Thursday, December 18, 2008

Got It!

In June 2008 I found one of the seven 6th call district 1x2 or 2x1s which have my initials had become available. I immediately applied for AC6C. By this point my corrected WW6CC plates had not arrived.

In July 2008, the day AC6C was granted, my corrected WW6CC plates arrived. Since WW6CC was no longer my callsign, I had to order AC6C plates. After a few months, DMV sent me another WW6CC plates (no space). There was trouble getting corrected, as the contact person in DMV was on leave and then transferred to a new job. I finally got AC6C plates in late-October 2008.

Friday, May 2, 2008

No Corrected Plates Yet, 5-2-08


Here is it May 2, 2008 and I and other hams still have not yet gotten our corrected ham callsign license plates from the DMV yet. I applied for them on Feb. 11, 4 business days after they were available. If you count from when I first ordered ham plates, it has been a year and 1 month! Some of hams got their plates already.

Cliff, WW6CC

Friday, April 4, 2008

No Corrected Plates Yet, 4-4-07


I have heard from several of our California ham friends who have not yet gotten their corrected plates from the DMV. I applied for them on Feb. 11, 4 business days after they were available. I have waited for 7 weeks. If you count from when I first ordered ham plates, it has been a year!

Some of hams got their plates within a few weeks. I finally got through to DMV today and was told that their have been several lockdowns at Folsom Prison, where the plates are made. The prisoners have not been allowed to make license plates. DMV said it would take a few more weeks to catch up.

Cliff, WW6CC

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Joe Kao, N6KAO, Waiting Since Sept. 2007

my name is joe, n6kao. i am too a victim of the "space in ham callsign license plate". when i received my plate in late jan, i thought dmv made a mistake by adding a space. later i found out from a lady in special plate unit in sacramento that dmv purposely put the space in, then decided to remove it due to compliants from ham operators statewide.
just a quick history of my journey....
late sept 07 - went to dmv and applied for a ham callsign plate. they took my original plate away and gave me a red sticker to put on window (temporary registration).
mid nov 07 - received registration paper and sticker, but no plate.
late nov 07 - temp reg expiring and still didn't receive plate. went back to dmv for temp reg extensiono. i was told the order didn't go in system until late oct.
late jan 08 - received the plates (with space). went back to dmv and reordered another plate. local dmv officals had no idea why a space was inserted within callsign.
late feb 08 - again, found out the order didn't go into system until 1 month after initial inquiry.
mid mar 08 - received registration with sticker, but no plate.
currently i am still waiting for my plate to come. in feb when i found out from the dmv's special plate unit about the decision to remove space from callsign, i went online and found your blog entry.
my current temp tag is about to expire. i am about to go back to dmv and request for another extension for my temp reg.
it has been a frustrating experience so far. i've gone to dmv many times to get extension on the temp registration. i even asked them to give me as far out as possible, but local dmv office was reluctant to give out more than 2 months. after arguing with a manager, finally i was able to get 3 months temp registration.
thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Another Ham Stopped by Cops, K6PIC


Thank you so much for your efforts in getting the word out about the "Space" in the ham radio callsign license plate issue. I first noticed the extra space when I got my registration renewed in December and was slightly concerned but I've always known there was an issue of the plates being mistaken as "peronalized plates" by law enforcement when they call in for a 10-28.
In the past even renewing my registration at the DMV took some effort. They once had to call two supervisors over to finally figure out how to look up my vehicle in the computer. Seemed back then the addition of an astrik infront of the callsign would do a search and they would find it. It seems idiotic to think by adding a space they would solve if not complicate even further the whole issue. In the past especially when paying parking tickets I've alway put the astrick infront of the callsign hoping if they got confused that it would help them find my registration record.

Last night (March 3rd/4th, 2008) on my way home from work I was stopped by the police whom I assume had done a rolling 10-28 on my plate and they asked me all sorts of questions. First was if it was my vehicle. Then if I had just got it from a salvage yard. Then how long I had owned it. Then they told me there was no record of my vehicle in the computer database. They asked to see my registration which I produced and I pointed out it was a HAM Amateur Radio type 61 plate and suggested they should try the *. After waiting something like 10 minutes they came back and told me they still had no record of my vehicle and that I needed to clear it up with the DMV. She even said that the dispatcher whom she spoke with at the communication center had worked there 20 years and had no idea what it was or why it wasn't coming up. In my experience from visiting the com center in my county I found that a lot of the dispatcers are themselves hams and it was somewhat disturbing to be told I had to "fix" this discrepancy with the DMV.

If you have any sort of emailing list regarding this issue and the greater side issue of being stopped by the police please add my email to the list. THANK YOU AGAIN for your effort to inform the greater ham community of this issue.


Christopher James Knight

Monday, March 3, 2008

1 of the 1st Corrected Plates, Cindy Engel, DVM, KA7UIA

[Editor's Note - Dr. Cindy Engel, DVM, KA7UIA of Santa Barbara was the first to give us a .jpeg of her corrected plate. We heard the other week that a northern Calif. ham got his. We reached out to him but he did not respond].

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kong Lew's, KG6TN Corrected Plates, 2-28-08

Kong Lew's, KG6TN Corrected Plates, 2-28-08

DMV Permits Non-Ham to Have Ham Plates

R. Breidinger

Department of Motor Vehicles

Special Plates Unit – M/S 238

2415 1st Ave.

Sacramento, CA 95818

Dear R. Breidinger,

Recently I applied for a set of Amateur Radio Operator call sign vehicle license plates. As requested, I included a copy of my current FCC license to operate under the call sign of N6MDA. Last week I noticed that the $21.00 check I had sent along was processed by my bank, and I expected the plates to arrive shortly!

Yesterday, I received a letter from the DMV which included my original application and paperwork and informing me: “Our records are indicating Amateur Radio Plates issued to another party on a currently registered vehicle. You cannot have 2 parties with same call letters. Contact FCC for correct call letters”.

After several calls, I finally talked to a woman named “Linda” in the Special Plates Unit. I thought the plate may still be registered to the person who had my N6MDA call previously, and had let it expire with the FCC back in 2005. She looked up the present owner and the history on the plate. She discovered the previous N6MDA had sold his truck and transferred the N6MDA plates to the new owner, who is not a licensed Amateur Radio Operator.

