Mark of the Beast? (Numbers in the backs of cars)
June 12, 2005 12:50 PM   Subscribe

I live in Los Angeles, and everyday I see cars on the road with a small paper/placard, usually in the lower-left corner of the rear windshield, that displays the number '6'. They all have (as far as I can tell) a red background with the '6' done in white, and the cards are about 3-4 inches square. What the heck are these things, and why do I see them everywhere?
posted by rooftop secrets to Grab Bag (15 answers total)
Pretty sure you are seeing temporary tags/registration placards.
posted by mzurer at 1:11 PM on June 12, 2005

6 = June?
posted by seawallrunner at 1:16 PM on June 12, 2005

I'll second mzurer. Usually when I see these, they're on cars with no plates or with expired registration tags. I've seen numbers other than 6 though.
posted by LionIndex at 1:42 PM on June 12, 2005

I think it is a NASCAR thing. Some people have #6, or #8, etc. They are identifying themselves as fans.
posted by mlis at 1:50 PM on June 12, 2005

As far as NASCAR goes, #6 is Mark Martin, who is fairly popular, but you should see a lot more 8's and 3's.
posted by smackfu at 1:57 PM on June 12, 2005

i've never seen temp tags that's just one big number. there's no other detail you've seen on these placards?
posted by puke & cry at 2:17 PM on June 12, 2005

although it has to be something for "official" use. usually you don't put random decals in the bottom left corner of the glass.
posted by puke & cry at 2:21 PM on June 12, 2005

there's no other detail you've seen on these placards?

They're about four inches square, white border with red field, and then a white number in the center. I believe there's also some finer print text on the paper, but I only see them when I'm driving around so I don't really inspect them closely. They certainly look completely governmental in origin.

I wondered what they were for a while myself, until I started noticing the expired/absent license plate connection, leading me to believe they were some form of temorary registration.
posted by LionIndex at 2:39 PM on June 12, 2005

I can't find a picture online but I did this about a year ago for my vehicle. It was a red piece of paper with a big number on it. What you don't see is that there is writing on it, over the red so that if you are stopped the office can indeed check and make sure it's legitimate. ie: signed by yourself and DMV.

When you get it you are instructed to tape it to your rear windshield. I am 100% sure that this is what you are talking about. mzurer is correct.

Basically you get a temporary registration if you need more time to register your car or your tags are in the mail, something like that.
posted by freudianslipper at 2:40 PM on June 12, 2005

Freudian Slipper is correct -- it's a temp registration given to you by the DMV, usually providing you with a three month grace period until you pay for your permanent registration. As rooftop says, they're all over the place in L.A. (and the rest of California). It comes with adhesive already on, so you just peel and stick it to the inside of your rear window.
posted by incessant at 3:12 PM on June 12, 2005

I am pretty certain that mzurer and freudianslipper are correct, the paper placards you are seeing indicate that the vehicle has temporary registration - technically I think California calls it a Temporary Operating Permit. Here is a picture I found of a Temporary Operating Permit (I found it here):

The large white number in the center of the red field indicates the month in which the temporary permit expires. For example, a 6 indicates that the permit is valid through the end of June.
posted by RichardP at 3:20 PM on June 12, 2005

that looks like it's probably it. Thanks a lot guys!
posted by rooftop secrets at 7:43 PM on June 12, 2005

freudianslipper, incessant and RichardP (and me) are all correct. I'm a native Californian that has had to have one of 'em once or twice.
posted by deborah at 7:44 PM on June 12, 2005

What am I, chopped liver?

or do I need to start another thread for that?
posted by mzurer at 9:20 PM on June 12, 2005

Not that you're going to see this, mzurer, but you have my apologies. I didn't scroll up far enough.
posted by deborah at 5:45 PM on June 15, 2005

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