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
updated.

73 de KG6TN <--no space
Kong

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: nccc-bounces@contesting.com [mailto:nccc-bounces@contesting.com] On Behalf Of xxxxx xxxxx Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2008 1:20 PM To: NCCC Reflector Cc: n2rhv@arrl.org 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

Cliff,

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,

POL ICE
SHE RIFF
SW AT
CH P
FI RE
EM T
91 1
DM V
BOM B
US A

73's

Michael

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.

73,

David

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,

K9LEG
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

Cliff,
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.
73,
Robert, WT6A

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pulled Over by Cops x4: Robert Maller, WT6A

Cliff,

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.

73,

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
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES
NEW POLICY - ADD A SPACE IN HAM RADIO CALLSIGN LICENSE PLATES
To Report Ham License Plates You Have Been Issued with a Space or, to Support the Effort to Remove the Space
email, Cliff: WW6CC@arrl.net

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 -- http://www.twiar.org/programs/text/twiar770.txt
TWIAR is available on the web via download, streaming, or podcast at www.twiar.org. 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 Podcasts.Yahoo.com podcast distribution networks, among others.

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

CELEBRATING 14.81 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE HAM RADIO COMMUNITY * * *

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" http://www.wu6d.com/CA%20Amateur%20Plates.html
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

Cliff,

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 ? http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/plates/specialplates.htm. 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?

LOL
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].

http://kg6sblog.calsage.com/?p=5

http://www.wu6d.com/CA%20Amateur%20Plates.html

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.



K6RHA

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
(209)223-9140

1020 N St. Rm 568
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916)327-9034

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!

Thanks.

73's

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.
KE5HXX
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:
http://kg6sblog.calsage.com/

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


Gentlemen:


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)

Advisory, ARRL - Sacramento Valley, CA Section, Ron Murdock, W6KJ, Section Mgr.

From: ARRL SV Section [mailto:memberlist@www.arrl.org]
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 6:15 AM
Subject: California no space license plates

http://nospacehamplates.blogspot.com/ is a place you can get information
regarding the California DMV problem of getting it right when you pay for a
call sign license plate. I have written both of my legislators regarding
this issue. California is the only state in the union whose DMV is unable to
put out a correct call sign license plate. It is up to you if you feel this
can be corrected by your legislators, give them a jingle or write to them
today.
73,
Ron, W6KJ
SV SM

------------------------------
--------------------------------------
ARRL Sacramento Valley Section
Section Manager: Ronald D. Murdock, W6KJ w6kj@arrl.org
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Complaint to Sen. Aanestad by David Towle, W6VNQ

January 16, 2008

Hon. Sam Aanestad, Senator District - 4
200 Providence Mine Road, Suite 108

Nevada City, CA 95959

Subject: No Space in License Plates

Dear Senator Aanestad:

My name is David Towle, licensed Amateur Radio Operator, with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated call sign of W6VNQ. The purpose of my letter to you is to illustrate some inconsistencies I have encountered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) processes and policies in issuing Amateur Radio license plates.

In February 2007 my call signed changed from KD6VNQ to W6VNQ. After receiving my new call sign, I took my old call sign license plates to the California Department of Motor Vehicles Office in my resident county of Colusa. I submitted the necessary forms along with a copy of my FCC issued license and requested a new plate with the new call.

In May my new plates arrived, but the plate contained the call sign N6VNQ, not my correct call sign of W6VNQ. It is also important to point out that the N6VNQ call sign contained no spaces, and was centered on the plate. This format is consistent with FCC issued call signs and what FCC Amateur Radio licensees would expect to see on a license plate. The plates were returned to the same DMV Office and I requested corrected plates be issued.

In late October the corrected plates arrived. However, this set contained a space between the 6 and the V (W6 VNQ), and was right justified. These plates were taken back to the same DMV Office and a request was made for the proper plates. I was told that certain plates were given spaces within the new DMV computer system. I explained that Amateur Radio call signs were issued by the FCC and do not contain spaces. When asked why the original incorrect plates N6VNQ were issued without a space the DMV representative had no explanation. The person waiting on me called the DMV Office of Registration while I was present and was told Amateur Radio license plates had always contained spaces. I have been a license Amateur Radio Operator for 15 years and have never seen an Amateur Radio license plate with a space.

After returning home I began calling the DMV Office of Registration to further clarify the situation. After three days of calling, someone answered the phone and I was able to speak with a representative. I was told that spaces have always been required for Amateur Radio license plates in California and nothing could be done to change the plates. I then asked the department representative if I returned the plates could I then apply for a Personalized license plate with my call sign. I was told no because the sequence resembled a Specialized license plate.

