Driving lesson

No front license plate, no son driving test: Roadshow

Q: California has the right to add $200 per year to your registration if you don’t have a front license plate. FasTrak reads your front plate when you cross a bridge if you don’t have a transponder. There is extra work for them and for the cops who have to go behind you to check your plates.

Ron Z., Palo Alto

A: This is one of the costs of not having a front license plate. Today is another day of stories without facade.

Q: I took my son to the DMV for his road test. The officer escorted my son to our car, did a visual inspection and then said he couldn’t do the driving test because the vehicle had no front license plate. Fortunately, the plate was in the trunk. After installing it, my son got back online and passed the test that day.

John M., Volcano

A: Relieved dad, happy new driver.

Q: My first car was a fast little sports car and, being young in the 80s, I was often stopped for speeding. The police were giving warnings and telling me that the law also required a face plate.

Then they would just write the repair ticket for no faceplate. I put the plaque on, had it signed, then took it off. It has saved me tickets and traffic school on several occasions.

Joel Trice, Roseville

A: Now we’re going to Berkeley for another tale.

Q: My dad has worked in Berkeley since the early 90s. He parked along San Pablo Avenue in almost the same spot every day. One day he got a ticket for no front plate while his truck was parked. I, as a police officer, signed.

About a month later, he received another. I signed again, but this time I screwed up his faceplate and told him to stop ticking the meter. They have more important things to do.

Tim Saephanh, Crockett

A: You may have saved him several more tickets.

Q: I was on the San Tomas Freeway waiting for a turn signal when a policeman on a motorcycle came up and asked me what my rear license plate meant. Spelled phonetically, I told him it was Wine Lover. He didn’t ticket me for no front plate.

Suzanne Sawyer, Los Gatos

A: Here is a story showing the importance of faceplates. Security video shows four people got out of a car without a front plate and recently broke into a home in Palo Alto. The police have a harder time finding them because of this missing plate. It matters.

Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at [email protected] or 408-920-5335.