[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].
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
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
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
Paul L Smith, K7PLS, AAR9BJ