1105: "License Plate"

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Quicksilver
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1105: "License Plate"

Postby Quicksilver » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:00 am UTC

Image
Alt Text:"The next day: 'What? Six bank robberies!? But I just vandalized the library!' 'Nice try. They saw your plate with all the 1's and I's.' 'That's impossible! I've been with my car the whole ti-- ... wait. Ok, wow, that was clever of her.'"
ANY form of individualism will make you an easy target. Professional criminals know that much. Imagine if the Driver from Drive tried to make a getaway using such a license plate.

ozkidzez91
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby ozkidzez91 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:07 am UTC

Haha that's great. How many characters do american license plates have?

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rhomboidal
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby rhomboidal » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:08 am UTC

I'll bet he vandalized the library by mixing up the I's and 1's in their cataloging system. Chaos.

Sir_Read-a-Lot
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby Sir_Read-a-Lot » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:27 am UTC

I've actually thought about this before (I'm glad I'm not the only one).

I've always thought that the best bet would be to get a personalized license plate that looks similar to - but not exactly - like a regular plate.

For example, a California license plate is 8AAA888. So my plate would be 4X0K5I2.

Story
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby Story » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:29 am UTC

I don't get the title text. Can anyone explain it please?

jakerman999
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby jakerman999 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:33 am UTC

Just going to leave this here:
http://imgur.com/gallery/IuI5c
If all the worlds my stage let's go to intermission

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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby Draco18s » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:35 am UTC

Story wrote:I don't get the title text. Can anyone explain it please?


She borrowed his car while he was vandalizing the library.

ozkidzez91 wrote:Haha that's great. How many characters do american license plates have?


Depends on the state. And the order of letters and numbers varies too. California, IIRC, has a higher-than-average number of letters (due to the sheer number of drivers in the state) while a state like Rhode Island still has 5 total characters.

jpk
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby jpk » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:35 am UTC

For a good treatment on mathematical themes in vanity license plates, see the recently issued volume of dek's Selected Papers on Fun and Games.

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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby WIMP » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:38 am UTC

Story wrote:I don't get the title text. Can anyone explain it please?


The girl he talked to got a similar but not identical plate of 1s and Is, indistinguishable from the guy's, waited for the guy to get notorious for having that style of plate, then committed crimes using that plate for her getaway car. The witnesses can't tell the difference and just reported a plate with a bunch of 1s and Is, which led the cops to assume the guy is responsible for her crimes, too, since he's famous for that style of plate. The whole original point for the plate, that you can't tell what the exact sequence is, has karmically been used against him.

jonsimon
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby jonsimon » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:39 am UTC

Sir_Read-a-Lot wrote:I've actually thought about this before (I'm glad I'm not the only one).

I've always thought that the best bet would be to get a personalized license plate that looks similar to - but not exactly - like a regular plate.

For example, a California license plate is 8AAA888. So my plate would be 4X0K5I2.


She got another plate that was a different combination of I's and 1's. Then, no one would be able to tell the difference and would blame it on him. (She may have also told the police his address).

Also, in reality this probably wouldn't make it past the DMV review for a vanity plate, at least in most states.
Last edited by jonsimon on Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:42 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Djehutynakht
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby Djehutynakht » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:40 am UTC

WIMP wrote:
Story wrote:I don't get the title text. Can anyone explain it please?


The girl he talked to got a similar but not identical plate of 1s and Is, indistinguishable from the guy's, waited for the guy to get notorious for having that style of plate, then committed crimes using that plate for her getaway car. The witnesses can't tell the difference and just reported a plate with a bunch of 1s and Is, which led the cops to assume the guy is responsible for her crimes, too, since he's famous for that style of plate. The whole original point for the plate, that you can't tell what the exact sequence is, has karmically been used against him.



I was thinking of trying that myself. Genius.

Calethal
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby Calethal » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:41 am UTC

jakerman999 wrote:Just going to leave this here:
http://imgur.com/gallery/IuI5c

Yeah, I was going to post the same thing. Looks like Randall was on Reddit yesterday.

