January 16, 2008
Hon. Sam Aanestad, Senator District -
200 Providence Mine Road, Suite 108
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
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
In early December of 2007 I took my plates with the space to a DMV Office in
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
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
I am not alone in this situation. Currently a petition is being circulated in the Amateur Radio community though-out
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
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.
David Towle, W6VNQ