In early December of 2007 I took my plates with the space to a DMV Office in Yolo County. The person helping me was unfamiliar with Amateur Radio license plates and asked his supervisor and office manager for assistance. At first they could not find the license plate and my registration information in their computer, regardless of how the data was entered. I asked if they needed to enter a code of some kind and if so try “H”. They did this and found my plate and registration information. The office manager told me I could get the plate as I requested, with consecutive sequence of letters and numbers as well as center justified. She had me sign a new amateur radio plate request form and instructed the person helping me on how to complete the form so that I received the correct plate.

I received a phone call around 1:30 pm on January 15th, from a Technician in the California DMV Department of Registration processing department. I was informed that the paperwork I submitted in early December, 2007 at the Woodland DMV office could not be processed as requested. My request was for consecutive letters/numbers and centering on the plate. The Technician said that she was aware of issues "operators" in California had with spaces in their license plates so she checked with her supervisor before contacting me. She also said that the plate will still be identified as an Amateur Radio plate; however, the call sign would have a space. My response to her statement was that currently Amateur Radio license plates do not contain any markings to identify them as Amateur Radio plates. I interpreted her silence as being surprised at my statement. A new plate as I requested will not be issued and the one currently in my possession (W6 VNQ) must be used.

Amateur Radio Operators provide emergency support to many agencies across the state. The potential for law enforcement agency staff not able to properly identify Amateur Radio license plates is very real. If a DMV office can not locate the information how are law enforcement agencies expected to locate the information?

Like other Amateur Radio Operator’s in the state, I am proud to display my call sign on my vehicles license plate. I have paid for a State of California Amateur Radio license plate displaying my call sign as issued by the FCC. It was not until I received the second incorrect license plate (W6 VNQ) that I was told that a space would be inserted in the call sign. Based on call sign’s on license plates I have seen in the last 15 years I had no reason to believe that a space would be inserted.

I am not alone in this situation. Currently a petition is being circulated in the Amateur Radio community though-out California to address this issue. Assemblyman Mike Feuer’s (42nd District) office has also been contacted by Amateur Radio Operator’s in the Los Angeles area. I have also written a similar letter to Assemblyman La Malfa’s office in regards to this matter. A website to find resolution to these and other inconsistencies in California Department of Motor Vehicles processes and policies related to Amateur Radio license plate issuance can be found at: http://nospacehamplates.blogspot.com/.

Other states have placed symbols or wording such as “Amateur Radio” on call sign license plates to assist in identifying the registered owner as a Amateur Radio Operator. If the State of California can place various types of markings on Personalize license plates, why not for Amateur Radio license plates? Another option would be to stamp the plates with the correct sequence as shown on the FCC license, and educate users of the DMV license database of the proper code to differentiate Amateur Radio plates from Personalized plate.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter. I look forward to working with your or your staff on this matter. If additional information is needed I am available to speak or meet with you at your convenience.

Respectfully,

David Towle, W6VNQ

xxx xxxxxx xxxx

Arbuckle, CA 9xxxxx

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Follow-up Complaint to Assemblyman La Malfa, David Towle, W6VNQ


January 15, 2008


Hon. Doug La Malfa, Assemblyman District 2
2865 Churn Creek Road, Suite B
Redding, CA 96002


Subject: No Space in License Plates


Dear Assemblyman La Malfa:


The purpose of this letter is to follow-up on the letter I sent to you on January 8, 2008. My reference is the last paragraph on page 1, continued to page 2, last two sentences (“Based on prior time frames I expect to receive the new plates sometime late February. Until then I will not know if the plates will be as requested or not”).


I received a phone call around 1:30 today, January 15th, from a Technician in the California DMV Department of Registration processing department. I was informed that the paperwork I submitted in early December, 2007 at the Woodland DMV office could not be processed as requested. My request was for consecutive letters/numbers and centering on the plate. The Technician said that she was aware of issues "operators" in California had with spaces in their license plates so she checked with her supervisor before contacting me. She also said that the plate will still be identified as an Amateur Radio plate; however, the call sign would have a space. My response to her statement was that currently Amateur Radio license plates do not contain any markings to identify them as Amateur Radio plates. I interpreted her silence as being surprised at my statement. A new plate as I requested will not be issued and the one currently in my possession (W6 VNQ) must be used.
Any assistance you can offer in this matter would be greatly appreciated.


