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Indiana's Crazy License PlatesPosted Tuesday, May 17, 2011, at 7:15 AM
Where is the proper place for the license plate stickers you receive in the mail? Where do you put them; the new year over the old year? Over the county, perhaps? Maybe place it over the month and day of expiration? A call to the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles yielded no answers when I asked "Do license plates expiration year stickers come with instructions?" The lady who answered had no answer, similar to your all too familiar "help desks" in similar situations. She simply did not know, but did begin to explain to me how-to install one.
I predict this year, 2011 will be the worst ever. The sticker year will simply say 12. Now, herein lays the problem. Our county, Clay, is numbered 11 in the state for identification purposes. So, when some people open up the envelope from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the first thing they see is the big ol' white sticker with the black number 12 in the center. They will approach their license plate on the back of their vehicle and see 11 down in the lower right hand corner, providing it hasn't been covered up with another year's replacement number. Then, stick-it! No more "Clay County" identifying marks. Rather than being a nuisance and ignorant to boot, it's dangerous for police officers. Most of the time a law enforcement officer can identify many things by being able to see what Indiana county a vehicle is from. Let me pick on, oh... let's say Leavitt Street. If a police officer notices a large amount of vehicles visiting a particular residence on Leavitt St. and the visitors are from Marion (Indianapolis area) or Lake (Gary area) counties and don't stay long, then there may be illegal activities going on in that residence.
Recording a license plate number is sometimes next to impossible, without practically rear-ending the car or truck. Have you noticed how small those two letters are on some plates? The "In God We Trust" plates are much easier to read. Try ID'ing those other ones, with the small letters. Now imagine doing that at perhaps 80 or 90 mph on a dusty road. Dangerous, huh?
Also on this subject is something that could risk a police officers life: and that is license plate frames. If someone is wanted in another area, license plate numbers are often given. License plate frames often block out vital information on plates. Framework on license plates were actually outlawed in July 2009, I believe. See https://myweb.in.gov/BMV/mybmvportal/Reg... for more information on that.
Back in the day, Clay County license plates were easily recognized by the numeral 11, "A" represented Brazil while "B" was Clay City. Then it all began: a lot of people wanted what they called "vanity plates", to identify who they were, what type of people they were or social statuses. Then colleges, fraternal organizations, charities, jobs, etc. joined in. All added to confusion compared to the formerly "simple" plates.
Further back, I can remember FA as Clay County's prefix. That was in the 50s and I do not know what that represented.
I say bring back 11A or 11B plates only, reinstall wings on car windows and put that darned dimmer switch back on the floor, where it belongs!!
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