I asked the women at the DMV how can this happen? She advised me that when a new application for a call sign plate is made, the DMV requests a copy of a valid FCC Amateur Radio Operators license. However, when someone who has let their FCC Amateur Radio Operators license expire goes to renew the Ham plates, or sells their vehicle with the Ham plates on it, the DMV makes no effort to revalidate that this person still has a valid FCC license.

This process now allows people without a valid FCC license to display a Ham call sign on their vehicle. The DMV allowing this practice to occur is a serious matter for the following reasons:

  1. It defeats the purpose of having Amateur Radio Operator call plates on vehicles to help identify Ham operators who are members of the state of California’s Auxiliary Communications Service, and who have been activated for an emergency.
  1. It exposes the legally licensed Amateur Radio Operator, who actually holds the call sign, to the possibility of fines and even imprisonment if the person displaying the unauthorized plates should operate a mobile radio from his vehicle in violation of FCC rules, and another Amateur Radio Operator should report this violation using the call sign to the FCC.

I am requesting the California Department of Motor Vehicle to take the following actions:

  1. Discontinue the practice of allowing Amateur Radio Operator call sign plates to be transferred along with the sale of a vehicle.
  1. Put on the vehicle registration / renewal certificate that the plate number listed is that of an Amateur Radio Operator. As you require that upon request of original Ham plates a copy of the FCC license be included, you have the expiration date of such license. Consider the policy, that if a Amateur Radio Operator’s license has expired, then that person must send a copy of their renewed license along with their vehicle renewal.
  1. That you immediately inform the present owner of the license plates N6MDA that they are not authorized to display these plates, and must take them to the nearest DMV office for exchange.
  1. That you immediately process my application (enclosed) and send me the N6MDA plates as requested. Please make sure that they are made as required by the FCC with no spaces between the letters and numbers.
  1. That you consider adding the text: “Amateur Radio Operator” to the license plate for positive identification. This is done for Veterans and Disabled, why not Amateur Radio Operators?

Your prompt action in this matter would be greatly appreciated.


M. Michael D’Amore (N6MDA)

CC: Senator Tom McClintock

State Capitol, Room 3070

Sacramento, CA 95814

Sunday, February 10, 2008

DMV Calls Steve Gibson, K6KGO

Hi Cliff,

I have an up-date for you and other hams. I received a telephone call from DMV special plates unit in Sacramento last Wednesday (2-6-08) and the technician that was calling asked me if I would like to have my ham plates reissued "without the space" in the call sign. My response to her was, of course, yes. She told me that she would place the order for me and that no follow-up paperwork would be required on my part and I would not be assessed any additional fee for the plates. She then told me that if I had already placed my 2008 registration sticker on the rear incorrectly configured plate (which I had) she would send me a new registration card with a new sticker. I was very impressed by DMV on this one. They recognized the error and then called me to get it corrected all without burdening me with extra paperwork or fees. I hope you and other amateur radio operators will benefit from this information. Please feel free to post either or both of my email messages. And thanks for getting the ball rolling on this issue, I for one appreciate it.


-Steven Gibson, K6KGO

Lake Almanor, Plumas County, CA

Saturday, February 9, 2008

ARRL Southwest Division Newsletter, 2-9-08.

[Editor’s Note –To say “unpleasant confrontations” have occurred when hams have been stopped by the police, and the police have been unable to find their callsign license plate in the DMV computer is an understatement. Being stopped by the police can turn into a very serious matter. Such stops should be avoided. While to a police officer it is reasonable to stop a car whose plates are not apparently in the DMV computer, the cause of this is DMV computer defaults to putting a space into our callsign license plates. This issue has not been resolved].

On Sat, 9 Feb 2008 13:18:04 -0500 (EST), "ARRL SW Division"

Note: This message was inadvertantly delayed at ARRL HQ for approximately

40 hours. We apologize for the error. -- KE3Z


Here's your update on major items of interest to us in the

ARRL Southwestern Division...


California License Plate Issue Resolved

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has made it official that

Amateur Radio callsign license plates will again be issued without

spaces in the callsigns. Those who currently have plates with spaces

can get them exchanged. Information is on the DMV web-site at .

Amateur Radio's case was made by a number of individuals including a

number of individuals who contacted DMV and/or their elected


DMV apparently has several lists of license plate numbers, such as

regular automobile, motorcycle, commercial vehicle, and amateur radio.

Therefore California law enforcement personnel have to search their DMV

database computers for callsign plates under the "ham" designation.

Several people have reported that certain policemen were unaware of

this, and unpleasant confrontations have occurred. People are

suggesting fixes for this, such as putting the words "Amateur Radio" on

the plates. These suggestions are being politely passed on to DMV. In

the meantime, remind any officer stopping you that he must search for

ham plates.

California - Use of Cellular Telephone While Driving Law

After initial concern that California's law prohibiting use of a cell

phone while driving might be misapplied to use of Amateur Radio mobile

equipment, DMV's web-site clearly now states that the law, scheduled to

begin on July 1, does not apply to two-way radios. See

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

ARRL Ignores Life Member Don Borden, NC6A's Complaint

[Editor’s Note – Andy Oppel is ARRL’s Vice-Director Northern Calif. Bob Vallio is Director].

Andy, I was probably one of the first hams to get space ham plates and the lies from DMV. I immediately though "ARRL has to be told" I sent an email to Bob Vallio W6RGG informing him what was happening and also asked him what should be done to correct this. After two weeks of no response I sent him another email and again no response. As of today I have never received a reply to my emails.

I am a life member of the ARRL and have been a member for about 30 years. I'm very, very disappointed with Mr. Vallio and the entire ARRL Organization for the way they handled the ham space problem. All Mr. Vallio had to do was send me a short email telling me that the ARRL was working on the problem through legal channels and that he would keep California Hams advised of the progress.

Believe me if I was not an ARRL Life Member I would not be a member at all!!

Don Borden NC6A

Newstory: AR Newsline, 2-6-08

AR Newsline Reports DMV Policy Change

There are 33 pages of comments from hams which followed the story.