Respectfully,


Harry David Towle, W6VNQ


xxx xxxxx xx


Arbuckle, CA xxxxx



Monday, January 14, 2008

Complaint & Historical Note, Paul Smith, K7PLS

[Editor's Note - The website Paul refers to in his letter below is out of context. The website is a license plate collector's site. Collectors like to collect the unusual, ham callsign plates with spaces in them were unusual prior to Nov. 2007. It is incorrect to conclude the DMV's *PRACTICE* has always been to put a space in ham callsign license plates. DMV may or may not have had a written policy to put a space in but the *PRACTICE* was to stamp the plates without the space; to ignore the policy. In Nov. 2007, a new Mgr., Mr. Mario Bilbiani took over management of license plate issuance. Mr. Bilbiani sent word to my Assemblyman, Mike Feuer's office that his predecessor has been doing it wrong, issuing plates without a space and he was going to fix it].

Hi Cliff,

I have visited your blog site and read the information on the problem of spaces being inserted into the callsign structure of amateur radio license plates in California. I, too, am having the same problem with the California DMV. In August 2007 I ordered some callsign plates for my new 2007 vehicle. In early December I received the plates only to be surprised with the space in the plates. I returned to the Automobile Club of Southern California’s DMV clerk in the San Bernardino office, where the plates were originally ordered. The clerk agreed with me that there was a problem. She accepted my order for new plates, photo copied my plates and included a description of what the necessary layout was supposed to be. She hadn’t heard of any regulations to the contrary at that point and I hadn’t heard of the global problem, either. I am still waiting to see the outcome (about 8 weeks now and waiting).

Having said all of that, I refer you to the website at www.calpl8s.com/cgi-bin/show.cgi?cat=ham . Here, you will notice that California has had a history if issuing plates with a space in the callsign. Both the 1956 series and the 1963 series had spaces in the 5 character callsigns. The six character callsigns didn’t get spaces due to the fact that the font size was for a maximum of six characters on the plate. Therefore, no space could occur with a 6 character one. It is unknown if there were any issued after that until recently. If you visit http://www.pl8s.com/checklist-hams.htm you will see that there were a number of other states that have also, historically issued callsign plates with spaces in them. Some included some design, such as a lightning bolt in the space. Notice that the 1963 series 6 character license plate for California also has a space in it (WA6 QIS).

I ordered a new plate for a vehicle in about 1988 with a 4 character callsign (AF6J). My registration certificate came out reading AF6…J. I queried DMV and they had no explanation for this other than it was a computer issue. I worked with a local law enforcement agency at the time and had their people run the plate a number of different ways. Running the plate using DMV code A (for a passenger car plate) came back “Information Not On File” with any combination of spaces (i.e. A..F6J, AF..6J, AF6..J, etc.). When run with DMV code H (for Ham Radio), it didn’t matter what combination of spaces were used, they all returned the same correct information for my vehicle. It seems that the computer has to have something in both spaces 1 and 7 and doesn’t care if there is 1 or more spaces in the combination. As you probably know, the plates are made essentially by hand, still. As far as I know, the information for the plate being processed is being input by hand and they can make the plate look any way that they want to. This is especially true with the “Vanity Plates” as there are any number of ways to put them together.

One recommendation that I have is to look at the current Nevada Radio Amateur license plate. First, it is the new Digital style plate that doesn’t include any embossing or punching. Secondly, it is a 7 character plate. All amateur radio callsigns are no more than 6 digits at the present time (including foreign plates for which callsign plates aren’t authorized in the U.S.). In space #1 there are the words “Radio Amateur” entered vertically to occupy only space one. The rest of the 6 digit callsign is entered correctly in the remaining 6 places. It is immediately identified as an Amateur Radio plate and the sequence of letters/number are correct. Everybody is happy. Since California already has graphics and symbols for its vanity and other special plates, it shouldn’t be a problem to create a special field in either space 1 or space 7 for this purpose. For anyone encouraging any regulation for this, please, specify space 1 or 7 only and not allow any spaces to be included in any callsign sequence.

Amateur radio has had a long history and tradition in the state of California. The amateurs in this state are amateurs in name only. They are a very professional group and provide the necessary support to the Public Safety first responders in this state. The license plate should stand out and be one that is easily recognized and accepted by the Public Safety organizations and the public.