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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby typo » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:46 am UTC

I'm pretty sure that, at least in many jurisdictions, one and I on license plates are deemed equivalent, as are zero and O. Checking if the requested plate is already issued would return True if the girl requested any 7-character combination of 1s and Is (also spaces and hyphens are ignored). So her application would be rejected.

Of course she might get "1I1-III" and paint in another "1".

cptjeff
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby cptjeff » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:55 am UTC

typo wrote:I'm pretty sure that, at least in many jurisdictions, one and I on license plates are deemed equivalent, as are zero and O. Checking if the requested plate is already issued would return True if the girl requested any 7-character combination of 1s and Is (also spaces and hyphens are ignored). So her application would be rejected.

Of course she might get "1I1-III" and paint in another "1".


Plain old blue magic marker duplicates the blue on NC licence plates quite nicely, though you'd have to punch out the number in the plate too.

You may be wondering how I know that- back when I was in Boy Scouts, my scoutmaster had a really old plate (XXX-888 long after NC had gone to XXX-8888, and was early in the Bs), and until the state noticed that there were completely a lot of unreadable plates on the road and started sending people new ones after 50 years, kept having to recolor the lettering on his plate every few months. None of the background had survived, of course, but that was pretty common.

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Linux0s
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby Linux0s » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:06 am UTC

You never want to be that guy who's address is on a post-it in the squad car.
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby Koopra » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:11 am UTC

Korean Starcraft 2 ladder has many players, including top pros, using names like "IlIlIIl" to hide their identity. There are so many "barcode gamers" now it's very hard to figure out who is who. The pros are doing this because changing nick isn't allowed and it's important to be able to practice strategies anonymously.

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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:17 am UTC

jakerman999 wrote:Just going to leave this here:
http://imgur.com/gallery/IuI5c

You have to wonder why they use such a square lettering style in the first place, since it just makes the letters and numbers look even more alike than they could. They ought to use something more like the OCR font they use for CD keys.

typo wrote:I'm pretty sure that, at least in many jurisdictions, one and I on license plates are deemed equivalent, as are zero and O. Checking if the requested plate is already issued would return True if the girl requested any 7-character combination of 1s and Is (also spaces and hyphens are ignored).

The program the police use to look up license plates probably works the same way. Which explains how they've already caught him before at this point.
cephalopod9 wrote:Only on Xkcd can you start a topic involving Hitler and people spend the better part of half a dozen pages arguing about the quality of Operating Systems.

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dala
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby dala » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:41 am UTC

Oh, I was SO hoping for a StarCraft II progamer reference in the alt-text. :cry:

Erzengel
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby Erzengel » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:42 am UTC

Y'know, it would be even better with a combination of 0s and Os (Zeros and Ohs). 0O00OO0O.

philip1201
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby philip1201 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:57 am UTC

Assuming the guy's left no other evidence on the scene of the crimes, wouldn't the fact that his friend also has an indistinguishable license plate prevent his conviction in any of the crimes? Without the uniqueness of the license plate, the prosecution's case is merely that the same tactic was used, which I don't think is enough for a conviction, and I doubt the girl's silhouette is similar enough on CCTV to the guy's that that wouldn't be evidence of his innocence.

On the plus side, this does mean that if you and your friends get a lot of similar/indistinguishable license plates, you can all commit crimes, and without definite proof who of you did it, they won't be able to convict anyone. Unfortunately, most countries ban the I and O (and sometimes the 1 and 0) on license plates exactly because they're hard to distinguish.

Juventas
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby Juventas » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:40 am UTC

In British Columbia, you can't have "characters in a combination that could create identification problems". So yeah, they already thought of that.

WizenedEE
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby WizenedEE » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:42 am UTC

cptjeff wrote:You may be wondering how I know that- back when I was in Boy Scouts, my scoutmaster had a really old plate (XXX-888 long after NC had gone to XXX-8888, and was early in the Bs), and until the state noticed that there were completely a lot of unreadable plates on the road and started sending people new ones after 50 years, kept having to recolor the lettering on his plate every few months. None of the background had survived, of course, but that was pretty common.


they give you new plates? In Washington you have to buy new ones every seven years.

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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby blowfishhootie » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:55 am UTC

Draco18s wrote:
Story wrote:I don't get the title text. Can anyone explain it please?


