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Spotting fake temporary plates

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  • #16
    They try it, although it's harder now since the design change on the temp tags. A few years back, my State changed the color of permanent registration decals to gray each and every year. The color used to change from year to year. One year the decal was black in color. I ran this tag that had a black decal, but it came back as expired from the year before. I stop the car and the first thing I check is the decal believing it to be fictitious, but it wasn't. It actually belonged on that vehicle. The dude had colored his expired decal with a Sharpie marker to make it look black, and did a fine job of it too mind you.

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    • #17
      For those not aware, "temp tags" is SC are just a paper or plastic plate with the dealer's name and an expiration date hand written with a sharpie pen. Yes, that's legal here.

      DMV does issue more legit looking 45 day tags with numbers that MIGHT return to the new owner, but they recycle the numbers and if you run the tag it often comes back to a purchaser from 5 years ago. Very few people bother to get these.

      Some sketchy dealers will give the buyer a stack of tags and folks just keep putting a new one on with a new date, thereby avoiding paying property tax, insurance and DMV fees until they get caught.

      Almost every stolen vehicle or car that runs from blue lights are displaying paper tags here.

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      • #18
        A lot of thought and effort went into this one.

        23473176_1959209764331856_8054770434950243132_n.jpg?oh=a0bb82d9438f7d80ee4cc5b18e9c6cff&oe=5A9338FF.jpg
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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        • #19
          Originally posted by BrianT View Post
          For those not aware, "temp tags" is SC are just a paper or plastic plate with the dealer's name and an expiration date hand written with a sharpie pen. Yes, that's legal here.
          same in Iowa
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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          • #20
            Originally posted by DeaconSteve View Post
            They try it, although it's harder now since the design change on the temp tags. A few years back, my State changed the color of permanent registration decals to gray each and every year. The color used to change from year to year. One year the decal was black in color. I ran this tag that had a black decal, but it came back as expired from the year before. I stop the car and the first thing I check is the decal believing it to be fictitious, but it wasn't. It actually belonged on that vehicle. The dude had colored his expired decal with a Sharpie marker to make it look black, and did a fine job of it too mind you.
            So I’m not sure if states vary about PC vs RS for a stop, but everything you just described is exactly what gives me more than enough to stop a car. Even if the date is still “good”, it’s handwritten with a sharpie. Dealers miswrite the dates, people alter the dates, all sorts of crazy ****. I’m not sure why everyone acts like I just **** in their Cheerios by saying you don’t need PC for a traffic stop. You don’t. We can argue that till we’re blue in the face but it’s fact.

            Scenario I give my trainees to differentiate PC vs RS for a traffic stop: dispatch BOLOs a bank robbery nearby. While you’re enroute they tell you that suspect is a white male with blonde hair in his 30’s, all black clothing and just left in a black Nissan Altima no further description. As you get close you see a black Nissan Altima driving with super dark tinted windows, so you can’t see the driver. You’ve already got units on scene so you’re just assisting with perimeter. Stop the car or not? If you say no, I’d argue you’re probably the worst cop ever for letting a potential armed robbery suspect go. If you say yes, what are you stopping them for? A common vehicle matching a fairly vague description? Definitely not PC. But a good stop all day long. And for all you saying you better have PC if you get an arrest, how does that work out for this case. You could possibly arrest armed robbery suspects on a very vague vehicle description and no real violation.

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            • DeaconSteve
              DeaconSteve commented
              Editing a comment
              I have stopped vehicles many times looking for a particular person. The scenario you described above is a good example. If I stopped that vehicle and there was anyone who did not match that description, I would say, "sorry, I was looking for someone else, you are free to leave" and I would walk away. The entire encounter wouldn't last 5 seconds unless they had a question for me, which hasn't happened yet.

              I would not stop a car because the temporary tags might be expired. Only if the visible date shows to be expired as it is written. And I generally give three months for any expired tag, regular or temporary.

            • Kmiech
              Kmiech commented
              Editing a comment
              Well just to piggyback on that scenario, say you pull the car over that matches the vague description and it’s not him. But in plain view you see guns or a large amount of drugs. I feel like that would be hard to articulate why you pulled over the car that matched such a vague car description. Maybe the laws are a lot more conservative where you work but that would be tough to explain to the ADA after the fact. The guns and drugs would be off of the street but the case would be thrown out and you might have a lawsuit coming your way. But I definitely understand the concept of what you’re saying.

            • ClemsonSCJ
              ClemsonSCJ commented
              Editing a comment
              I honestly don’t know what else to say other than our academies must be teaching 2 different things on what is needed for a stop vs what is needed for a search/arrest. I thought Terry v Ohio was based around the concept of stopping on just reasonable suspicion alone but guess I had that one wrong. I have testified on more than one occasion as to why I pulled a paper tag that had an otherwise “good” expiration date.

              Hell literally the other day got behind a car with a paper tag and hand written expiration date that was still good. Was examining it as I followed it to try and see if date had been altered. Pretty much as soon as I got behind them they act like they are going to pull over in the median. Having nothing other than the seemingly legal paper tag, I went ahead and lit it up and got in the median with it. Girl told me she recently bought the car but couldn’t tell me exactly when. Didn’t have her license so she gave me name and date of birth. As I dig I find out that the car is actually registered to her and has been for years. But her tag got suspended and most likely taken during another stop. Was suspended for cancellation of insurance and also had a suspended license. Turns out she knew she was suspended and had no insurance, she just most likely saw me behind her and started getting in the median to see if I’d pass her by. That stop was based entirely off of RS.

            • Kmiech
              Kmiech commented
              Editing a comment
              I guess you’re referring to what the other guy said. I agree with you, a paper tag can be enough for a stop especially if it cannot be read properly from behind or if it’s hand written.

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