Illegally Painted License Plates?

36 Comments
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By an edhat reader:

Why are we seeing so many vehicles with their license plates painted over with gray paint? Even the word "California" is painted over, and sometimes even the registration stickers are painted over as well. If they have stickers, they're often very old dates like 2012 or older.

I don't see them ever get issued tickets and I have seen the same vehicles for several years now and nothing is being done.  

Do you know what is going on, and how can police be made to issue tickets for these vehicles? It is illegal and a $1,105 fine. 

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36 Comments

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Mel632 Apr 24, 2019 09:27 PM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

Interesting comments and response to people breaking the law. Defending them. Well, it is just that some people have said that because of these plates they are going to go around putting poison food out for dogs to eat and making poison meatballs and stuff so we were just trying to prevent them from doing this. They know no tickets are issued because they see the exact same cars nearly every day for many years and if they were getting tickets they would have had to put new plates on their cars. But oh well if no one cares what some people do when they see these violations well ok

EastBeach Dec 11, 2018 11:39 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

Think I solved the OP's quandry .... this Sacramento Bee article talks about CA plates with reflective coatings that are peeling off. As you can see in the video and photos (scroll to the bottom) the plate looks gray because after the "paint" degrades (I strongly suspect it's a powder coat) you see the gray aluminum of the plate. Even the word "California" disappears - similar to the OP's comment. ............. https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/transportation/back-seat-driver/article28724602.html

EastBeach Dec 11, 2018 11:43 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

The Sac Bee's article is about a plate that was apparently defectively manufactured. But it also talks about how some people intentionally mess up the plate's finish to foil law enforcement cameras that can read plates, etc.

ZeroHawk Dec 11, 2018 10:38 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

omg the sky is falling! someone has a different license plate than you do! call the cops! call the feds! SWAT should be involved. I say we run them out of town... *facepalm* there are bigger things to complain about and bigger problems in our town than this...

a-1563720978 Dec 11, 2018 10:00 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

I have never seen what this OP describes, ever. And I do alot of driving. Sounds like someone needs some real problems that might give him/her some perspective. MYOB. If it's not impacting you, why do you care?

a-1563720978 Dec 11, 2018 11:48 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

What a daft comment. Property taxes? What does a license plate peeling off have to do with property taxes?

a-1563720978 Dec 11, 2018 11:45 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

If someone is using this tactic to not pay their property taxes then it is the OPs business (and the rest of ours). Subsidizing lawbreakers should never be done by taxpayers.

a-1563720978 Dec 11, 2018 09:46 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

Someone should start a neighborhood task force to monitor and report all license plate issues such as this. Any time you see a car with a painted or in any way altered license plate, follow it to the owner's home and stake out the car (you can eat burgers and sleep in your car as you watch).

a-1563720978 Dec 11, 2018 09:02 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

I have a neighbor who has a paper plate on his expensive Porsche with an apparent folded over new registration in the front windshield. This state has existed for several months. I now suspect that he simply did not register it when purchased and that he can probably continue this for years since no cop is going to pull him over and check current registration in such circumstances. Still, maybe he is just waiting a long time for his new vanity plates?

Emmenanthe Dec 11, 2018 08:43 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

Is it really paint or just an old plate. The DMV used some inferior sort of coating that weathers away after about 8 years.

pstarSR Dec 10, 2018 04:25 PM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

you say "Why are we seeing so many...." honestly this is the first time I have heard of this locally. one its a very bad idea, and two illegal. Im just not sure it is a prolific as you are stating. I have seen old license plates where the original color has been washed/ stripped/ or worn off. nothing anyone did intentionally.

2contango Dec 10, 2018 11:43 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

Promo photos and videos for new cars typically have their license plates painted out for aesthetics. Are these new cars? If so, could be for a marketing campaign.

a-1563720978 Dec 11, 2018 08:55 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

I agree they do this in advertisements but it is not legal to run these cars on the highway with such plates.

