the badge and gun Smiley and got out to question me. He looked at my call on the plates and the antennas on my car and asked if I was a ham. After showing him my license and registration, a discussion ensued about ham radio. He was interested in getting his license and I had the rig on in the car (20M HF) and he listened and dialed around a bit. I invited him down to our locla club meeting (I was the president at that time) and he ended up getting his ham ticket a few weeeks later.

No problem with confusing vehicles with multiple call tag in CA. They won't let you do it nor will they let you put a 'SSID' (dash number) on the plate either. For a while they had a problem of putting a space in the call and I think they quit doing that. Now if we can just get the state to drop the registration fee on vehicles to something sane, we'll have it made in the DMV dept.

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
K1CJS
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« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2011, 09:32:50 AM »

I always wondered if I should get ham call sign license plates.  Just think, you accidently cut off a person and this person is really full of road rage, so he types your license in the computer and guess what, he can get you full address and name...kinda scary no?

News for you, if you have REGULAR plates he can do the same thing.  That is no reason to not have ham plates.  I've got a better one--Massachusetts offers ham plates with a lightning bolt in the center of the call--but they cost more than twice as much to have than regular plates do.  The registry has been petitioned to lower the cost many times, but they consider those plates 'vanity' license plates, and refuse to do so.
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AD6KA
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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2011, 10:21:29 AM »

Quote
News for you, if you have REGULAR plates he can do the same thing.

Not in CA, only LE can look up plates.

It didn't used to be so. Long time ago anyone could walk into the
DMV, fill out a form, and look up a plate and get the registration
name and addy. But a couple decades ago an aspiring young actress was stalked
and murdered by a guy who found her address through her plates
and the DMV. Sad. People were outraged and legislation was passed
changing DMV info access.

But you're right, you can find someone pretty easily these days anyway.
Like Scott McNealy said "You have no privacy, get over it".
(Yes, he was referring to online privacy, but I think it's a fair
statement overall, too)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2011, 10:28:35 AM by AD6KA » Logged
KB1TXK
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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2011, 07:41:55 PM »

That said, I have had call sign tags for several years and the only people who pay attention to them are other hams.

The only reason I don't have one is because I don't want people looking up my callsign and contacting me directly to complain about the fact I passed them on a double yellow after watching them screw around with their phone for a few miles....
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