DMV Reverses Policy: No Space, Feb. 6, 2008

California LogoCalifornia Department of Motor Vehicles

Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability

A picture of a man and a woman using DMV Online Services

A picture of a man and a woman using DMV Online ServicesLink to 0nline applications

Schedule Appointment Online
Online Vehicle Registration Renewal
Vehicle Registration Fee Calculator
Online Driver License Renewal
Order Special Interest and Personalized Plates
Online Change of Address
Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability

Dmv Logo

Amateur Radio (HAM) License Plates

These plates are issued, upon request, to holders of Federal Communication Commission (FCC) amateur radio station licenses. The alpha-numeric series reflects the call letters assigned by the FCC (Vehicle Code §5005 and Revenue and Taxation Code §§10751, 10752).

If you have Amateur Radio (HAM) License Plates that have spaces between the numbers or letters and you would like plates without the spaces follow this link to the application. Complete the application and a Statement of Facts indicating that you wish to retain the old plates until the new plates arrive, at which time you will properly destroy the old plates. Mail both documents to the address on the bottom of the application form. No fees are required.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your Amateur Radio (HAM) license plates, please call Customer Communications at (916) 657-6560

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Copyright © 2007 State of California

Update - Check DMV website

Hi Everyone:

I am away right now. I have received word from DMV and Assemblyman Feuer's office that we ought to check the website after 10am in the morning. The message states that DMV will reverse its policy. Supposedly, those of who ordered and paid for callsign license plates from the DMV and instead received plates which have a space in the callsign may exchange them at no charge. Supposedly a procedure will be stated after 10am.

For 2.5 weeks, we have been hearing unconfirmed rumors about this outcome. DMV messages have been inconsistent throughout this process. For the last week, I have been stressing to DMV that they ought to correct a problem they created at no charge to us. A fraction within DMV wanted to charge us for a "change of plate." My arguement was that we need a "correction" at no charge. Until we see confirmation let us not get ahead of ourselves.

I asked a senior DMV official - why they were reversing policy? I was told it was due to the letters and petitions to legislative offices. When this official did not say it was due to lobbying efforts by ARRL, I asked if they had been working with ARRL? I was told no. They were unaware of ARRL.

The fact is, see emails below, ARRL has been critical of and attempted to stop those of us who received these plates from pursuing our legal right to redress. Also see John Ardnt, KG6S's site which points out ARRL took no action before the popular campaign forced them too. In order to purse a claim, the complainant must have legal standing; be a direct party. ARRL's standing was not recognized, see Assemblyman Feuer's response to ARRL on Not only do we have a legal right to pursue redress, which can not be assigned or taken by ARRL, if we do not exercise those rights we lose them. ARRL also prematurely announced that it had resolved this dispute and that our letters and petitions had impeded their efforts. The fact is that the popular uprising by the hams of California has pressured DMV to change its policy!

I am away until next week and unable to answer emails. Good luck in checking the DMV site!


Cliff Cheng, Ph.D., WW6CC
Licensed Since 1975
Formerly: WN6JPA, WA6JPA, KI6CM
Life Member - ARRL, QCWA

1c43ff0.jpgBob Vallio to Richard, me

show details Jan 4 (10 days ago)


Hi Cliff,

Here is the original message. While I was searching what I thought was all of my mail, I decided to take a look in my SPAM file, and there it was. I have learned that I must search my SPAM file separately, if I am to find the target word there. Sorry I did not realize that, but that's not how the search is supposed to work. I'll look into that.

Balbiani's response is full of weasel words, and does not address the obvious intent of California Vehicle Code Section 5005 that the license contain the call letters assigned by the FCC as shown on the amateur's license . Neither does his response address the false statement from his office that the spacing was being done to conform to federal requirements.

I'm not sure of the efficacy of your letter writing program, but since you have already chosen to launch it, there's little to be done. Please keep Dick and I advised of further actions you may undertake; preferably before their implementation. Thanks.

73, Bob -- W6RGG

1c4401f.jpg1c4402f.jpgWW6CC, Cliff ChengLoading...

Jan 5 (10 days ago)

1c4403e.jpg1c4404e.jpgWW6CC, Cliff Cheng to Bob, Dick,

show details Jan 5 (10 days ago)


Hi Bob:

Your email and our telecon last night offers no workable solutions,
just criticism of our grassroots campaign to reverse DMV's foolish
actions. You suggest we try to influence DMV. As I explained last
night this has been done and failed. From DMV's letter to Marvin
Munster, it is clear DMV has dug its heels in. From my years of
experience as a former LA City Commissioner and prior to that an
Advisor to the Calif. Fair Employment and Housing Commissioner and US
EEOC, and the advise I have gotten for political pros our method of
generating as a grassroots campaign to apply pressure from outside
onto DMV by way of petitioning the legislature is the way to go. Dick
has not mentioned his experience of government to me, have you any?

We respectfully ask you to reconsider your position. We welcome your support.


On Thu, 17 Jan 2008 19:59:02 -0800, "Andy Oppel" <>
> >Hi Cliff,
> Bill Hillendahl forwarded your note to me. ARRL Pacific Division
> Director Bob Vallio, ARRL Southwestern Division Director Dick Norton,
> and I all ask that you hold off on letters and petitions and give us
> a chance to work this through channels. We have several people (all
> of whom are hams) working different angles on the issue, including an
> attorney who knows California state law, a professional lobbyist in
> Sacramento who is our state government liaison, and some guys in
> Southern California who have connections with the DMV. Our fear is
> that a letter writing or petition campaign at this time could
> undermine the efforts that are already underway.
> I know how frustrating government agencies can be, but one common
> characteristic is that things change slowly. So, it's going to take
> some time to resolve this. And if we decide that letters to
> legislators would help, we will put out a call to do so, and include
> you in that request.
> -- Andy Oppel, N6AJO
> ARRL Pacific Division Vice Director

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Complaint - Steve Gibson, K6KGO