Paul L Smith, K7PLS, AAR9BJ
Fontana, CA

Sunday, January 13, 2008

State DMV's Compared

Here is a link to the ARRL's webpage which compares states' policies on ham radio license plates. ARRL Regulatory Specialist Dan Henderson, N1ND tells me the page is updates as members provide information http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/local/plates.html

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ex-Cop Jerry Boyd, N7WR Comments on DMV Rationale

Comment to Amatuer Radio Newline Story on DMV Rationale of Putting a Space in Ham Callsign License Plates

http://www.qrz.com/ib-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST&f=3&t=180697

Having spent 30 years as a law enforcement officer in California I can tell you for a fact that inserting a space in CA ham plates is of no interest and/or value to law enforcement and is a false explanation (one of several) by DMV. It DOES NOT MATTER what letters or numbers are on a plate or what sequence they are in. If you "run" the plate as WX6 WXX or WX6WXX the DMV return will be the same. More bureaucratic nonsense from an agency within a state well known for it. de N7WR, a FORMER kalifornia resident

News Item, 1-11-08, Amateur Radio Newsline

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1587

http://www.qrz.com/ib-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST&f=3&t=180697

RADIO LAW: CALIFORNIA SAYS IT WONT CORRECT ODD SPACED HAM PLATES

A follow-up to our story a few weeks ago regarding the insertion of an unwanted space in some ham radio license plates by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. It appears that the D-M-V is going to hold its ground and not fix what hams consider a problem with the way their call letters are displayed on license plates. That’s because the agency says it is that way to assist law enforcement.

Amateur Radio Newsline's Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, reports:--As previously reported, Cliff Cheng, WW6CC, was the first to bring the matter to the public eye. This, after he applied for ham radio plates only to have them read WW6 space CC. Soon other hams were up in arms as they too received plates with an unwanted space between letters of their calls and some went as far as filing complaints with the D-M-V.

Now, in response Mario Balbani, who is the Program Manager for Registration Policy Development has responded to those complaining. In letters Balbani essentially says that while the FCC may issue a ham operator his or her callsign the Department of Motor Vehicles can decide how it will be displayed on plates his agency issues. Balbani says that the Department of Motor Vehicles has been issuing ham radio call letter license plates since 1953 when the statute was first enacted. The placement or spacing of letters and numbers composed of the ham radio license was originally determined by the FCC. Although the department is required by law to issue license plates with specific call letters, spacing is not addressed in the statute and the department can exercise its administrative authority in this regard.Balbani says that the D-M-V adopted the new spacing policy in order for law enforcement to differentiate between ham radio license plates and other series license plates. He say that unlike other states, California does not distinguish the ham radio license plates with a symbol or wording indicating the plates special purpose.

Balbani says that back in April 2007, it was brought to the D-M-V's attention that the ham radio license plates were being ordered and issued without the proper spacing. By proper spacing we assume he means the blank space inserted someplace in the call. This is because Balbani's letters says that the problem has since been corrected and those ham radio plates issued with no spaces will remain valid until the plates are lost or damaged and duplicates are requested.Balbani admits that the Department of Motor Vehicles has received several complaints regarding the spacing of ham radio license plates ordered by applicants. He say that thoughts of eliminating the spaces have been reviewed, but his agency must take into consideration the other series license plates and the distinction that ham radio license plates would no longer have. In other words, the spaces will stay,

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, in Los Angeles.

--California hams are far from satisfied with the Department of Motor Vehicles position on the added spaces in their callsigns. Some are working behind the scenes to find a way to force the D-M-V to return to ham radio license plates as they were before the change was made. (WW6CC, others)

Georgia DMV Supports Ham Radio

Georgia amateur radio operator Malcolm Richardson, WC4RAV shares this link to the Georgia Dept. of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
http://motor.etax.dor.ga.gov/motor/plates/plate.asp?ptitle=AR
The link reveals Georgia DMV has no fees for ham plate. California DMV charge for manufacturing the plate. Only California DMV has change policy in Nov. 2007 and started making plates with spaces in them for new applicants as well as replacement plates. Callsigns do not have spaces in them. Callsigns are governed by international treaty. California DMV has stated it is required only to press the letters of the calls in the sequence set by FCC but it has administrative authority to add spaces for the law does not say it can not put a space in them. California DMV has ruled callsign plates without spaces are vanity plates and therefore are subject to vanity application fees, plus yearly vanity fees, about $40 and upward depending on options selected. Georgia had no fees.

Malcom continues and says:

An easy fix would be to issue a sticker with the words "Amateur Radio" (similar in appearance to the Georgia plate) to when a vehicle is reregistered yearly for plates already produced. For plates in production the text can be pre applied.

