Blocked Out License Plate #'s

The all purpose conversational forum
2Spidertwins
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:06 pm
Last Name:

Re: Blocked Out License Plate #'s

Post by 2Spidertwins » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:50 am

You can, in some states, track and address as previously mentioned. In California, you can also check the smog test history. I am not too concerned about that myself. The most common reason that I've seen it done on Craigslist is that people are SCAMMERS and don't want the license number to show. If I have the license number, I can find the VIN. With the VIN, I can see how the car was originally equipped. I can also run a Carfax report on cars 20 years old or newer. Most that I've looked at personally had sketchy histories or were salvage title but not disclosed.
fp55scca
duemila club
Posts: 2434
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:34 am
Last Name:

Re: Blocked Out License Plate #'s

Post by fp55scca » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:53 am

--Yes, this is true, even if you are just driving your car around town.....this info is available, but not usually free. We all live in fishbowls these days!
Jim Scurria
Norfolk, VA

1972 Fiat 124 Spider
1971 Spider - SCCA FP-24
1974 Fiat 124 Spider
User avatar
SimcaBertone66
Posts: 566
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:28 pm
Last Name: DeGasperis
First Name: Joseph

Re: Blocked Out License Plate #'s

Post by SimcaBertone66 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:31 pm

I once tried to get a vanity plate for my S2000, it was rejected by NYS DMV, …. SHEMOFO.... why would anyone take offence ... :twisted: my wife has happy it was rejected
Joe DeGasperis
User avatar
friedman
mille club
Posts: 1566
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:13 am
Last Name:

Re: Blocked Out License Plate #'s

Post by friedman » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:04 pm

Don't forget to black out the license plates while you are driving the car so no one can find out stuff about your cool car via your plates. I use gorilla tape on all my license plates.
Carl in Virginia
75 spider
86 Bertone
77 X1/9
User avatar
davedecker4
Posts: 612
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:05 am
Last Name: Decker
First Name: Dave

Re: Blocked Out License Plate #'s

Post by davedecker4 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:48 am

Spray on is best. Paint or grease on cars. Although I see mud is obscurant of choice for trucks and other tow rigs. ;)
Dave Decker
a 'couple' Fiats and Lancia's
User avatar
cjwaters
mille club
Posts: 1608
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:11 am
Last Name:

Re: Blocked Out License Plate #'s

Post by cjwaters » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:11 pm

Consider the distinction between your license plate and vehicle make/model being momentarily available to a relatively small subset of the world population while driving around... versus a static posting on the internet available to virtually anyone worldwide. LIke with the bank account number, yeah, it's on my check but that's only visible to the entity I give it to, not some teenager in the Russian Federation. Whether identity/scam/theft is a realistic threat I'll leave to you to decide. One could quesiton similar practices like replacing "@" with "_at_" on your email address posts. Surely someone could program around that to harvest email numbers but if it reduces the spam load by 10% maybe it's worth it?

Back to the point of the original question: this practice goes back to the early days of the web, so it's not necessarily a reflection of the modern tech/data/political environment. Even in the early days of the web people were concerned about personal harm as a result of their information being posted online, whether from another individual or government entity.

In the 90's, when I was busy building my 128 Corral site, I had photos of a bunch of people's cars and would dutifully obscure the plate numbers out of consideration to the owners. In my specific case, I was posting photos of their car, the list of modifications, their name, and their general geographical location. Besides any imagined (or unimagined) scam, I did not know whether car modifications had any legal implications in the different regions and did not want to "out" the owner as such. They knew I was posting the stuff, and had sent me the images, so it wasn't a grave concern but a nagging thought none the less. In California at the time, you could report someone to the air resources board for a smoky tailpipe by calling an 800 phone number. There was also a lot of speculation about why old cars always seemed to get popped for "test only" smog tests (meaning you couldn't use your friendly local mechanic). It wasn't unthinkable that some nut would go around gathering data about cars with emissions violations (such as removing air injection, deleting a cat, or throwing dual carbs on) and submit them to the ARB. I seem to recall tales of that happening at Cars & Coffee events. The point is it's a small consideration for someone else if you are posting images/info about their car. If you don't mind your own out there, you'll save yourself a lot of Photoshop time at least ;)
Courtney Waters
'86 X1/9
'78, '76, and '73 128 Sedans
'74 128 Coupe
'74 124 Sedan
'68 124 Wagon
User avatar
davedecker4
Posts: 612
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:05 am
Last Name: Decker
First Name: Dave

Re: Blocked Out License Plate #'s

Post by davedecker4 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:14 am

Great points Court. Thanks for the sober analysis.
Perhaps we should ask "Isaac" for his thoughts too?
Dave Decker
a 'couple' Fiats and Lancia's
User avatar
friedman
mille club
Posts: 1566
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:13 am
Last Name:

Re: Blocked Out License Plate #'s

Post by friedman » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:59 am

But the artist in me gags at pictures of cars with crudely blacked out license plates, did they get their four year old kid to do it? Even worse is the pictures with the photographer's hand carefully located to "block" the license plate, how much work does that take?

I think I'd worry more every time you give your credit card number over the phone. If some Ukrainian scam artist wants to try and pretend to sell one of my Fiats from a picture he got here then that's his problem. Maybe it's mine when a tow truck shows up to haul off my "sold" car!
Carl in Virginia
75 spider
86 Bertone
77 X1/9
User avatar
cgranju
mille club
Posts: 1968
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:08 am
Last Name:

Re: Blocked Out License Plate #'s

Post by cgranju » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:44 am

Court's thoughtful explanation is the best i've heard & it makes good sense...especially considering the historical context. I suppose what one may wish to "protect" would vary geographically. Here in TN, old cars being modified isn't going to even ping on anyone's real agenda.

I have a friend who spent a few years making insane money flipping cars, selling probably 4-6 cars a week, mostly japanese sedans/coupes & mostly <$5k cars...all done a bit "seat of the pants" you could say, but it worked for him. He had a carfax account and so if the plate were clear in the ad or as soon as he walked up to the car in person, he'd pull a carfax. He used that to gauge the BS factor of the seller if it wasn't already clear...basically a verbal history being given while his smart phone printed out the DMV legal history & he's see if it matched up reasonably. THat was nice for me during that time because I was helping both my kids find cars, so I used his account often. We didn't turn anyone in to the gov't or steal any cars.
Chris Granju
sunny East TN
owner of a number of Fiats built prior to 1986
User avatar
cjwaters
mille club
Posts: 1608
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:11 am
Last Name:

Re: Blocked Out License Plate #'s

Post by cjwaters » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:46 am

davedecker4 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:14 am
Great points Court. Thanks for the sober analysis.
Perhaps we should ask "Isaac" for his thoughts too?
You might want to save it for the next Oregon campfire chat. I bet you'll get a long, off the record reply :D
Courtney Waters
'86 X1/9
'78, '76, and '73 128 Sedans
'74 128 Coupe
'74 124 Sedan
'68 124 Wagon
Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests