Sunday, July 25, 2004

Government unveils next generation number plates

From the NewsGroup

The State Government today unveiled the next generation of black and yellow number plates as the current series nears the end of its run.

The Minister for Roads, Carl Scully, said the new standard issue number plates featured a combination unique to light vehicles in Australia - two letters, two numbers and two letters.

"This new series from AA 00 AA to ZZ 99 ZZ offers 31.6 million possible combinations and is expected to last beyond 2050," Mr Scully said.

"The first number plates issued to NSW motorists in 1910 featured numerals only. Special plates for trucks also featured a letter "L" to signify it was registered to a lorry.

"In 1937, number plates featuring two-letters and three-numbers were introduced.

"These were replaced in 1951 with the current series of three-letters and three-numbers.

"This series is now approaching the end of its run; we will this week enter a new era of number plates for NSW drivers."

Mr Scully said motor registry staff would begin issuing the new plates to RTA customers once their stocks of the current 3x3 series run out.

"Some customers registering new vehicles or simply replacing old plates could have a set of new standard issue number plates as early as Friday.

"These plates will also be available for heavy vehicles with a gross vehicle mass of more than 4.5 tonnes," he said.

The Roads and Traffic Authority sells around 375,000 standard issue yellow plates each year at $32 per set.

All revenue collected from the sale of number plates - including special edition plates for events such as the 2003 Rugby World Cup - is directed to road safety, road construction and maintenance.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Make your own number plate

From the NewsGroup

There was some discussion recently about the availability of stick-on DIY number plates. I went to my local accessory shop and sure enough they were available (I thought they had been withdrawn). But stuck to the back of the panel was the following message:

"This reflective panel is sold on the condition that it should only be used for signage purposes. Under no circumstances should it be used in connection with vehicle registration marks. Fitting this product to a vehicle, trailer or caravan may result in prosecution."

So what exactly is the legal position of these number plates?

Simon replied-

They are not legal to sell for use as number plates, there is nothing however to stop any shop selling reflective yellow or white material that just happens to be in the shape of a number plate, together with self adhesive letters which happen to be number plate sized.

It would not be an MOT failure to have one fitted as a numberplate however, and I dont think it is illegal to use them as number plates, and they meet all the legal requirements on legibility, reflectivity etc.

AFAIK, they new laws only apply to the supply of number plates, rather than the use of them.

Paul replied-

I hope I can shed some light on this as I use to work in the trade but the new rules came into effect as I left but from the inside the rules seem to be :-

In theory all number plate manufactorers have to have there post code and I think an id no etched into the acrylic so that the plate can be traced back to its origin when you go into get a new no plate made up you have to produce proof of who you are and also proof of the vehicle the number plate is for ie drivers licence and log book and the details much match.

Its now as far as I am aware no longer legal to sell number plate making materials as it was found to be the case that people were sticking them over there orginal plate doing a drive off robbery etc etc getting round the corner and removing it I saw a police stop type program recently were they were questioning some builders and when they looked at the plates they had stuck a different number on top and the actual plates were different front and back thats just one eg.

A few places are still selling the letters and numbers as these can be used for many things I think its just the backing that there getting touchy over becouse if they can prove that a plate was made and the rules had not been followed then the whole company looses its licence to produce number plates so I can understand why some places are a bit ott on disclamiers and such like.

If anyone would like me to get an exact word of mouth from a supplie I will have a word with a few contacts I still have in the trade.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

New number plates

From the NewsGroup uk.transport

John asks-

I haven't had to do this (yet!) but a leaflet at a local Halfords lists the "acceptable means of identity" if you need new number plates. Unless you have a new photo driving licence then they have to see a *bank or building society statement* and other documentation, including a V5 or similar.

Can they be serious? My bank statement is entirely confidential and is certainly no business of some unwashed assistant at Halfords or anyone else.

The guy at Halfords claimed that the insistence of a bank statement was a D of T requirement, not *theirs* and that "nothing else will be acceoted". Is that true?

This is a gross invasion of privacy. I'm certainly going to contact my MP about it; I hope others will.

Useful Responses

Sherilyn said-

By law, they need to be sure they have a positive identification for
this particular purchase. It is a little more intrusive than we're
used to in the UK, I agree. If you're using a credit card, I'd be
surprised if they really need further identification, since this would provide all the audit trail a police officer would need.