Hello Cliff,

I have been following the blog on the "no space ham plates" issue. I received my amateur radio plates yesterday from DMV Headquarters and my configuration was "K6 KGO" as predicted. I called the special plates unit at DMV (916-657-8035) and the technician I spoke with was not aware of the issue. She took down my information and questions and stated that someone would call me back within 3 business days (she stated probably next Monday). I am just wondering what up-to-date information you may have. I haven't attached the plates to my car yet, pending receipt of the phone call promised by DMV. Is DMV providing any relief for the amateur community or is the issue still fluid? If it has been addressed and rectified, what is the next step in the process to get my plates imprinted correctly? Any information you can pass along to me will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


-Steven Gibson, K6KGO

Lake Almanor, CA

Petition - Jun's Electoronics, 28 Hams Against DMV

Jun’s Electoronics

Culver City CA

28 Signers of the Petition Against a Space in Amateur Radio Callsign License Plates

Jan. 2008

Bryce Anderson, K6TI

Topanga CA

Lonnie Bland, N6RBR

Redondo Beach CA

Walter Deutsch, KG6MZU

El Segundo CA

Richard Friedel, KB6OT

Redondo Beach CA

Gregory Hillendahl, KE6THC

Gardena CA

Paul In, KI6EL

Rosemead CA

Mario Ibarra, WS6C

Palmdale CA

Dale Jensen, K6ZTI

Culver City CA

Darin Jones, KC6UBP

LA CA 90043

Douglas Junge, K6BKB

Culver City CA

Donald Klein, KI6PMS

Culver City CA

Caskey Dickson, KV8O

La Cresenta CA

David Larson, AC9AC

Santa Barbara CA

Marcelino Martinez, KF6ILX

Compton CA

Mark Mountain, AI6MM

Agoura CA

Ernie Nairne, N6HY

LA (Mar Vista), CA

Walt Ordway, K1DFO

Palos Verdes, CA

Jeff Park, W6LLJ

Van Nuys CA

Chito Pastor, WW6CP

Culver City CA

Lee Roberson, K6OXJ

Inglewood CA

Joe Scholz, W6BTE

Manhattan Beach CA

Deanna Smitha, W6DWS

Simi Valley CA

Elie Tawil, K4ELE

San Dimas CA

Robert Taylor, K6VBI

Carson CA

Norman Watters, WG6W

Dominguez Hills CA

Western Amateur Radio Linking Assn., WA6LA

Redondo Beach CA

Jimmy Wunno, KA6WXZ

LA, CA 90065

Ray Wunno, KE6LE

Gardena CA

Monday, February 4, 2008

DMV Calls Tom Cagan, KB6NQW

I just received a telephone call from Ms. Kathleen Rose at the California DMV. She is the New Deputy Director of Registration. She said "as of this day 4 February 2008, the space is gone". Most all who have written to the various state legislative offices and to Mr. Schwarzenegger's office should get a telephone call from her describing where you can apply for replacement plates at no fee.

de kb6nqw, Tom Cagan

Sunday, February 3, 2008

DMV Sends Don Borden, NC6A a 2nd Set of Plates With a Space In It

Just to let you know that the totally screwed up DMV just sent me another set of plates with the space. What a waste of our tax payer dollars!!!!

Don NC6A

ARRL Sacramento Valley Newsletter, 2-1-08

From: ARRL SV Section []
Sent: Friday, February 01, 2008 3:35 PM
Subject: Monthly Sacramento Valley Section News Summary

January Summary,

.....In California for many years now, our Department of Motor Vehicles has
issued call sign license plates to amateurs holding an unexpired amateur
operator's license. Starting a few years ago, DMV put a space on the license
plate (and on the registration document and in the data base) after the
number in the call sign. My call sign thus would appear as W6 KJ both on the
license plate and on my registration. Since my plates are 12 years old, only
the registration appears that way. The plates are correct. But for people
getting their plates recently, this 'space' issue has been an unnecessary
Another aspect of the problem is if I was stopped by police and the plates
were run against the data base. My registration says W6 KJ, but the plates
don't have a space in the call sign. I would need to tell the officer that
it is an amateur radio plate and to make sure to insert the space or the
data base search might show the plate was not issued. After several SV
members complained about this I began researching the issue. I found online
a letter from the director of the DMV in which he noted he could not correct
the problem. The space had been inserted to differentiate between vanity
plates and amateur plates. This was an arbitrary decision. So I wrote to my
legislators requesting relief and advocated that others in the state do the
same. Two days later, but after many letters had been written before I got
into the act, an Assemblywoman in Lancaster, CA, got the answer from DMV for
which we had all hoped. DMV will remove the space from license plates and
our registrations. Thanks to many who acted on this issue, including our
Division leadership who had been working behind the scenes at 'various'
levels to correct the problem......

73, Ron Murdock, W6KJ, Sacramento Valley Section Manager

ARRL Sacramento Valley Section
Section Manager: Ronald D. Murdock, W6KJ

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Rebuttal to EmComm Monthly - Marvin Munster, W6MJM

I am sorry, I have to disagree with you here. The more letters and phone calls, the better. Nothing is worse than stopping a campaign in the middle of attention getting. This is ridiculous. It is not what my call sign is, it is what the CA-DMV want's it to be. No other state in the US puts a space in the call sign.

Marvin - W6MJM (or is it W6 MJM)

Friday, February 1, 2008

EmComm Monthly Reverses Editorial Policy, Feb. 2008


Last month EM reported that the California Department of Motor Vehicles, arbitrarily and unannounced, had implemented a policy of inserting a blank space in the middle of some amateur call sign license plates. There was an enormous groundswell of protest. And, we did get their attention, as well as the attention of some members of the California Legislature. While we have no official policy change to report at this time, we have been asked that the letter-writing and telephone-calling campaigns be put "on hold" until the issue has been reviewed by the DMV and some California Legislators.

For additional information go to:

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kong Lew's, KG6TN Gets Call from DMV

[Editor's Note - While the following is encouraging, it is not public notice or written notice of change. Where Kong speaks of a law maker, it actually was a DMV Manager who put the spaces in our ham callsign plates.].

Hi, Cliff,

My name is Kong Lew (KG6TN), and thought I would pass the word to you that
I will be receiving my California plate without the space in it.