She borrowed his car while he was vandalizing the library.

ozkidzez91 wrote:Haha that's great. How many characters do american license plates have?


Depends on the state. And the order of letters and numbers varies too. California, IIRC, has a higher-than-average number of letters (due to the sheer number of drivers in the state) while a state like Rhode Island still has 5 total characters.


California is seven characters, which I think is the most common amount. There's no reason to really need that many though - assuming all 26 letters and the numbers one through nine are allowed in all spots, a six-digit plate allows for more than 1.8 billion combinations, while a seven-digit plate allows for more than 64 billion unique tags. Even if all the possible digits aren't available in all spots, most combinations allow for more tags than are necessary - for example, a tag with four letter spots (so 26 possible digits in each) and three number spots (nine digits in each) is more than 330 million possible combinations.

New York has eight digits on its plate, and I've never understood why for this very reason.

Allenwr
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby Allenwr » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:23 am UTC

blowfishhootie wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
Story wrote:I don't get the title text. Can anyone explain it please?


She borrowed his car while he was vandalizing the library.

ozkidzez91 wrote:Haha that's great. How many characters do american license plates have?


Depends on the state. And the order of letters and numbers varies too. California, IIRC, has a higher-than-average number of letters (due to the sheer number of drivers in the state) while a state like Rhode Island still has 5 total characters.


California is seven characters, which I think is the most common amount. There's no reason to really need that many though - assuming all 26 letters and the numbers one through nine are allowed in all spots, a six-digit plate allows for more than 1.8 billion combinations, while a seven-digit plate allows for more than 64 billion unique tags. Even if all the possible digits aren't available in all spots, most combinations allow for more tags than are necessary - for example, a tag with four letter spots (so 26 possible digits in each) and three number spots (nine digits in each) is more than 330 million possible combinations.

New York has eight digits on its plate, and I've never understood why for this very reason.


Well, you assume wrong, there are certain patterns and rules to follow and this is based on observation, I'm sure there is documentation somewhere. Anyhow, Most state owned/exempt vehicles are all numbers, and non-personalized plates follow one of two schemes #x##### or #xxx###, so the numbers are limited and planning ahead is never a bad thing.

blowfishhootie
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby blowfishhootie » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:40 am UTC

Allenwr wrote:Well, you assume wrong, there are certain patterns and rules to follow and this is based on observation, I'm sure there is documentation somewhere. Anyhow, Most state owned/exempt vehicles are all numbers, and non-personalized plates follow one of two schemes #x##### or #xxx###, so the numbers are limited and planning ahead is never a bad thing.


I made no assumption.

Assuming you are talking about New York - I'm not sure, you don't actually say - I know without a doubt I have seen eight-digit plates there, because I had previously assumed that no state would do that because there is no logical reason to do so. But last year when visiting a friend in NYC, he insisted there were eight-digit plates in the state and in fact stopped and pointed one out to me. I saw it with my own eyes.

In fact, here is the New York Department of Motor Vehicles page:

http://www.dmv.ny.gov/cpl8faqs.htm

How do I determine if a combination number and letters is available to request?

You can search online to determine if a specific combination is available to request, or you can call 1-518-402-4838. You must explain what the combination means or what the combination represents. The DMV reviews requested personalized plate combinations. The DMV is not required to issue a requested plate. You can read the DMV regulations for restrictions on personalized plate combinations. You can pay for the requested personalized plates with a credit card. You can have eight characters or less on an Empire Gold plate and six characters or less on a picture plate or a personalized plate for a motorcycle.


Note the bold.

If you are talking about California, then I don't know what you've said that contradicts my post. I know they don't have 35 digits available in every spot on the plate, but even a tag with three letters and four numbers has more than 115 million unique possible combinations, more than double the population living in the state. There is no reason whatsoever to need eight digits on a license plate. I don't even see the need for seven - why can't they just make all 35 possible digits available for six spots? Even allowing for the removal of certain combinations, such as the one in this comic, no state will ever come anywhere even remotely close to using up all the possible combinations. Six digits with just the letters (so, 26 possible digits in each spot) would almost be enough for every single person in the country to have a unique license plate without any duplicates, regardless of whether they actually even drive.

