Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Another Ham Stopped by Cops, K6PIC


Thank you so much for your efforts in getting the word out about the "Space" in the ham radio callsign license plate issue. I first noticed the extra space when I got my registration renewed in December and was slightly concerned but I've always known there was an issue of the plates being mistaken as "peronalized plates" by law enforcement when they call in for a 10-28.
In the past even renewing my registration at the DMV took some effort. They once had to call two supervisors over to finally figure out how to look up my vehicle in the computer. Seemed back then the addition of an astrik infront of the callsign would do a search and they would find it. It seems idiotic to think by adding a space they would solve if not complicate even further the whole issue. In the past especially when paying parking tickets I've alway put the astrick infront of the callsign hoping if they got confused that it would help them find my registration record.

Last night (March 3rd/4th, 2008) on my way home from work I was stopped by the police whom I assume had done a rolling 10-28 on my plate and they asked me all sorts of questions. First was if it was my vehicle. Then if I had just got it from a salvage yard. Then how long I had owned it. Then they told me there was no record of my vehicle in the computer database. They asked to see my registration which I produced and I pointed out it was a HAM Amateur Radio type 61 plate and suggested they should try the *. After waiting something like 10 minutes they came back and told me they still had no record of my vehicle and that I needed to clear it up with the DMV. She even said that the dispatcher whom she spoke with at the communication center had worked there 20 years and had no idea what it was or why it wasn't coming up. In my experience from visiting the com center in my county I found that a lot of the dispatcers are themselves hams and it was somewhat disturbing to be told I had to "fix" this discrepancy with the DMV.

If you have any sort of emailing list regarding this issue and the greater side issue of being stopped by the police please add my email to the list. THANK YOU AGAIN for your effort to inform the greater ham community of this issue.


Christopher James Knight

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