This way officers know 2 things: that the plate is not a vanity plate - and to run them as Ham tags - and that operator is licensed to operate radio equipment possibly exempted from some laws regarding radio equipment. This should do away with the ridicules practice of place a space in a call sign .Which in my opinion would make it more difficult for an officer to determine that it is infect a ham plate.



Thursday, January 10, 2008

33 Hams Petition Against DMV at So Cal DX Club

Southern California DX Club
33 Signers of the Petition Against a Space in Amateur Radio Callsign License Plates
Jan. 10, 2008


Harold “Skip” Bolnick, KJ6Y
Marilyn Bolnick, N6GIL
Woodland Hills CA

Patricia Bonogeorno, W6VXN
Rich Bonogeorno, W6VX
Sharman Oaks CA

Chuck Constantine, KR6C
Quartz Hill CA

Bradford Enockson, W6EA
Menifee CA

Leida Erickson, N6MXC
Bill Erickson, N6MXU
Anaheim CA

Pete Flussen, W6PBF
Culver City CA

Lee Freeman, AC6AJ
Marina del Rey CA

Milton Garb, W6QE
Rowland Heights CA

David Greenhut, N6HD
Woodland Hills CA

Mel Hughes, K6SY
Rancho Palos Verdes CA

Joe Locascio, K5KT
Rancho Palos Verdes CA

Larry Mallek, K6YUI
Anaheim CA

Don Minikoff, NK6A
LA CA 90066

Richard Norton, N6AA
Topanga CA

Tom Orr, W6HT
Placentia CA

John Orton, WA6BUD
Chatsworth CA

Jerry Robinson, K6AV
LA (Mar Vista), CA

John Schroeder, N6QQ
Cerritos CA

Arnold Shatz, N6HC
Sheryl Shatz, KA6DOW
Santa Ana CA

Jim Shrynr, N6DHZ
Whittier CA

Wayne Spring, W6IRD
Orange CA

Urban Stiess, W6MPB
LA CA 90043

Richard Thompson, AI6Z
USC

Mark Weiss, K6FG, Judge (Ret.).
Woodland Hills CA

Donald Wilson, K6DSW
North Hollywood CA

Darrel Van Buren, AK6I
LA (Mar Vista), CA

ARES Newsletter, Jan. 10, 2008

On Fri, 11 Jan 2008 01:21:43 -0500 (EST), "ARRL Web site"
said:
> The ARES E-Letter
> January 10, 2007
> =================
>
> Rick Palm, K1CE, Editor
>
> ,
>
> ===================================

> ______________
> In This Issue:
>
> + The View from Flagler County
> + Explosion and Fire at Florida Lab
> + Sarasota (Florida) Damage Assessment Exercise
> + Orange County, California's HDSCS: 2007 Fourth Busiest Year
> + Longtime EC/DEC NB4K Retires in Northern Kentucky
> + LETTERS: California DMV Responds to Space-In-Call Letter License
> Plate Complaint
> + LETTERS: On Repeating EmComm Courses
> + LETTERS: More on CEM's EmComm Course Requirements
> + LETTERS: The Gift
> + TIPS: Smart Fuse-It Glows When It Blows
> + LETTERS: One Day Ham Classes with Follow-Up
> + Disaster "Go-Kits" Updated
> + K1CE For a Final
> ______________
>
>
>
> + LETTERS: California DMV Responds to Space-In-Call Letter License
> Plate Complaint
>
> The following is the response of the California DMV dated December
> 27, 2007, to a ham complaining of the DMV's practice of putting
> spaces in call signs on Amateur Radio license plates:
>
> "California Vehicle Code Section 5005 allows the Department of Motor
> Vehicles to issue special plates in lieu of the regular license
> plates to a vehicle owned by persons holding an Amateur Radio license
> issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). These special
> license plates display the official Amateur Radio call letters of the
> applicant as assigned by the FCC.
>
> "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 April 2007, it was brought to our attention that the HAM license
> plates were being ordered and issued without the proper spacing. The
> problem has since been corrected; however, those HAM plates issued
> with no spaces will remain valid until the plates are lost or damaged
> and duplicates are requested. The Department has received several
> complaints, regarding the spacing of HAM license plates ordered by
> applicants. Thoughts of eliminating the spaces have been reviewed,
> but we must take into consideration the other series license plates
> and the distinction that HAM license plates will no longer have.
> Sincerely, Mario Balbiana, Program Manager, Registration Policy
> Development, Department OF Motor Vehicles, Registration Operations
> Division, Sacramento, CA
>
> [For more info on this issue:
> , courtesy Cliff Cheng,
Ø WW6CC - ed.]

