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Author Topic: Call sign license plates  (Read 1603 times)
VE3EGP
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Posts: 9




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« on: August 13, 2018, 05:01:43 PM »

I can't get any response from RAC (Radio Amateurs of Canada) to this question, so maybe there are some Canuck HAMS on here that can answer this for me.

I recently acquired a new call sign and I want call sign plates for my vehicle to reflect my new call. However, the widow of the SK that held the call I currently have, (who became an SK in 2015) still has the SK's call sign plates. It gets a little more complicated.

The widow has recently passed on and now one of her kids has the car with the call sign plates, with my call sign.  Angry

In short, can I force our motor vehicle license bureau to send a letter to the current holder of said plates requesting they relinquish those plates? My next vehicle arrives in about 60 days.
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VK3TEX
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Posts: 60




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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2018, 05:33:11 PM »

Hey There,

I don't think you can force the Motor Vehicle Bureau to do anything, if they are anything like they are here in VK.... I'd say your out of Luck there...

You seem to know who has the plates, so the best bet, is to be as NICE as you can and CONVINCING as you can to ask for the plates, explaining the situation.(CASH helps here too!)

Get cracking, you have 60 days!....

Then again, if you upset them, you're out of luck. Might be easier to change your call sign!!

Cheers, Les VK3TEX.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2018, 09:44:56 PM »

Owner SK, widow SK.....kids now have the vehicle.  Doesn't the plates "run out" with the death of the original owner(s)?

If the widow passed the title on to one of the kids prior to her death, I'd say you're screwed.

Have you checked with the Canadian DMV about this? 
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VE3PP
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2018, 05:00:04 AM »

You have to get the widow of the SK to turn the plates in.
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VE3WI
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2018, 08:08:14 AM »

My story:
When I got my current call, I tried to order vanity plates.  I was told they were still in use.  After several queries, I found out that they were not in use but had not been returned, and that MTO won't reissue vanity plates unless the old ones are physically returned.  The call previously belonged to an old gent who became an SK about 12 years previously.  I found his obituary and wrote to all the family members that I could find addresses for.  I apologized for the intrusion and asked if they knew the disposition of the plates, but after many months received no answers.  So I wrote to the Minister of Transport.  I explained my situation, and that my efforts to find the plates had failed.  I offered the opinion that, given the elapsed time, there could be no negative consequence arising from my vehicle wearing those plates.  I also mentioned the public service roles that I and many other hams perform, and that just maybe, we deserved a little accommodation now and then.  In a few weeks I got an email from a staffer at MTO, who told me to go to my local Service Ontario office and order the plates.  A pleasant secondary surprise was that MTO deemed it a "transfer" and only charged me about $50 instead of their $300+  fee for a new vanity plate.  The plates were couriered to me direct from Kingston (Ontario residents will know why they came from there).  I installed them & returned the old ones.  Thanks to some welcome common sense from MTO, I now have nice VE3WI plates bearing the RAC logo. 

In your case, I don't think MTO will "force" the son to turn in the plates.  As long as the vehicle ownership transfer was done properly, they don't really care if a non-ham has ham vanity plates.  Your best bet would be to talk to the widow & son & try and persuade them to turn them in.  They probably don't even know that ISED recycles ham callsigns.  Hopefully they won't be offended that you have his former callsign.  Hopefully they will see it as keeping the callsign alive, and that the plates belong with the callsign holder.

Good luck.

73
Dave, VE3WI 

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VE3EGP
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2018, 05:19:34 PM »

Dave VE3WI, and others, thank you.  Smiley

I'm not purchasing vanity plates, just ordering plain ole call sign plates so I think I'll contact the Minister of Transport as a last resort. However I need to tread carefully on this as the SK was my Elmer. His wife is also now an SK, but I believe his call sign plates reside with the son who I will be contacting shortly as I know where he resides and he has no interest in HAM radio.

Furthermore, I have QSL cards coming to me from the bureau that are from the SK's contacts. I will send them off to the son along with my letter request and hope for the best.

