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Consequences of uncooperative state legislatures - pulled over in NJ for no plate

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by cataber, May 15, 2014.

  1. cataber

    cataber Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
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    Location:
    Bucks County, PA, USA
    I was pulled over in NJ this morning for driving without a license plate. No ticket was issued, as I was able to adequately explain the situation to the patrolman (the NJ town where I was pulled over is on the border with PA where I live; car is 3 weeks post-delivery and I have 30 days to register & get a tag and I haven't had a chance to do so yet - plus, why pay the sales tax any earlier than I have to...; PA does not allow Tesla to register vehicles for buyers, so they do a temp CA registration instead, etc.)

    The whole episode probably took 20 minutes out of my day, because the patrolman who pulled me over was probably 3 weeks out of the academy and had to call for backup to figure out what to do, since I had broken no other laws. But it was a pretty big inconvenience, as I was on a conference call with Asia at the time (via Bluetooth, natch), and I had to drop out of the call (embarrassing) when I had actually done nothing wrong.

    I was thinking after they sent me on my way that it might be helpful for Tesla to create a 1/2 or 1-page document for owners in states like PA and NJ (I'm sure there are others) to hand new owners at delivery, with a simple explanation for owners and police officers about WHY this situation is acceptable as a temporary thing, so that they'll be prepared to explain it to a police officer if they are pulled over prior to getting a license plate for their new vehicle. If they were clever, they might even have their lawyers cite the various state vehicle codes as support. I knew what to tell the officers today because of doing a ton of reading on here and other places, but it occurred to me that other owners might not realize or be aware of the situation and might end up being "talked into" a ticket when they've done nothing wrong. The original officer wanted to issue a ticket until I asked him (politely but firmly and insistently) to please double check the situation, which he did, but other new owners might not find an officer as obliging or might not know the facts themselves.
     
  2. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    What a weird rule! Here I have ZERO time to get a plate on the car. It is not allowed to be on a public roadway without one period, even if parked. You do however have two weeks to change your registration over from a previous vehicle after moving the plate. (you also have zero time to get insurance on it)

    Normal way of picking up a new vehicle is to arrange insurance and then put your old plate on the new car, after that's done, drive to the registry and register the vehicle (though you technically have two weeks for that part) If you need a new plate, you have to take your insurance info and bill of sale to the registry, get the plate, and then go pick up your vehicle.

    I think it's insane that any car would be allowed on the road without a plate!
     
  3. bluetinc

    bluetinc Member

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    Location:
    MD
    It's been a year and a half since I dealt with this, but Tesla did have a letter explaining the situation with the temporary registration from CA to any local police/DMV official. I kept a copy of mine in the glovebox. It was available then from my local Service Center.

    Peter
     
  4. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    It is a plate in essence, only a temporary one good for 30 days. Even in California, temporary registrations are the norm. Permanent plates take 60 to 90 days to be delivered by mail.
     
  5. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry, I do not understand. You had a temp tag, right? I know in NJ you need to have temp tags displayed. If you had a temp tag, then he had no right to pull you over. If you were driving around without even a temp tag displayed anywhere, well then thats your fault. regarding front plates, do you live in NJ or PA? In NJ you need front plates, but PA does not, right? So f you're in PA and you have PA temp tags, once again he had no right to stop you. well actually since we're talking about temp tags, even if your from NJ and showing your temp tag in the rear, once again he doesn't have a right to stop you bc its just a temp tag and you haven't got your real plates yet.
     
  6. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    PA troopers are not used to seeing the little CA temp tag in the corner of the window. There is no standardized way of displaying from state to state.
     
  7. cataber

    cataber Member

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    Location:
    Bucks County, PA, USA
    I had the tiny little temp "tag" from CA (about 1" x 4" in the upper left corner of my rear window) that the Norristown SC taped there when I took delivery. I live in PA, but right on the NJ border, and I work in NJ. In PA I am not required to have a front plate. I was driving around just the same way that I have been ever since the day I took delivery 23 days ago: the CA temp tag, a Tesla "Zero emissions" placard in the license plate frame, and my proof of insurance in the glove box. I believe you are right - he did NOT have a legitimate reason to stop me, but because of what Lloyd says about there being no standardized way of displaying temp tags (nor any standardized format for temp tags) across state lines, this local NJ police officer (who also looked SUPER brand new fresh from the academy) did not recognize the temp tag in the upper left corner of my window, assumed I was illegally operating the vehicle, and pulled me over.

    @bluetinc, do you still have a copy of that letter? I'd be curious to find out why the PA service center doesn't issue something like that at delivery as well...
     
  8. tslas

    tslas Member

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    Location:
    Hackettstown, NJ
    Well, this saturday, I was pulled over for speeding, And cop stopped me literally about 500 feet from my driveway in NW NJ(about 20 miles from border of PA).
    Cop just asked, where I bought the car from, since, he didn't recognize NY temp tags.
    I told him, I picked it up from NJ but the tags are from NY since Christie banned the sale of car :mad:
    Looked at my papers and let me go, saying probably the car is too new to be familiar with how fast it drives :wink:
    Asked me, if it is fully electric and Where do I charge? I invited him to sit in the car and invited him in my garage to take a look at how I charge. He declined and said may be next time.
    And, Asked me to be careful next time.

    I have never been let off so easily for speeding :love:
     
  9. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Even when I lived in CA, I got pulled over for CA temp "tags" (a folded piece of paper behind a sticker in a window). In my case it was on the front window because it was a convertible. I'm not surprised other states have issues with it.

    In addition, PA has some really weird registration requirements too. I purchased my '65 GTO near Wilkes-Barre, and we had to find a notary available on Saturday who could do the special requirements that PA registrations require.

    Cross-boundary registrations are never easy... even St. Louis dealerships, used to selling to Illinois residents, screw it up occasionally.
     

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