Front license plate, car pool lane stickers, and the California Highway Patrol

ModFather

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#1
Today, Tuesday, La Crucera and I always go for lunch to our absolute favorite Mexican restaurant for Taco Tuesday. This is not run of the mill TexMex or CaliMex food but the real deal Mexican food which is much better and they always have a big crowd. Tuesdays are a favorite for Law Enforcement officers too - local PD, Probation, Sheriffs, and Highway Patrol. They come in big groups for their lunch break and I have gotten to know a bunch of them. Today, we had a group of six Highway Patrol officers sitting at the table next to us. These were guys who actually patrol the highways in our area. Well seeing that they had finished their meal and they were just sitting around shooting the breeze, and being the shy, retiring type that I am :p, I told La Crucera that i was going to go over and ask them some questions. La Crucera just rolled her eyes :rolleyes: and said "try not to get yourself arrested"

I went over and introduced myself, apologized for intruding, and asked them if I could ask a couple of questions. They said sure, pull up a chair. I told them that I had a Tesla 3 on order and then THEY started flooding ME with questions. They had heard rumors but wanted to know more, like the range. One said, "that car is not supposed to come out until 2018!" I assured him he had heard wrong. I finally got to my questions. I said I knew what the law was but I wanted to know how the officers in the field enforced the law - front license plates and the world's ugliest car pool lane stickers which allow one occupant cars to use the car pool lane.

They said that absence of a front license plate IS NOT a priority for them. They said they will not pull a car over for just no front license plate. But if you are pulled over for a serious infraction such as speeding, reckless driving, etc. then they will go over the car with a fine tooth comb and write additional citations for no front plate and too dark window tinting. They said if you don't speed, then don't worry about no front plate. However, they said they are not local police and local police may have different priorities so beware and take your chances.

Now we talked about car pool lane stickers for EVs. They said that California's car pool lanes are becoming very impacted. Enforcement is therefore a priority to them. They said that they know what an EV looks like, particularly a Tesla. They said they know that a Tesla qualifies for a car pool sticker but they will pull over and cite any EV that does not have the stickers with one occupant including a Tesla! They said they are a bit flexible about where those stickers are attached despite what the regs say.

So there you have it from six guys who work in the field. Conclusion:
- I may not run a front plate, or I will run a retractable plate, but I am not going to affix a plate permanently to that beautiful front fascia
- I may not affix the ugly car pool lane stickers and just forego that perk of driving as a single in the car pool lane which doesn't happen often for me or I may affix the stickers if I can incorporate them into some cohesive graphical design on the car

Remember, this is a sample of just six guys in the State of California. YMMV!

La Crucera had left the building and was sitting outside on a bench, fooling with her dumb phone. I asked, "who called?" She said "no one, I was just searching for local bail bondsmen." :D
 
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PcGuy

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#2
Today, Tuesday, La Crucera and I always go for lunch to our absolute favorite Mexican restaurant for Taco Tuesday. This is not run of the mill TexMex or CaliMex food but the real deal Mexican food which is much better and they always have a big crowd. Tuesdays are a favorite for Law Enforcement officers too - local PD, Probation, Sheriffs, and Highway Patrol. They come in big groups for their lunch break and I have gotten to know a bunch of them. Today, we had a group of six Highway Patrol officers sitting at the table next to us. These were guys who actually patrol the highways in our area. Well seeing that they had finished their meal and they were just sitting around shooting the breeze, and being the shy, retiring type that I am :p, I told La Crucera that i was going to go over and ask them some questions. La Crucera just rolled her eyes :rolleyes: and said "try not to get yourself arrested"

I went over and introduced myself, apologized for intruding, and asked them if I could ask a couple of questions. They said sure, pull up a chair. I told them that I had a Tesla 3 on order and then THEY started flooding ME with questions. They had heard rumors but wanted to know more, like the range. One said, "that car is not supposed to come out until 2018!" I assured him he had heard wrong. I finally got to my questions. I said I knew what the law was but I wanted to know how the officers in the field enforced the law - front license plates and the world's ugliest car pool lane stickers which allow one occupant cars to use the car pool lane.