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K8AXW
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2018, 09:05:32 PM »

You might offer to pay for any transfers/paper work involved.  in other  words guarantee him that such a move as you suggest won't cost him anything.

Good luck.

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WZ7U
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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2018, 09:13:50 PM »

You might offer to pay for any transfers/paper work involved.  in other  words guarantee him that such a move as you suggest won't cost him anything.

Good luck.


Exactly. Then the only logical reason he would want to hold on to them would be sentimental.

Which will run the price up considerably.
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K7MH
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Posts: 455




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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2018, 10:23:39 AM »

Most places probably do have regulations regarding ham callsign vanity license plates and needing to be still licensed with that call to keep the plates. They most likely do not keep up with it as an ongoing process. They SHOULD require proof of being currently licensed with that callsign at the time of registration renewal but they do not.

I have changed callsign plates twice after the first callsign plates I ever had. I did one a long time ago get a notice from WA state DOL that I would be fined if I did not turn in a previous set of plates since I no longer held that callsign. It was a misdemeanor, blah blah blah. This was YEARS after having changed from that callsign and that set of plates had not been registered for all those years which they should easily be able to see from their records.

I wrote them back explaining all that and never heard from them again.

You should be able to get your licensing authority to look into it. With your proof of holding that callsign they SHOULD demand the plates returned and or cancel the registration of them to that vehicle after notifying the current registered owner. It is not reasonable that an unlicensed person should be able to keep callsign plates even if it is a currently unissued callsign let alone an issued one to someone else.

If you don't want to cause waves with that family then either forget it, buy that car with those tags on it from them, or get a different callsign.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2018, 05:29:43 AM »

In South Carolina the rules are:

"First-time applications must be handled by mail. You must certify on the application that you hold an unrevoked and unexpired amateur radio license of a renewable nature as issued by the Federal Communications Commission. The fee for the license plate is $2 plus the registration fee."

Assuming that someone related to a SK is currently using their plate, and based on the above requirements, and the issuance of the SK's call sign to me, I believe that I could demand that the call sign plate of that SK be retrieved from the current user and issued to me.
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KS2G
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Posts: 1009




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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2018, 12:24:03 PM »

... buy that car with those tags on it from them...


Don't know how it works elsewhere, but in New York State license plates (tags) don't go with the car; they "belong" to and stay with the registered owner who puts them on his/her next car, or surrenders them to DMV.  Wink
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WZ7U
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Posts: 1073




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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2018, 01:26:55 PM »

Every state/country is different. Throwing out "this is how its done here" posts doesn't help the OP who is in Canada. Canada.

Reading comprehension is truly a lost art on these forums.  Roll Eyes
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KS2G
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2018, 02:20:11 PM »

Throwing out "this is how its done here" posts doesn't help the OP...

But it may help to educate some other reader(s) of the thread.  Wink

The OP got his answer(s) and indicated what he plans to do earlier in the thread.
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WZ7U
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« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2018, 02:46:01 PM »

Well, OK. There is that.  Grin
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VA7PIO
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« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2018, 09:23:18 AM »

Well I had this happen to me, in B.C. seems I snagged the call sign just days after it was available a year after the sk's passing. Yet when I sent my application to get plates with the new call sign, I was told by ICBC that there is still an active plate registered with that call sign, I would have to wait for it to expire and be cleared from their computer database, since they now know the call sign belongs to me, the current Plate will not be permitted to be renewed. Citing privacy laws, I was not given info on a time line on the plate expiration and then was told it also takes time for it to be purged from the database, so about 3 months later I received a letter stating that my new plate request has been approved and will be available for pickup in about 14 days, then I got a call 3 days later from my insurance office that I requested the plates to sent to, stating my plates were there to be picked up.

So basically in Canada a previously used call sign becomes available one year after the passing of the SK, then the registration on the plate expires every year so depending on the circumstances, it could take just over a year for you to get a plate with the new call sign. 
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