Complaint to Assemblyman Duvall by Jim Lokken, AF6EC

January 10, 2008

Assemblyman Michael Duvall
210 West Birch St.
Suite 202
Brea, CA 92821

Dear Assemblyman Michael Duvall,

I am a licensed Amateur Radio Operator with call letters of AF6EC as assigned by the Federal Communications Commission. California Vehicle Code section 5005 provides for special license plates for displaying these call letters. This section says in part: “The special license plates shall be affixed to the motor vehicle for which registration is sought and, 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.” Unfortunately, for some reason that makes no sense, the Department of Motor Vehicles has begun to put a space in the series of call letters. Hence, my plate was issued as AF6 EC. These are not my official radio station call letters, but a meaningless series which I guess one could order as a personalized plate. At any rate, it is an insult to the amateur radio operator, many of whom provide emergency communications during local and regional catastrophes. How would you like to be addressed as Assemblyman Micha el Du vall?

For many years, DMV, was issuing plates with call signs exactly as assigned by the FCC. Now they say that a space is needed so law enforcement can identify amateur radio operators? Why is this necessary after 20 years and why do amateur radio need to be identified at all. If for some valid reason this identification is necessary, why not use some additional symbol on the plate. I hear one state uses a lightning bolt. No other state insults the amateur community by putting spaces in their call signs.

Please assist us by getting the DMV to issue license plates as per regulations and without insulting its patrons.

Sincerely,

James Lokken
xxxxx xxxxxx xx
Yorba Linda, CA xxxxx

Petition: So. Cal DX Club

Under Construction

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Complaint - Jack Christenden, K6ROW




Hi Cliff,

And here I thought I was the only one. Every time I look at my plate I wonder what jerk made this plate. Thanks for highlighting this.

Jack K6ROW, not K6 ROW

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Complaint to Assemblyman La Malfa from David Towle, W6VNQ


January 8, 2008


Hon. Doug La Malfa, Assemblyman District 2
2865 Churn Creek Road, Suite B
Redding, CA 96002

Subject: No Space in License Plates

Dear Assemblyman La Malfa:

My name is David Towle, licensed Amateur Radio Operator, with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated call sign of W6VNQ. The purpose of my letter to you is to illustrate some inconsistencies I have encountered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) processes and policies in issuing Amateur Radio license plates.

In February 2007 my call signed changed from KD6VNQ to W6VNQ. After receiving my new call sign, I took my old call sign license plates to the California Department of Motor Vehicles Office in my resident county of Colusa. I submitted the necessary forms along with a copy of my FCC issued license and requested a new plate with the new call.

In May my new plates arrived, but the plate contained the call sign N6VNQ, not my correct call sign of W6VNQ. It is also important to point out that the N6VNQ call sign contained no spaces, and was centered on the plate. This format is consistent with FCC issued call signs and what FCC Amateur Radio licensees would expect to see on a license plate. The plates were returned to the same DMV Office and I requested corrected plates be issued. In late October the corrected plates arrived. However, this set contained a space between the 6 and the V (W6 VNQ), and was right justified.


These plates were taken back to the same DMV Office and a request was made for the proper plates. I was told that certain plates were given spaces within the new DMV computer system. I explained that Amateur Radio call signs were issued by the FCC and do not contain spaces. When asked why the original incorrect plates N6VNQ were issued without a space the DMV representative had no explanation. The person waiting on me called the DMV Office of Registration while I was present and was told Amateur Radio license plates had always contained spaces. I have been a license Amateur Radio Operator for 15 years and have never seen an Amateur Radio license plate with a space.

After returning home I began calling the DMV Office of Registration to further clarify the situation. After three days of calling, someone answered the phone and I was able to speak with a representative. I was told that spaces have always been required for Amateur Radio license plates in California and nothing could be done to change the plates. I then asked the department representative if I returned the plates could I then apply for a Personalized license plate with my call sign. I was told no because the sequence resembled a Specialized license plate.

In early December of 2007 I took my plates with the space to a DMV Office in Yolo County. The person helping me was unfamiliar with Amateur Radio license plates and asked his supervisor and office manager for assistance. At first they could not find the license plate and my registration information in their computer, regardless of how the data was entered. I asked if they needed to enter a code of some kind and if so try “H”. They did this and found my plate and registration information. The office manager told me I could get the plate as I requested, with consecutive sequence of letters and numbers as well as center justified. She had me sign a new amateur radio plate request form and instructed the person helping me on how to complete the form so that I received the correct plate. Based on prior time frames I expect to receive the new plates sometime late February. Until then I will not know if the plates will be as requested or not.

