Sunday, February 3, 2008

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

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