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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby Thorbard9 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:54 am UTC

blowfishhootie wrote:California is seven characters, which I think is the most common amount. There's no reason to really need that many though - assuming all 26 letters and the numbers one through nine are allowed in all spots, a six-digit plate allows for more than 1.8 billion combinations, while a seven-digit plate allows for more than 64 billion unique tags. Even if all the possible digits aren't available in all spots, most combinations allow for more tags than are necessary - for example, a tag with four letter spots (so 26 possible digits in each) and three number spots (nine digits in each) is more than 330 million possible combinations.

New York has eight digits on its plate, and I've never understood why for this very reason.


Here in the UK a fair amount of information is encoded in our numberplates, and it may well be the same in some or all states. The current style is;

XX11YYY
Where the first two letters are a location code for the city/county where the vehicle was registered, the two numbers are a date code for the 6 month period when the car was registered and the final numbers are randomly generated.

Previously it was;
X111YYY
Where the first letter was the date code, the numbers are randomly assigned and two of the last letters gave the location code.

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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby Al-pocalypse » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:57 am UTC

In the UK the font used on number (license) plates is even bolder and squarer than in the US. However, to overcome this exact issue letters that look like numbers are not used (I, O, Q), therefore whenever you see a 1 or 0 it is the numerical version. The only slight issue happens with B and 8.
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby blowfishhootie » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:58 am UTC

Thorbard9 wrote:
blowfishhootie wrote:California is seven characters, which I think is the most common amount. There's no reason to really need that many though - assuming all 26 letters and the numbers one through nine are allowed in all spots, a six-digit plate allows for more than 1.8 billion combinations, while a seven-digit plate allows for more than 64 billion unique tags. Even if all the possible digits aren't available in all spots, most combinations allow for more tags than are necessary - for example, a tag with four letter spots (so 26 possible digits in each) and three number spots (nine digits in each) is more than 330 million possible combinations.

New York has eight digits on its plate, and I've never understood why for this very reason.


Here in the UK a fair amount of information is encoded in our numberplates, and it may well be the same in some or all states. The current style is;

XX11YYY
Where the first two letters are a location code for the city/county where the vehicle was registered, the two numbers are a date code for the 6 month period when the car was registered and the final numbers are randomly generated.

Previously it was;
X111YYY
Where the first letter was the date code, the numbers are randomly assigned and two of the last letters gave the location code.


Some, but not most, states do have similar info coded into the plates. The only state with a location coded into its plates is Hawaii, but others, such as Massachusetts, have the registration month in the plate number. In most states, though, registration month and county are indicated in other ways, such as via stickers or engraving on the plates.

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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:04 am UTC

blowfishhootie wrote:
How do I determine if a combination number and letters is available to request?

You can search online to determine if a specific combination is available to request, or you can call 1-518-402-4838. You must explain what the combination means or what the combination represents. The DMV reviews requested personalized plate combinations. The DMV is not required to issue a requested plate. You can read the DMV regulations for restrictions on personalized plate combinations. You can pay for the requested personalized plates with a credit card. You can have eight characters or less on an Empire Gold plate and six characters or less on a picture plate or a personalized plate for a motorcycle.


Note the bold.

If you are talking about California, then I don't know what you've said that contradicts my post. I know they don't have 35 digits available in every spot on the plate, but even a tag with three letters and four numbers has more than 115 million unique possible combinations, more than double the population living in the state. There is no reason whatsoever to need eight digits on a license plate. I don't even see the need for seven - why can't they just make all 35 possible digits available for six spots? Even allowing for the removal of certain combinations, such as the one in this comic, no state will ever come anywhere even remotely close to using up all the possible combinations. Six digits with just the letters (so, 26 possible digits in each spot) would almost be enough for every single person in the country to have a unique license plate without any duplicates, regardless of whether they actually even drive.


Note that the New York rule specifies "eight characters or less". There's no requirement that you fill all of the available positions on your vanity plate. Hundreds of plates could exist with only two characters, and 35 or 36 with only one letter or digit.