They said that absence of a front license plate IS NOT a priority for them. They said they will not pull a car over for just no front license plate. But if you are pulled over for a serious infraction such as speeding, reckless driving, etc. then they will go over the car with a fine tooth comb and write additional citations for no front plate and too dark window tinting. They said if you don't speed, then don't worry about no front plate. However, they said they are not local police and local police may have different priorities so beware and take your chances.

Now we talked about car pool lane stickers for EVs. They said that California's car pool lanes are becoming very impacted. Enforcement is therefore a priority to them. They said that they know what an EV looks like, particularly a Tesla. They said they know that a Tesla qualifies for a car pool sticker but they will pull over and cite any EV that does not have the stickers with one occupant including a Tesla! They said they are a bit flexible about where those stickers are attached despite what the regs say.

So there you have it from six guys who work in the field. Conclusion:
- I may not run a front plate, or I will run a retractable plate, but I am not going to affix a plate permanently to that beautiful front fascia
- I may not affix the ugly car pool lane stickers and just forego that perk of driving as a single in the car pool lane which doesn't happen often for me or I may affix the stickers if I can incorporate them into some cohesive graphical design on the car

Remember, this is a sample of just six guys in the State of California. YMMV!

La Crucero had left the building and was sitting outside on a bench, fooling with her dumb phone. I asked, "who called?" She said "no one, I was just searching for local bail bondsmen." :D
I am glad Nevada doesn't have a law that requires a front plate. But I do travel to California occasionally so this is good information. Thanks.
 

ahagge

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#4
Indeed, @ModFather, thanks for sharing the tale (and information). I've run the past 11 years without a front plate on my Evo and have never been pulled over for it (or anything else). Now I know why...
 

Derik

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#6
I've been running no front license plate since 2000 without any issues. I'm guessing just don't give them any other reason to pull you over.

Going to guess with autopilot it'll be easy to get away without the front plate.
 

ModFather

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#7
If you're coming from a state that doesn't have a front plate requirement, they can't harass you in a state that does.
Depends on what your definition of 'harass' is. Here in SoCal many California residents try to register their car in other States to avoid sales tax, no front plate requirement, lower registration and annual license fees, etc. The CHP knows all about these tricks. If you are running plates from one notorious State that doesn't require residency to get licensed in their State, you are almost certain to get pulled over. Just because you are running out of State plates with no front plate requirement, doesn't mean you won't be pulled over.
 

ModFather

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#10
Or +5 / +10 mph it seems. I drive 70-75 in the posted 70 mph limit and I feel like I'm standing still with everyone flying past me.
Yes, you can do that, but it only gives the CHP an excuse to pull you over if the officer is having a bad day. Push the limits and take your chances.
 
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John

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#11
Funny + Informative.
I forgot about getting a ticket for no front plate if pulled over for speeding.
I speed too much, so that's another reason I'll put a front plate on. That and parking in places like San Francisco and Berkeley.

I would gently suggest that license plates "disappear" when you look at a car. In other words, you still see the car's shape behind them.
Where I live, about 90% follow the law. The law especially seems to be violated by Mercedes coupes, Jaguars, and for some reason, Jeeps (which have plenty of space for a plate and big flat fronts). But if you study, as I have, the same models with plates, they don't look different. You still get the same effect, even though there's a plate there. An attractive person holding a license plate in their hand is still an attractive person.
 

ModFather

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#13
To bad we can't all afford to do the Steve Jobs answer. Get a new car every time it's up to get any plates.
Bill Gates visited a facility where I was working, he flew in by private helicopter. I was selected to give him and his wife a tour of the grounds. Afterwards, I asked him if I could have one of his business cards as a souvenir. He apologized and said he has never had a business card in his life!