EastBeach Dec 10, 2018 10:02 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

Fun fact - to easily remove old registration stickers (tags) you can use heat to remove them. Either remove the plate so you can run boiled water over the sticker, or gently use a hair dryer. The sticker will peel right off. Don't use too much heat - the license plate's paint will also peel off if too hot.

tagdes Dec 11, 2018 03:30 PM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

They will also peel right off with a pocket or paring knife which is a lot quicker and easier.

Ahchooo Dec 10, 2018 09:28 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

I haven't noticed any like that. Sounds fishy. My neighbor's plate has very little paint left after years of washing, but he has current tags.

a-1563720978 Dec 11, 2018 08:58 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

The CHP has a hot line which purportedly responds to information about unlicensed vehicles (such as those with out of state plates for local residents). But that line is useless in my experience. I think they do not want this job. The local parking enforcement will cite cars parked on the streets with outdated or non-existent registration.

ZeroHawk Dec 10, 2018 09:18 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

you're so bothered that someone else has a painted license plate that you want them to have a financial hardship and pay $1000... wow....ok Mr Grinch....i don't really see how that would affect your life to a point where you wish that upon someone. How about this...just a suggestion. Mind your own affairs...Mr Grinch...

a-1563720978 Dec 10, 2018 11:47 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

@11:43 - So, just because the license plate his painted, they will never be arrested for hit and run? That's absurd. If they have probable cause to stop (car description with painted plates) then they can stop and inspect the vehicle for damage indicating it was involved in an accident. Pretty no-brainer here.

a-1563720978 Dec 10, 2018 10:46 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

When you are involved in a "hit and run," how often do you think the person who was "hit" actually is able to see and memorize/write down the license plate #? Plus, having a "painted" over plate makes it that much easier to ID. "Officer, it was a blue 2010 Nissan Maxima with a grey painted over license plate....." etc etc......

Abc109 Dec 10, 2018 09:51 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

Seriously. If this is what the OP is getting worked up about enough to sit at a computer, look up the fine and post it to the community, he or she has his priorities all wrong. Get a hobby or find and do something that brings joy to your life and the world around you, rather than looking for ways to make someone else's life more difficult. Merry Christmas.

a-1563720978 Dec 10, 2018 09:10 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

I am curious to know how the poster knows for a fact nothing is being done and these vehicles have not been ticketed? Are the vehicles in question under 24 hour surveillance by the OP? Or is it that nothing has changed to remedy the situation that leads the poster to suspect or assume her conclusions to be correct?

PitMix Dec 10, 2018 08:58 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

I believe police do not stop for these "minor" violations but if pulled over for speeding etc then they will also ticket for this stuff. Call the City non-emergency number and ask what their policy is on recurring infractions like this. Then follow their advice.

a-1563720978 Dec 11, 2018 08:59 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

Of course police stop for license plate violations. Missing front plates in particular which are believed to be removed (by the cops) to avoid traffic light camera citations.

REX OF SB Dec 10, 2018 08:57 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

What you may be seeing is the gradual "erosion" of the reflectorized white license plates. After only a very few years, the reflectorized plates not only lose their shine, but the paint actually wears off, rendering some of the older plates virtually unreadable. It would seem that exposure to many car washes, and leaving one's vehicle ungaraged can hasten the problem. The only solution is to spring for a set of duplicate plates.

PitMix Dec 10, 2018 01:11 PM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

I find it more common to see that the month sticker is so old it is unreadable. Don't remember seeing a license plate that was unreadable, except maybe on the back of a construction vehicle that seems subjected to a lot of dirt and gravel. .

monkeyboy Dec 10, 2018 09:32 AM
Illegally Painted License Plates?

I think Rex has it right...even the paint has been scrubbed off (powerwashing?) leaving the raw aluminum or maybe they have one of those plastic covers that supposedly block traffic camera flashes from capturing your plate (hint, they don't).

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