Remedy worse than malady?
August 14, 2006 11:16 AM   Subscribe

The solution to this fix it ticket sounds worse than the ostensible problem-to-be-fixed!

I just got pulled over and issued a "fix it" ticket for not having a front license plate (well, technically I got pulled over for driving on the wrong side of the street, but I ended up with a fix it ticket for flp instead). The California DMV page on obtaining a replacement license plate claims that you must surrender the remaining plate(s) in order to obtain a new set.

Why do you have to surrender the other license plate? Are you supposed to drive around with no license plates at all while waiting for the license plates to be reissued and mailed? Isn't this going to lead to being pulled over multiple times in the interim?
posted by Wavelet to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
I don't know, but I'm sure California issues some sort of temporary tag. Here in Illinois, they are a sort of manilla cardboard.
posted by MrZero at 11:20 AM on August 14, 2006

In Pennsylvania, they give you the new plates on the spot.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 11:26 AM on August 14, 2006

Best answer: You will receive new plates or a temporary permit (sticky, gets affixed to your rear windshield).

You have seen the temporary "trip permits". You see them on the rear windows of newly purchased (but plateless) vehicles.
posted by terpia at 11:32 AM on August 14, 2006

Agreed with terpia, you'll get a temporary permit. It's a piece of paper with two sticky strips running up the left and right sides. Put it on your back window. Expect the new plates to take at least 4 weeks to arrive.
I never had any trouble driving around with the temp sticker. Makes me wonder if you could counter-fit your own and drive around indefintely.
posted by Eddie Mars at 11:38 AM on August 14, 2006

This thread has an example of what the temp tag looks like.
posted by stefanie at 11:52 AM on August 14, 2006

I don't think that you actually have to surrender the place. Sure, the DMV site says you have to, but my experience was otherwise. In one instance, an old girlfriend had a unique personalized plate, and the front plate was stolen at one of the light rail stations. She simply went down and said "Someone stole my front plate" and a few weeks later, she had a replacement set of plates. They didn't make her surrender anything. Like many DMV experiences, it depends on the mood of the DMV clerk you deal with.
posted by drstein at 12:05 PM on August 14, 2006

Best answer: However... - I got two fixit tickets for a missing front plate. So I took off the back plate at the DMV in San Francisco, stood in line for 10 minutes, handed over the plate at the counter and they immediately handed over 2 new plates with new numbers. Quote me "Is that it?????", she says "Yes, have a nice day".

So you do have to surrender the plate, but in my case they gave me two new ones on the spot.

Of course if you have personalized plates - you will probably have to wait, but if you have standard plates you will get them immediately.
posted by clarkie666 at 12:22 PM on August 14, 2006

Best answer: The reason they want you to surrender the plates is to prevent someone from using that plate number to avoid paying their tickets. I had my front plate stolen a few years ago, and soon afterward I got a notice saying my car had been impounded, which was odd considering my car was still sitting right where I'd parked it. Getting new plates isn't a big deal, as others have mentioned. Like clarkie666, I got my replacement plates at the same time I handed over the old one. Worst part is waiting forever at the DMV for a transaction that will take two minutes.
posted by Aster at 1:05 PM on August 14, 2006

In Cali, if issued a temporary, it goes on the right of the windshield, not the rear window. Just a heads up (I got an IL ticket for having a Cali temporary on my windshield, lazy ass cop only looked on the rear window, despite having to look through the windshield to get the VIN. Alderwoman straightened it out).
posted by rbs at 2:25 PM on August 14, 2006

clarkie666: Really? Oh, you got new numbers. You didn't get a replacement plate.

If you have personalized plates that both get stolen, you lose that letter combination forever and they will not reissue plates. My friend had *one* personalized plate that was stolen, and she got a new one with no hassles.

So, it can certainly depend on the situation. Damn DMV.
posted by drstein at 11:20 AM on August 15, 2006

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