When you hear the phrase “vast hidden network of cameras that scan license plates,” what do you think of? The police? The Department of Homeland Security? While the government and privacy advocates argue over government use of plate-scanning data, private companies are already collecting and selling that data with little regulation. [More]
In news that is both disturbing and not at all surprising, the Department of Homeland Security is currently asking private contractors to bid on a system that would create a National License Plate Recognition database that could allow various forms of law enforcement to track the movements of drivers, whether they are suspected of a crime or just going to buy a Big Gulp at 7-Eleven. [More]
It isn’t just license plates with clear messages that can get banned (and in one recent case, challenged legally) — each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles has a lengthy list of prohibited phrases it’s had to get hip to, including text speak. Because heaven forbid someone slip in a naughty word. OMFG, right? They’re onto us. [More]
For many people, expressing who they are isn’t just a function of how they dress or act, but what their vehicle’s vanity license plate says. Maybe you rocked “DMBFAN” to show your love for a band or “CATSYAY” for you know, cats, but in Georgia, one man wanted to express his sexuality and is now suing the state for denying him that. [More]
Listen New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division, just because your dirty mind is taking a simple inside joke to a scandalous place doesn’t mean one man is about to give up on his ideal license plate. His plate reading “IB6UB9″ (we’ll wait while you figure it out… got it? Great.) was recently revoked because the MVD says it’s obscene. [More]
The California Coastal Commission unveiled a new license plate design featuring a whale’s tale tweaked slightly from the previous design, and an environmental nonprofit said the state did so because the artist who created the previous design asked for royalties to help fund the organization. [More]
Because we all know that the two things the world lacks these days are (1) advertisements and (2) car accidents, a California State Assemblyman has put forth a bill we kill both birds with the same 23-car pileup on the freeway by replacing our boring, non-revenue-generating license plates with fancy electronic ones complete with advertising. [More]
As part of an attempt to make up a budget shortfall, New York State is holding a huge fundraiser. No, not a bake sale: starting in April 2010, the state is forcing all car and tractor-trailer owners in the state to buy new license plates when they renew their registrations. And not just any license plates. Ugly license plates.
When I read the headline for this story (it didn’t mention Chicago), I bet myself a million dollars that the man had an Illinois license plate. I am now a millionaire. Or I will be as soon as I pay myself.