I also have the same situation as you encountered. Each time I buy a new
car, I go ordered a new ham plate. Sometimes it come with a space, but I was able to
go to DMV and reorder a new one. Until last March, when I bought
another new car, and the ordered plate came in June with a space.
After many tries at DMV office with no luck, I called Sacramento many many
times, and worked myself up the supervisor/managers with in the DMV
division. They brought up this space issue in their meetings, and just
not able to convince the law maker to fix the space, they even called
FCC who indicated space is fine if the state choose to do so.

Anyway, after three months and out of the blue, DMV special plate unit
manager Teresa Crockett called me this morning, and informed me they now could
order plates without the space, and will order me a set of plates.

BTW, all ham call after the number would be a space, not after the 3rd.
I was told when DMV clerk enter a code for Ham plate registration, they're forced
to put a space after the number, and plate maker make it accordingly.
That was how the mainframe was coded back in 1970's and no one

73 de KG6TN <--no space

Petition - HRO - Anaheim

Ham Radio Outlet (HRO)

Anaheim CA

15 Signers of the Petition Against a Space in Amateur Radio Callsign License Plates

Late-Jan. 2008

[Editor’s Note – A big thanks to Janet Margelli, KL7MF, for her assistance in letting us post this petition].

Debra Bickford, KC6TLI

Harvey Bickford, WA6BJY

San Juan Capistrano CA

Bob Ciampa, N6JUK

Orange CA

Robert Evans, WB6IXN

Santa Ana CA

John Gothard, K6JFG

Lake Forrest CA

Christopher Hunter, W6KFW

Santa Ana CA

Stephen Jarvis, KG6GJM

Bellflower CA

Steven La Connie, K6CZA

Glendale CA

Janet Margelli, KL7MF

Garden Grove CA

Mike Marin, WW6MM

Laguna Hills CA

Phillip Pacier, AD6NH

Anaheim CA

James Reno, K6MIV

Long Beach CA

Charles Robles, KF6TXI

Tustin CA

Mike Slygh, KI6IRA

Mission Viejo CA

Neil Smith, K6KWI

Anaheim CA

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

ARRL Prematurely Declares Resolution

[Editor's Note - While there have been rumors of resolution, the DMV has not made an official or even informal statement. The active complaintants have checked with their State Senators and Assemblypersons and they have told us they have heard nothing of a resolution. Please do not spread rumors!].

From: [] On Behalf Of xxxxx xxxxx Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2008 1:20 PM To: NCCC Reflector Cc: Subject: [NCCC] DMV & space on plates

Bill Dale (N2RHV) the SCV Section Manager, announced at the SVECS breakfast
meeting today that this issue had been resolved favorably for the hams. I got a call from that Special Processing Unit at the DMV yesterday to tell me my long-awaited (8 months) plates had been re-ordered and should be here in 2-3 weeks so we'll see if Bill is right. I'll let you all know either way. 73, xxxxx, x6xx

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lighting Bolts and Space , Michael Farley, KC6SYT


I hope the California DMV doesn't add a lighting bolt on the license plate it mite be confused for a Gang sign of Aryan Brotherhood or at least a ZZ Top music fan. By add a space you change the whole meaning of word such as,

91 1



Monday, January 28, 2008

Doubts of DMV Change in Policy, David Towle, W6VNQ

From my perspective DMV has not caved, as yet, and if they had it would bejust like a bureaucratic organization like DMV not to publicly announce their being wrong. Based on the call from Senator Aanestad's office there has been no resolution. When Martha from Aanestad's office talked to Martha in Assemblyman LaMalfa's office there was only a discussion regarding La Malfa's office talking to DMV and they were waiting for the result of that meeting. Yes, I remember the issue during the campaign.

ARRL can send out all the emails they want requesting we stop writing, but until they provide some evidence that they are in fact in negotiations with the State I will continue to write letters and talk with my representatives. Why the secrecy? They are very open in issues of antenna restrictions and BPL. Like I said earlier, I will not believe DMV has "caved" until I have the correct plate in my hands.



Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ron Tamburello, K6RG Doubts About DMV "Policy Change"

[Editor's Note - A week ago there were some who said DMV will relent and stop stamping ham callsign license plates with spaces in them. This news has not been confirmed].

Another week has passed and, no surprise, there has been no "announcement" from the DMV about the call plates. It has been suggested that whatever transpires behind closed doors, there may well be no announcement, rather (hopefully) just a quiet return to the previous "policy" of not inserting an intervening space in the call signs. We must rely upon the recipients of new plates to see how this plays out... if indeed, there is any change in policy at all.

Ron Tamburello K6RG

Friday, January 25, 2008

News Item: World Radio, Feb, 2008

World Radio, Feb. 2008 reprints Amateur Radio Newsline story on the Calif. DMV placing a space in amateur radio callsign license plates.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Opposition Letter: Craig Sharrow, K9LEG

Dear Governor Schwartzenegger, Senator Migden and Assemblyman Huffman:

This is to advise you of a situation concerning a completely unexpected change in the California Motor Vehicle Department’s production of license plates with Amateur Radio callsigns. The license plates are now apparently produced with a space between parts of the callsign. I request your support toward restoring the long-standing production of license plates with the callsigns presented in unaltered form.All 50 states and the District of Columbia issue vehicle license plates with Amateur Radio callsigns on them. At times these permit easy identification of participants in emergency communications.The Federal Communications Commission issues callsigns with between four and six characters to holders of Amateur Radio licenses. The callsigns begin with the letter A, K, N, or W. There is a number in the callsign. The number 6 was issued to stations in California, and lately the FCC has permitted people who move from California to retain their 6th district callsigns. In fact, the FCC now allows selection of callsigns with any number from 0 to 9 by license holders anywhere in the USA.The Callsigns have one or two characters, followed by a number, followed by one to three characters. Typical of callsigns are AA6VV, AD6D, K6ABC, KD6XYZ, N6ZZ, N8QXQ, W6AAA, WB6ZYX, WW6CC, and WX6X.In all my years as a licensed amateur, I have never heard of a state issuing license plates with a space between parts of the callsign. It would feel no more appropriate than someone sending you correspondence with a space between parts of a person's name, such as Ar nold Schwa rzenegg er.