Amateur Radio Operators provide emergency support to many agencies across the state. The potential for law enforcement agency staff not able to properly identify Amateur Radio license plates is very real. If a DMV office can not locate the information how are law enforcement agencies expected to locate the information?

Like other Amateur Radio Operator’s in the state, I am proud to display my call sign on my vehicles license plate. I have paid for a State of California Amateur Radio license plate displaying my call sign as issued by the FCC. It was not until I received the second incorrect license plate (W6 VNQ) that I was told that a space would be inserted in the call sign. Based on call sign’s on license plates I have seen in the last 15 years I had no reason to believe that a space would be inserted.

I am not alone in this situation. Currently a petition is being circulated in the Amateur Radio community though-out California to address this issue. Assemblyman Mike Feuer’s (42nd District) office has also been contacted by Amateur Radio Operator’s in the Los Angeles area. A website to find resolution to these and other inconsistencies in California Department of Motor Vehicles processes and policies related to Amateur Radio license plate issuance can be found at: http://nospacehamplates.blogspot.com/.

Other states have placed symbols or wording such as “Amateur Radio” on call sign license plates to assist in identifying the registered owner as a Amateur Radio Operator. If the State of California can place various types of markings on Personalize license plates, why not for Amateur Radio license plates? Another option would be to stamp the plates with the correct sequence as shown on the FCC license, and educate users of the DMV license database of the proper code to differentiate Amateur Radio plates from Personalized plates

Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter. If additional information is needed I am available to speak or meet with you at your convenience.

Respectfully,


Harry David Towle, W6VNQ
XXX XXXXXXXXX
Arbuckle, CA xxxxx

Complaint to Gov. Schwarzenegger by Darryl Widman, KI6DI

January 8, 2008

Santa Barbara, CA 93108

Re: DMV putting a space in middle of Amateur Radio call signs on license plates

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

With all due respect, I feel that some of your department appointees are not carrying on in the best interest of your constituents, namely, the thousands of federally licensed Amateur Radio operators throughout our State of California.

Like every other state in our country, California recognizes the fine service given by its Amateur Radio operators in times of disasters and emergencies by permitting them to display their FCC assigned call letters on their vehicle license plates, both front and rear. These specially assigned plates are instantly recognized by those who depend on the special talents of the “hams” to get the signal in and out when no other service is able to do it. They know that when all else fails, Amateur Radio gets through!

Now, unlike every other state in the Union, California has made a decision that our assigned call letters are too difficult to work with where the state’s DMV computers are concerned. For instance, my call sign is KF6DI. The DMV would break up my call sign and make it look like KF6 DI. Yes, the DMV has inserted a space somewhere between some characters and has destroyed the appearance of my call sign so that those who would instantly recognize it will now not recognize it for the importance that it holds.

It appears that one gentleman in charge of the DMV is adamant about correcting his mistake and has gotten the entire Amateur Radio community up in arms! There is really no excuse for his behavior. The Red Cross, the Offices of Emergency Service, law enforcement and many others recognize our Amateur Radio call signs on our license plates with the call letters we were issued by the Federal Communications Commission. What gives this man the right to distort, confuse and destroy the integrity of a well-recognized identification?

Please, Governor, use the powers of your good office and see to it that the Amateur Radio call sign license plate identification remains as it should and remove the inserted spaces the DMV computers are inserting.

I know you can do it.

Very sincerely,

Darryl Widman, KF6DI

Santa Barbara, California

Director, Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club


Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club, Key-Klix Newsletter, Darryl Widman, KF6DI

