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

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