On behalf of myself and other licensed Radio Amateurs in California, I request that you take steps to restore the full callsigns, without introduced spaces on the California Amateur Radio license plates.

California Vehicle Code section that applies to amateur radio license plates:
Vehicle Code Section 5005:
5005. (a) Any person holding an unexpired amateur radio stationlicense issued by the Federal Communications Commission may, afterthe requirements for the registration of the motor vehicle have beencomplied with, also apply directly to the department for speciallicense plates, and the department may issue special plates in lieuof the regular license plates. The special license plates shall beaffixed to the motor vehicle for which registration is sought and, inlieu of the numbers otherwise prescribed by law, shall display theofficial amateur radio station call letters of the applicant asassigned by the Federal Communications Commission."
NOTE: The FCC Does not issue Call Signs with spaces in them.

I support the proposed Amateur Radio Callsign License Plate Consistency Act –

“The California Department of Motor Vehicles is required to issue amateur radio callsign license plates so that the callsign appears on the plates exactly as it was issued by the Federal Communications Commission. California Department of Motor Vehicles may not charge a vanity license plate or any other special fees for amateur radio callsign license plates other than a one-time printing fee.” We oppose the Calif. Dept. of Motor Vehicles policy and practice of putting a space in FCC issued callsigns on new and replacement amateur radio callsign license plates (example below) and declaring these plates to be vanity plates and charging yearly vanity plates fees."

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Yours truly,

FCC Issued Amateur Radio Call Sign

Craig M. Sharrow
xxxxx xxxxxx xxx
San Anselmo, CA

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stopped by the Cops: Robert Maller, WT6A

Thank you for calling attention to the DMV and its policy of "augmenting" call signs on license plates. My call is WT6A and my vehicle license plates are correct. My plate was issued sometime in 1986. My vehicle registration shows "WT6 A". In my case they stuck two extra blank characters into it. The result is that I have been pulled over at least four times by law enforcement. They run the plate as WT6A and it just doesn't match "WT6 A". Hopefully something can be done about this.
Robert, WT6A

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pulled Over by Cops x4: Robert Maller, WT6A


Thank you for calling attention to the DMV and its policy of "augmenting" call signs on license plates. My call is WT6A and my vehicle license plates are correct. My plate was issued sometime in 1986. My vehicle registration shows "WT6 A". In my case they stuck two extra blank characters into it. The result is that I have been pulled over at least four times by law enforcement. They run the plate as WT6A and it just doesn't match "WT6 A". Hopefully something can be done about this.


Robert, WT6A

Monday, January 21, 2008

United Radio Amateur Radio Club Newsletter, San Pedro, CA

Member Newsletter of the United Radio Amateur Club Page 7 of 13
To Report Ham License Plates You Have Been Issued with a Space or, to Support the Effort to Remove the Space
email, Cliff:

Saturday, January 19, 2008

News Item, 1-19-08: This Week in Amateur Radio (TWAIR)

_/_/_/_/_/ _/ _/ _/_/_/ _/_/_/ _/_/_/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ his _/ _/ _/ eek _/ n _/_/_/_/ mateur _/_/_/_/ adio _/ _/_/ _/_/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/_/_/ _/ _/ _/ _/
-- North America's Premier On-The-Air Amateur Magazine Service --
TWIAR is available on the web via download, streaming, or podcast at Audio is offered in MP3, MP4 (aac) Windows Media (WMA) and for those on dial up, low bit rate Real Audio TWIAR and TWIARi are now both available via Apple I-Tunes and via podcast distribution networks, among others.

Weekly on the W0KIE Satellite Radio Network and WBCQ 7.415 Megahertz Shortwave * * *


Here is a summary of the news items and special features covered inEdition #770 of "This Week in Amateur Radio", and "This Week in Amateur RadioHeadline News". North Americas premier on-the-air audio news magazines, forthe week ending January 19, 2008. This week's edition of This Week in Amateur Radio comes to you anchored byJay Silvio, W9WMU, reporting from our southern news bureau in Richmond,Virginia, and by Mark Phillips, G7LTT, reporting from our metro news bureauin New York City, by Wayne Nelms, N4DCL, reporting from our mid-atlantic newsbureau in Asheville, Pennsylvania, and by Larry Guerrera, W2LAG, reportingfrom our metro news bureau in Jehico, Long Island, and by Rowe Hudson, KO4PK,reporting from our southern news bureau in Naples, Florida. Mixing, editing, and additional anchoring by George Bowen, W2XBS at ourheadquarters facility in Albany, New York.

THIS WEEKS PROGRAM RUNNING TIMES:--------------------------------*

FULL VERSION of This Week in Amateur Radio runs 102 minutes. -------------------------------------------*

HEADLINE NEWS VERSION of This Week in Amateur Radio runs 62 minutes. SPECIAL PROGRAM NOTES: * Closed circuit advisory and weekly program promos are available as a separate audio file download.

CONTENT:-------Stories covered and special features in This Weeks edition:

01. Solar Cycle 24 is here!

02. Wisconsin amateurs respond to provide communications in tornado aftermath.

03. The Ducie Island DXpedition team is gearing up for February activation.

04. California Department of Motor Vehicles says it will not fix the spaces in new ham vanity callsign licene plates.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Call to Action - ARRL-Orange Section Manager, Carl Gardenias, WU6D

Carl Gardenias, Section Manager, Orange Section, American Radio Relay League has said
"As a Citizen and Radio Amateur it is your responsibility to contact your Assemblyman for the State of California requesting that the Department of Motor Vehicles desist in placing spaces on our Amateur Radio license plates"
Orange Seciton includes Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

Petition - Orange County Amateur Radio Club

Orange County Amateur Radio Club

12 Signers of the Petition Against a Space in Amateur Radio Callsign License Plates

Jan. 18, 2008

[Editor’s Note – A big thanks to Janet Margelli, KL7MF, for her assistance in letting us post this petition].