Take the Space Out of Our Call Signs
by Darryl Widman, KF6DI
By now, most of you have heard about Sacramento's inserting a space between characters of our Amateur Radio call signs on our license plates. If you care anything about how your call sign appears on your license plates, please do as I have done and contact our Governor and let him know what is on your mind. Another to contact is Senator Alan Lowenthal, California State Senate, 27th District, Chair, Transportation & Housing Committee 115 Pine Ave, Suite 430, Long Beach, CA 90802, Phone: (562) 495-4766 Fax: (562) 495-1876 Another very important person to contact is Assemblyman Pedro Nava, 35th Assembly District, Chair, Assembly Transportation Committee, Chair, Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Services and Homeland Security District Offices: Santa Barbara County 101 W. Anapamu Street, Suite A, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Tel: (805) 564-1649, Fax: (805) 564-1651
As you can tell by the letter below that I faxed to the Governor's office in Los Angeles, there are good reasons for us to be disturbed by what the DMV has been doing lately. Please be my guest and write a letter to the Governor and others, based upon my letter if you wish, and give them a piece of your mind. Sitting there doing nothing will result in exactly the same thing. If you have ham license plates now, please drive very carefully and don't lose them. If you wished to have them replaced you will be very surprised with what you receive. If you are expecting new ham plates for your vehicle, guess what you will be receiving!
The Governor's fax number in Los Angeles is (213) 897-0319. Faxes have much more impact than e-mails. Please do it now. Thanks.

January 8, 2008

Santa Barbara, CA 93108


Monday, January 7, 2008

Space In-Front of Callsign, Mike Shirely, WB6WUI

In April 2007 I purchased a new pickup and decided to replace my old
blue ham plates with the new reflective plates. I have had the blue ham
plates since the early 80's when I received my new ham call. After many
phone calls and visits to the Redding DMV Office I received my new ham
plates in the first part of December. When I took them out of the DMV
brown envelope I was surprised and mad when I discovered that they were
NC6 A. Upon returning them to the Redding DMV office and explaining to
them the problem with the space they called a supervisor in Sacramento
to find out about the space. The Supervisor told them that a new
federal law just went in to affect that required the space. I asked
what a federal law had to do with state vehicle license plates and they
said "because we accept federal money and have to do what they say".
They also told me that there was going to be a recall of all California
Ham Plates and new ones would be reissued with the space.
So after seeing all the different stories that the CALIF. DMV has told
hams I feel really offended that a state agency has lied to me.

Don Borden NC6A

Sunday, January 6, 2008

DMV Decieves Don Borden, NC6A

Cliff,

I ordered my plates at the end of April 2007 and received them in December 2007. NC6 A

I see one reason the DMV says for the space is "for law enforcement to recognize ham plates". If this is a problem why not do like alot of states do and that is to put "AMATEUR RADIO" on the plate.

After complaining the Redding DMV office contacted a supervisor in Sacramento who said that the space was required by a new federal law. I asked what's a federal law have to do with the state and was told "we receive federal funds and have to do what they say". I was also told that the DMV would be recalling all ham plates and reissuing new ones with the space. What a bunch of liars!!!

Don Borden NC6A NOT NC6 A
Redding CA

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Petition Signature: Kris Ford, KI6MHP

I the undersigned support the 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. I 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 attached) and declaring these plates to be vanity plates and charging yearly vanity plates fees.

Kristopher Ford KI6MHP
xxxx xxxx xxxxx xxxxx
Compton, CA xxxxx

Friday, January 4, 2008

Pulled Over by Cops, Cops Can't Find Callsign License Plate in DMW Records: Bill Johnson, AB6UI

I have been pulled over a few times as well as my 16 year old son (two times), by the police, only because they said they could not find my "AB6UI" call sign plates (No Space) in the DMV database. Once I showed them my licence and registration I was free to go. But the officer said I should check with the DMV. So the next time I was down at the DMV (getting my younger son his first drivers licence) I stood in line and asked the clerk to why the police can't seem to find my plate in the database. The first clerk could not find it either, the 2nd clerk, a proclaimed expert in such matters also could not find it. Finally the supervisor came over and asked if they were HAM plates and found it quickly. I asked if there was anything I could do to make the process of looking up my plate by law enforcement easier and he said NO. Obviously something needs to be done in order for law enforcement to be able differentiate between HAM license plates and other series license plates. Maybe a logo of an antenna tower but not a space.

72/73 ES GUD DX DE AB6UI

eHam Discussion: Nationwide Ham Opposition to DMV Policy

eHam is a worldwide amateur radio website features forums, equipment reviews, news, practice exams.... In the week the newstory of the Calif. DMV's placing a space in ham plates, 30 hams across the U.S. and aboard commented. Please see eHam's archives - http://www.eham.net/articles/18317


Opposition - John Minger, AC6VV

Hi Cliff,

Another point to make to DMV: There are 49 other states that do not modify/corrupt legitimate government issued call signs with spaces.

John, AC6VV

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Rebuttal to DMV - Marvin Munster, W6MJM

My comments are that it sounds like if you do not want to have the
space you will have to register you call as a "Personalized Plate"
and pay the $21 or so each year.

Marvin - W6MJM (or W6 MJM)