In fact, in the absence of any law to the contrary, there could exist in every state exactly one plate with zero characters. Completely blank. I'd like to apply for that one, just to hear them try to explain why they can't issue it.

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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby AvatarIII » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:07 am UTC

WizenedEE wrote:
cptjeff wrote:You may be wondering how I know that- back when I was in Boy Scouts, my scoutmaster had a really old plate (XXX-888 long after NC had gone to XXX-8888, and was early in the Bs), and until the state noticed that there were completely a lot of unreadable plates on the road and started sending people new ones after 50 years, kept having to recolor the lettering on his plate every few months. None of the background had survived, of course, but that was pretty common.


they give you new plates? In Washington you have to buy new ones every seven years.


In the UK, I'm pretty sure you only have to buy new plates if there's anything wrong with your old ones, like if they are damaged. The plates on my car are 9 years old and show no sign of even minor damage. Why could you possibly need to get new plates so often? seems like unnecessary expenditure simply for the sake of it.

magemax
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby magemax » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:53 am UTC

It reminded me of this :

http://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/zezp2/fuck_da_police/


btw, here in France, there can be no I or O (the letters) on a plate to avoid this exact confusion. I don't think there is anything about the B that looks like an 8 though

Randomness
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby Randomness » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:58 am UTC

blowfishhootie wrote:
How do I determine if a combination number and letters is available to request?

You can search online to determine if a specific combination is available to request, or you can call 1-518-402-4838. You must explain what the combination means or what the combination represents. The DMV reviews requested personalized plate combinations. The DMV is not required to issue a requested plate. You can read the DMV regulations for restrictions on personalized plate combinations. You can pay for the requested personalized plates with a credit card. You can have eight characters or less on an Empire Gold plate and six characters or less on a picture plate or a personalized plate for a motorcycle.


Note the bold.

If you are talking about California, then I don't know what you've said that contradicts my post. I know they don't have 35 digits available in every spot on the plate, but even a tag with three letters and four numbers has more than 115 million unique possible combinations, more than double the population living in the state. There is no reason whatsoever to need eight digits on a license plate. I don't even see the need for seven - why can't they just make all 35 possible digits available for six spots? Even allowing for the removal of certain combinations, such as the one in this comic, no state will ever come anywhere even remotely close to using up all the possible combinations. Six digits with just the letters (so, 26 possible digits in each spot) would almost be enough for every single person in the country to have a unique license plate without any duplicates, regardless of whether they actually even drive.


I'm not entirely sure what your point is, but what you quoted has nothing to do with how many randomly generated combinations you could get with the three letters and three numbers (the standard for my state). Because those are the rules for personalized plates. I believe the rule here is 3-8, no more or less, and approval is needed. The eight rule is because at the size and font that is the maximum that will physically fit and has nothing to do with codes for the random plates.

I do not know how many combos for random ones are taken out of the total pool, but there are definatly some that will not be issued to a standard private car. For instance if a plate has 2 letters (wy is most common) followed by the 3 #s it means the registered owner has DUIs, it is also blank (no picture or state motto) so things don't get in the way of readability. So that code is unavailable for the randoms.

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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby Headshrinker » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:01 am UTC

Hello ... Operator,
My cars been stolen,
It's like all ones and Is,
.....
Hello?

blowfishhootie
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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby blowfishhootie » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:12 am UTC

Randomness wrote:
blowfishhootie wrote:
How do I determine if a combination number and letters is available to request?

You can search online to determine if a specific combination is available to request, or you can call 1-518-402-4838. You must explain what the combination means or what the combination represents. The DMV reviews requested personalized plate combinations. The DMV is not required to issue a requested plate. You can read the DMV regulations for restrictions on personalized plate combinations. You can pay for the requested personalized plates with a credit card. You can have eight characters or less on an Empire Gold plate and six characters or less on a picture plate or a personalized plate for a motorcycle.


Note the bold.

