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California takes "space" out of Ham Plates

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K7FE, Feb 6, 2008.

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  1. AA6I

    AA6I Ham Member QRZ Page

    Unintended Consequence

    While getting the space out of the callsign on the plate may be a victory for some, the space still exists on the vehicle registration. The consequence is that when a law enforcement officer runs your plate on his computer without the space it comes back as not in the system, which makes the officer think the car is stolen. Of the 5 hams in our family with call letter plates, 4 have been stopped in the last year for that reason. The space needs to come out of the database too, not just off the plate.

    Stan AA6I (ex AA6 I)
  2. W6AWS

    W6AWS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Perhaps I can break it down for your Rick.

    For years, the Ham plates were done correctly. Fee's in CA for these plates were a one time $10.00 charge. No increase in annual fees. With the change two things happened.

    1. They added a space after the # in the call. This had not been done before so it upset those Hams getting plates. The big problem is that as my call W6AWS is on my FCC license, on my plates it would be W6 AWS. The CA vehicle code concerning amateur plates stated "as issued by the FCC". There are no spaces in my FCC license. More troubling was the fact I could get the plates W6 AWS in the amateur program, but is was unclear whether someone could apply for W6AWS under the vanity program without spaces.

    2. Fees for Vanity plates are $45.00+ annualy as opposed to a one time $10.00 fee as stated above. The amateur community saw it as a "revenue grab" and reacted as such.

    Bottom line, there was no reason to change existing policy!

    To answer your question directly Rick, a whole lot of California Amateurs cared! And with an overwhelming, and polite I might add, grass roots campaign with our state legislators, the policy was corrected in a little more than a month!

    What may seem like a non issue to some is a big issue to others. This was a victory for Amateurs in CA and may help with precedence in other states.


    Andy W6AWS
  3. AC7EL

    AC7EL Ham Member QRZ Page

    In Nevada, we have ham plates with the words "RADIO AMATEUR" on them. So people don't have to ask what the letters and number mean.

    The initial charge is $36, but the $10 renewal fee is waived if you include a statement that you agree to assist during emergencies.

    BTW, the legend "RADIO AMATEUR" doesn't help everybody. At our county landfill, a clerk writes down license plates of vehicles. One dim-witted clerk looked at my AC7EL plate, seemed puzzled for a moment, and then exclaimed: "Oh, I get it. Excel."
  4. NC6A

    NC6A Ham Member QRZ Page


    Sure glad a majority of hams don't have WA1RKT's attitude!!
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2008
  5. N9XR

    N9XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is a little late for JY1, but I am sure he is smiling down upon us now.
  6. K7FE

    K7FE QRZ Lifetime Member #1 Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The California DMV is correcting the registration as well as removing the space from the plate, so all is well. The plate and registration will read the same.

    Terry, K7FE
  7. WB4AEJ

    WB4AEJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Call Sign Plates

    South Carolina did that with my tag originally. Then they relented and subsequent tags were issued without the space. That was back in the seventies.

    Since we are on the subject of ham tags, let me post a URL to a ham plates page on my Web site: . Feel free to add yours.


  8. KC0JEZ

    KC0JEZ Ham Member QRZ Page you prefer the newfangled terms ending in "cycles" eh? If you were really using the more nomenclature, you'd simply use meters. US Commerce Department didn't didn't adopt "cycles" until 1923, and most radio schedules, etc included broadcast/frequency listings in meters into the 40's. I have old radio schedules, books, etc. that list everything in meters..not 'general' meters, like "40 meter band" etc, but 485 meters, 360 meters, 455 meters, etc. Old radios also have meter scales on them, not cycles (or hertz, for that matter). And I really don't consider a calling them hertz, after Heinrich Rudolf Hertz who died in 1894 to be all that new-although it wasn't adopted until 1960.

    Also, some change is good, but I refuse to use metrics or "new terms" for electronic measurements or parts. So, it's still kilocycle, megacycles, gigacycles, micofarads, and micro-micro (mickey-mickey mics, he he he.


    King, Ace, 5, Lucky, Queens & name is Don, Double Or Nothing, goes with the poker hand :p:D:cool:[/QUOTE]
  9. WT6A

    WT6A Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wrote to three of the four Assembly/Senators that you identified as helping with the license plate problem. Dave Cox would not accept my E-mail since I am not in his district. Also wrote the DMV and thanked them too.


    Robert, WT6A
  10. W6EM

    W6EM Ham Member QRZ Page

    CA "Space" Cadets......

    Yeah, I'm an old dude now. But, when I lived in CA and received my first set of call plates (orange letters on a black background) as WA6VKJ, there wasn't any space. On my second plate (the first got damaged) it was blue with yellow letters and numbers. Supposed to be "golden" I guess, but looked yellow to me. No space.

    My last set was, with my current call, and no space. That was 2000.

    Whoa! When did the Space Cadets chime in? What was the reason for the change? A database whacko?

    Now, speaking of that, if any of you want to take the "to space or not to space" issue literally, go take a look at your ULS name record in the FCC's database if you're of Irish extraction like me (with an Mc up front). About 2/3 of the names have a space between the Mc and the rest of the sirname, and the remaining do not have the space.

    So, who's to blame at the FCC? A former Secretary? A former Commissioner? A Neocon? Who knows.

    Anyway, good that CA has finally conserved something: SPACE!!!

    Perhaps the additional SPACE at the beginning will allow sufficient room for an amateur radio symbol. After all, they have a prefix symbol for State exempt; a different one for city/county exempt; and another yet for "press photographer" (PP). (If they do one for the press, its time for hams to have one too)

    The PP plates fees used to be the same as for amateur plates in CA. Maybe its different now.

    Pehaps those who have the right ears in Sacratomato could manage to convince them of the need for the prefix. After all of the "alphabet soup" vanity calls, (N0AH is my favorite) the cops really could be confused as to what's a wise-guy vanity plate and what is a legitimate amateur plate in CA.

    Those states such as mine (AL), FL and NV at least state on the plate that it is an amateur radio plate.

    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
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