Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Complaint to DMV: DW Thorne, K6SOJ, World Radio Relay League

(mailed 12/12/07):

Office of the Director
Department of Motor Vehicles
2415 1st Avenue Mail Station F101
Sacramento, CA 95818

December 12, 2007

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am an amateur radio operator and my FCC issued call sign is K6SOJ. I have had amateur radio call sign license plates K6SOJ on my vehicle for several years.
On June 26, 2007 upon returning home from a 1500 mile road trip I noticed that my front license plate was missing.

My amateur radio call sign, as issued by the FCC, has five (5) characters in this configuration: K6SOJ. The standard (environmental) California plate has room for seven (7) characters. The lost plate was configured: _K6SOJ_ , (centered in the middle of the plate with no spaces between any character as is the rear license plate which is still on the vehicle).

On July 13, 2007 I visited the Tulelake DMV office (86 mile round trip), ordered a replacement plate, and paid the $16.00 fee. About four months later I received two replacement plates. The new plates were _K6_SOJ (offset to the right, with a full space between the 6 and the S).

On December 10, 2007 I visited the Yreka DMV office (130 mile round trip) and was waited upon by Jan, (DMV Clerk # 09, last name unknown). I explained my complaint, and showed her the proper documentation including my FCC license. Jan was very willing to correct the error and resolve the problem. When she tried to find my vehicle’s records in the DMV data base, she could not find my vehicle “in the system.” She consulted with her supervisor, who was also unable to find my vehicle’s record in the data base.

Jan then tried calling Sacramento, but was unable to get through. Jan told me that she would try again in the morning and call me. I turned in the incorrect plates and also provided a photocopy of my (correct) rear license plate.

On December 7, Jan called and left a voice mail message that she had checked with Sacramento and the person that she spoke with (I believe she said the person’s name was Tony, last name unknown) told her that the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) determines the license plate format for amateur radio operators, and that they mandate that a space be placed between the K6 and the SOJ in my case. She then instructed me to pick up my (incorrect) plates the next time I am in Yreka.

I do not believe that this is correct. I called the FCC in Gettysburg, PA (1-888-225-5322) and spoke with Mary Riddick, a customer service representative, and explained what had happened. Her first words were: “That’s not true.” She then went on to say that the FCC has no such ruling or requirement, and has nothing to do with what the DMV in any state does when it comes to license plate configuration(s).

I am asking you to look into, and resolve, this matter. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.


David W. Thorne
xxx xxxxx xxx

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