Doug Britton, W6FKX

Huntington Beach CA

Steve La Connie, K6CZA

Glendale CA

Dan Dankert, N6PEQ

Tustin CA

Ken Diaz, WB9YCJ

Santa Ana CA

Bob Harrington, AA6PW

Garden Grove CA

Ken Konechy, W6HHC

Orange CA

Janet Margelli, KL7MF

Garden Grove CA

Ted Moody, KB6CUS

Lakewood CA

Chester Nelson, KI6GEN

Newport Beach CA

Phillip Pacer, AD6NH

Anaheim CA

James Reno, K6MIV

Long Beach CA

Sharon Spring, K6IRD

Wayne Spring, W6IRD (duplicate from So Cal DX Club, not counted)

Orange CA

Thursday, January 17, 2008

DMV Re-Writes History, Mike Farley, KC6SYT


Hope you have the best of luck resolving the new Amateur license plate issue.

The DMV recently update there web site, you may want to review it. Please go to the state DMV site and take a long hard look at those pictures, does any thing look odd ? All the plates are out of circulation (out of date> plates). The White plate with the red block letters was in uses from 1987 to 1992 The Golden State plate / sunrise plate 1982 to 1986. The Blue Plate 1969 to 1981. Currently California uses The Script/Lipstick plate.

Is the DMV trying to infer, this is the way it all way been done? Phys-ops or mind games maybe?

73s Mike, KC6SYT

Lawyer's Opinion - Pamela Royce, Esq., W6PNW

[Note - Here is a link to a legal opinion Pamela Royce, Esq., W6PNW wrote regarding DMV Section 5005, which is at dispute. Most people read the statue as DMV shall stamp ham callsigns as FCC states. DMV says sicne the statue does not prohibit them from putting a space in, they may do so. We asked Ms. Royce for permission to post this opinion the week before KG6S and WU6D posted it on their sites but did not hear back from Ms. Royce. We link to these others sites for we still lack permission for posting on our site].

Stopped by Nevada Highway Patrol, Larry Turner, K6RHA

[Editor's Note - While Larry Turner, K6RHA did not get a ham callsign license plate with a space in it, he was pulled over by the police who had trouble finding his DMV record due to DMV's software defaulting to put a space in ham callsigns license plates. The space stamped on the plate is only part of a longstanding problem DMV has not addressed].

Hello everyone.

Very interesting stuff. Last year we were stopped in the Nevada desert by the NHP. When he ran our license, K6RHA, it came back as "unissued". I told him this could not be the case and I even showed him my ham license, registration and insurance card all indicating the same. After 20 minutes of many radio calls, which we were monitoring in the car, he actually called the DMV in Sacramento from his cell phone. We waited another 10 minutes for a return call from Sacramento with the reason that in the computer system for DMV our license place shows it as "K6 RHA" and not K6RHA.So the instructions to me were that if we were stopped again to always mention that our plate should be inputted with the space between the 6 and the R. The good news is that after all this the officer apologized and sent us on our way without a ticket for going 95.

73's to all.


Doesn't Want to Order Plate With a Space -

Dr. Cheng -

I am very upset over this issue - as I had planned to wait until after the holiday season to order my plates 'W6SRA' only to discover this issue. I had tested it in the fall, and found that it was available, and looked at the various backgrounds with my wife to decide which plate to choose, and then we decided to wait, and now this! Please let me know how I can help - I searched for my local Reps, and found that they are:

Member District Number and Office Capitol Office
Cox, Dave
State Capitol
Suite 140 Room 2068
Sacramento, CA 94248-0001
(916) 783-8232
(916) 651-4001

33C Broadway
Jackson CA 95642

1020 N St. Rm 568
Sacramento, CA 95814

2094 East Main Street
Quincy CA, 95971
(530) 283-3437

Assembly Members
Member District Number and Office Capitol Office
Niello, Roger

State Capitol
Suite 501 Room 6027
Sacramento, CA 95841 Sacramento, Ca
(916) 349-1995
(916) 319-2005

I am teaching a Technician course starting tomorrow in Folsom, and I have over 70 people signed up, the last thing I want to tell them is that California has blundered again! Let's turn this around!



Rich Asay, W6SRA

Opposition, Gene Nelson, KE5HXX

Given that there is no distinguishing mark on California license plates indicating that the owner is an Amateur Radio operator, this new California DMV policy should be immediately rescinded so that spaces are again removed - so that the license plate matches the call sign that the FCC has assigned. This change is important to facilitate the important emergency communications work that hams perform on a volunteer basis.

Gene A. Nelson, Ph.D.
San Luis Obispo, CA.

Complaint & Photo - Kevin Henderson, KV6H

Dear Dr. Cheng,

I got my vanity plates in December and thought the DMV had just screwed up my plates (see picture). I hadn't bothered going to the DMV to get them fixed because I was too busy. Then I just happened to be listening to a podcast of This Week in Amateur Radio and heard the follow up story to the one in December. They gave you credit for starting the movement against the DMV.

Thanks for work and please let me know what I can do at this point to help.

73, Kevin Henderson - KV6H (with no spaces)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

John Ardent, KG6S' New Anti-Space in Ham Plates Site

John Ardent, KG6S has oput up a new website against the DMV putting a space in ham plates:

Recording of DMV Deception, Ray Montagne, AC6QJ

[Editor's Note - Ray Montagne, AC6QJ has a recording of the DMV stating the FCC requires the DMV to put a space in callsign license plates. This is a false statement. Unfortunately, this website can not accommodate MP3 files].

Hello Cliff,

My callsign plates, AC6QJ, were issued by California DMV as ‘AC6 QJ’ (space between 6 and Q). DMV in Los Gatos, CA called Sacramento when I complained. Sacramento responded that this is due to the FCC issuing the call sign with a space. DMV had a photocopy of the license in their hands when they provided this answer...