If you are talking about California, then I don't know what you've said that contradicts my post. I know they don't have 35 digits available in every spot on the plate, but even a tag with three letters and four numbers has more than 115 million unique possible combinations, more than double the population living in the state. There is no reason whatsoever to need eight digits on a license plate. I don't even see the need for seven - why can't they just make all 35 possible digits available for six spots? Even allowing for the removal of certain combinations, such as the one in this comic, no state will ever come anywhere even remotely close to using up all the possible combinations. Six digits with just the letters (so, 26 possible digits in each spot) would almost be enough for every single person in the country to have a unique license plate without any duplicates, regardless of whether they actually even drive.


I'm not entirely sure what your point is, but what you quoted has nothing to do with how many randomly generated combinations you could get with the three letters and three numbers (the standard for my state). Because those are the rules for personalized plates. I believe the rule here is 3-8, no more or less, and approval is needed. The eight rule is because at the size and font that is the maximum that will physically fit and has nothing to do with codes for the random plates.


What? I don't know what YOUR point is. The link had nothing to do with the overall number of possible combinations. I provided the link to prove that New York allows eight-digit license plate numbers, and nothing more.

I said something about New York allowing eight-digit license plate numbers, which I didn't understand because I don't see the need for that many digits. Someone said I was wrong, that New York only has seven-digit plates (I think that's what the person said, they didn't actually specify where they were talking about). So I provided a link from the New York state agency that issues license plates showing that they allow eight digits in a license plate.

Maybe you should read the thread more carefully?

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Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby slimeone » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:48 am UTC

AvatarIII wrote:In the UK, I'm pretty sure you only have to buy new plates if there's anything wrong with your old ones, like if they are damaged. The plates on my car are 9 years old and show no sign of even minor damage. Why could you possibly need to get new plates so often? seems like unnecessary expenditure simply for the sake of it.


In some countries you pay for a new plate every year kind of like the road tax disk in the UK. Other countries also are much stricter on who can make plates. This makes fakes harder to get.

Patren
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:19 am UTC

Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby Patren » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:39 am UTC

I can tell you that this is a legal license plate in Virginia. Actually saw this plate (at least along those lines of ls and 1s) a couple of weeks ago.

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pkcommando
Posts: 567
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:22 pm UTC
Location: Allston, MA

Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby pkcommando » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:26 am UTC

This reminds me of a news story I read earlier this year. I had to hunt it down, I hope this is the one and there wasn't another case this year:
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/d-c-man-no-tags-vanity-plate-earns-000913724.html

And, then, this older article from Snopes:
http://www.snopes.com/autos/law/noplate.asp

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AvatarIII
Posts: 2098
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:28 pm UTC
Location: W.Sussex, UK

Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby AvatarIII » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:18 pm UTC

slimeone wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:In the UK, I'm pretty sure you only have to buy new plates if there's anything wrong with your old ones, like if they are damaged. The plates on my car are 9 years old and show no sign of even minor damage. Why could you possibly need to get new plates so often? seems like unnecessary expenditure simply for the sake of it.


In some countries you pay for a new plate every year kind of like the road tax disk in the UK. Other countries also are much stricter on who can make plates. This makes fakes harder to get.


that makes sense, in a way, replacing a little bit of paper every year, which can be printed cheaply, and sent through to post, is a lot easier, and makes more financial sense than having to replace a whole plate though. :lol:

cmac0351
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:23 pm UTC

Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby cmac0351 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:27 pm UTC

Reminds me of some Brian Regan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deW1GwdAKd0

halcyon1234
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:04 am UTC

Re: 1105: "License Plate"

Postby halcyon1234 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:37 pm UTC

I did some summer student work for the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario at trade shows Way Back When, and got to run license plate checks for people who wanted vanities.

I can confirm what others had said: it treated "similar looking" characters as the same character. [I1], [O0Q], [8B], etc. This holds true for regular series plates, so when they switched from AAA-999 to 999-AAA (or was it vice versa?), The plate BBB-888 exists, but note 888-BBB.

They also have a multi-lingual review committee looking for various swears and such. They've pre-emptively blocked tons of plates. During slow times at the booth, we'd look up various "bad phrases" to see how clever they'd been. Given it's a whole committee whose had years to ponder this stuff, they were pretty thorough. I bet it's even easier now, with The Internet.

I assume they also put their blockers on regular series plates, which is why there's no ASS-### series, or FU[CKX]-### series, etc.
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