Best Regards,
Ray Montagne
Cupertino, CA

Opposition - Richard Norton, WM6M

Richard Norton, WM6M

12603 Carinthia Drive

Whittier, Ca 90601

January 16, 2008

George Valverde, Director
Department of Motor Vehicles
Fax: (916) 657-7393

Assembly Member Charles M. Calderon (CA)
Fax: 916-319-2158

Senator Ronald S. 'Ron' Calderón (CA)
Fax: 916-327-8755

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA)
Fax: 916-445-4633

Dale E. Bonner
(CA) Secretary of Business, Housing, and Transportation
Fax: 916-323-5400

Senator Alan Lowenthal, Chair
Transportation & Housing Committee
Fax: (562) 495-1876

Subject: No Space in Ham Plates


I am writing in response to the unacceptable position taken by the California Department of Motor Vehicles where the DMV is violating Section 5005 of the California Vehicle Code. It is clear to anyone reading Section 5005 of the CVC, which states in part, “…in lieu of the numbers otherwise prescribed by law, shall display the official amateur radio station call letters of the applicant as assigned by the Federal Communications Commission.” The official amateur radio station call letters do not contain a space. Anyone who has ever used a computer keyboard, or even a typewriter, knows full well that a space is a character. The decision to insert a space is as invalid as a decision to insert a “Z” or a “9”. I am very strongly suggesting, in fact demanding, that the California DMV immediately recall these plates and issue new plates in compliance with CVC Section 5005.

I am aware of the statement by MARIO BALBIANI, Program Manager, Registration Policy Development, Department of Motor Vehicles Registration Operations Division which in which he says “The Department has been issuing HAM license plates since 1953 when the statute was first enacted. The placement or spacing of letters and numbers composed of the HAM license was originally determined by the FCC. Although the department is required by law to issue HAM license plates with specific call letters, spacing is not addressed in the statute and the department can exercise its administrative authority in this regard.

The Department adopted the spacing in order for law enforcement to differentiate between HAM license plates and other series license plates. Unlike other states, California does not distinguish the HAM license plates with a symbol or wording indicating the plate is a HAM plate.” In his statement he first expresses and opinion which is not supported by the Vehicle Code and then not only describes the real problem but the obvious disregard for the real solution, which is to apply a symbol or wording to indicate that the plate is a ham (Amateur Radio Operator) plate.

I am not the most creative person around, but keeping in mind that Amateur Radio Operator callsigns never contain fewer than four or more than six characters I can think of at least five easy solutions which not only eliminate the violation of CVC 5005 but also enhance the Amateur Radio Operator license plate:

1. Many current plates have silkscreened backgrounds such as the “Whale Tail” plates. It would be simple to use existing DMV technology to silkscreen a scene or even the words “Amateur Radio Operator” on the plate. An added benefit of this technology is that it would support multiple plates for multiple vehicles owned by the same Amateur Radio Operator with a “dash number” or “sub number”

2. California has introduced special symbols on the “Kids” plates, although I would not know how to keyboard the heart or hand, maybe using the asterisk for the star and the plus sign is easily understood. Apply that technology to add a symbol – the lightning bolt is almost universal – in the first position (NOT IN THE MIDDLE) of the Amateur Radio Operator license plate and then center the callsign over the remaining six positions on the plate.

3. Using the “letter over letter” technology used for the Olympic plates put the letters “A R” vertically in the first position and then center the callsign over the remaining six positions on the plate.

4. Use the technology behind the Dealer plate where the bottom of the plate is embossed with “Dealer” and the official license number is centered on the plate (note that there is no space in this officially issued number). An added benefit of this technology is that it too would support multiple plates with a “dash number” or “sub number”

5. Use the technology from the Firefighter plate with a nice silkscreen in the first character position and the callsign centered over the remaining six character positions.

I am forced to question, if I can come up with at least five solutions, and the 49 other states plus the District of Columbia can get it right, why can’t California? Since I was a little kid, quite a few years ago, my mother taught me the “two wrongs do not make a right”. Why is “two wrongs” now the policy of California?

Speaking of other states, most other states are ahead of California in the respect they show for mobile Amateur Radio Operators. Most charge a lower fee for these plates, and many states do not charge at all. Many states recognize these plates almost like a pass to get through police and fire lines to assist in emergency situations. Some states grant other special privileges such as the explicit authorization to monitor police and fire radio frequencies, again recognizing the service provided by hams. In terms of the assistance provided by hams, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department estimates that the direct support was $4,559,360 of free service to the citizens of Los Angeles County for 2007. That does not include direct support to the various cities within the county nor does it recognize that the figure is for labor only. It does not include the radio (and other) equipment, vehicles, fuel and other expenses, or the training and experience the hams brought with them. I shudder to think what would happen if the hams in California decided to treat the state with the same level of respect shown by the state to the hams. Perhaps Mr. Balbiani could sharpen his pencil and draft a letter to the Governor and Legislature that in these critical economic times the state needs to fins another billion (billion with a “B”) for manpower, equipment, vehicles, training and so forth to support the state and local emergency operations.

Finally, I would like to address the personal nature of the Amateur Radio Operator callsign. The word “unique” means one of a kind. My name, Richard Norton, is not unique. In fact, many of you may have already heard from Richard Norton, N6AA. I am a different Richard Norton, WM6M. In California license plate numbers are unique. Social Security numbers are unique only within the United States. Amateur Radio Operator callsigns are unique, period. Governed by international treaty, there is not another WM6M in the world. As such, these callsigns are very personal. Any attempt to monkey with them, especially in violation of statutes, becomes very personal. I invite any or all of you to poll some or all of the nearly 100,000 licensed hams in California and ask them how they feel about their callsigns. Come to think of it, if Mr. Balbini had asked even one ham we would not be in this mess, which has been carried nationally by the Amateur Radio Community exposing the country’s 675,000 hams to the inability of California to get it right.

Please assist in doing whatever it takes to fix this mess and issue plates that address the needs expressed by Mr. Balbiani while respecting the hams and their legal callsigns. I would expect the DMV to declare invalid all plates issued with a space and reissue at no charge correct and legal plates. Should this state join other states in issuing distinctive plates for Amateur Radio Operators I would expect that the DMV would be prepared to reissue distinctive plates for a very nominal fee to any ham wishing to upgrade existing plates. I also would like to see not only the correction to the DMV’s thinking expedited, but also the reissuance of plates expedited.

Thank you, and 73 (that’s ham-speak for “Best wishes),

Richard Norton, WM6M

(NOT Richa rd Nort on WM6 M)