John replies-

No, they *insisted* that only a bank or BS statement would do. They said that even UK forces personnel with their military ID card had been refused. That's why I wondered if it was just Halfords who insisted on this, or whether it really was enshrined in law.

The point made by Shaun about covering up entries with a marker pen is not really the point. Halfords say that only the *original* document is acceptable. Why should I deface my own bank statement? Not only that, what if you break a number plate far from home - on holiday perhaps? One is hardly likely to happen to have a bank statement handy just in case! In any case, how far would a "defaced" statement be acceptable? I resent them seeing even my account number and bank address. This is no business of Halfords or anyone else. If I were applying for HP, or a store cerdit card, that may be different.

Surely there are other acceptable forms of ID: as Sherilyn says, a credit/debit card for example or a recent utility bill as accepted widely for this sort of ID.

MrCheerful said-

Halfords are economical with the details but this is what is needed:

A current photocard driving licence (preferred); or Bank/Building Society statement or a recent utility bill with one of the following:-

Current paper driving licence
Credit/debit card with photograph
Travel pass card with photograph
Foreign national identification card

AND ...

The acceptable proof of entitlement should be:

Registration Document [V5] preferred (this includes V5/2). The 11 digit 'document reference number' in Section D should be recorded, or

Certificate of entitlement to a mark [V750], or

Cherished transfer retention document [V778], or

Vehicle Licence Renewal [V11], or

Authorisation slip [V948] from DVLA local office with official DVLA stamp. This will apply when DVLA authorises a customer to buy number plates bearing a particular registration mark, e.g. in the case of a cherished transfer, or

An extract from the schedule of vehicles supplied by a hire/leasing company, or
A letter of authority from Fleet Operators on company headed note paper with contact details stating that the company holds the Registration Document [V5] and quoting either the document reference number or the vehicle identification number, or

Certificate of Vehicle Registration / temporary export certificate [V379].

So basically get a new driving licence with picture and take in your registration document and that is it.

The above came in at the beginning of this year.

Thieves bought copies of real number plates and used those on stolen cars, these measures may reduce that. I agree about breaking a plate while on holiday though.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Can I build my own car and drive it on the roads legally?

From the NewsGroup

Can I build my own car and drive it on the roads legally?

Are there any specific regulations I need to follow?

I was thinking of building a car out of wood and steel pipes using an old engine and tires.

Useful Responses

Bloody Viking Said-

OK, so you build a car. That's fine. You add the needed lights and so on, but what about a VIN number? Even better, how do you insure the device? Since there are extremely few homebrew cars on the road, a lot of insurance companies will likely not have a procedure for handling the insuring of the device.

A better bet is to build a car from an existing airframe (chassis), much like the kit cars made with a VW Bug airframe. This solves the VIN number problem while a "real" homebrew car doesn't. There is also pollution issues as any homebrew car will have to comply with the latest regs for the jurisdiction it has for a home port. Certainly, the people at the pollution test place will be incredulous as you pull up in the bizarre car. In the Chicago area, the bloke boards the car to put it on the treadmill for the test. Thus, the controls need to conform with the de facto standard or at least be configurable for normal people to use.

A good question is WHY one would attempt to build a car from scratch. One motive I can think of is to design one with some unusual option, such as a diesel-electric drivetrain, stealth technology (to foil speed traps), etc. But it would work out better to pick an existing airframe when building a car due to various legal and insurance issues. While a stealth car could use any old airframe, the diesel-electric would be best done with aft-wheel-drive for the airframe. (e.g. old cop cars)

The same legal and insurance problems await anyone attempting to build a petrol-electric motorcycle using a bicycle's airframe as the platform. While one can build a motorcycle with less than 2 horses AND can't do 30 legally, things get cloudy if any attempt is made to make it faster. In theory, a "buzzbike" could be built, but legal issues have deterred me from ever proceeding to actually build the machine.

The buzzbike has a second issue from the homebrew car, that being the need for a motorcycle endorsement on the drivers licence. But once obtained, how would you register a buzzbike? Bicycles have "VIN numbers", but would the bike's VIN be valid? The legal issues of the buzzbike have left me puzzled for years in which case I never made an attempt to build it. The legal issues of the buzzbike are similar to the homebrew car. If you want really hairy legal issues, consider the Flying Car. This device needs to comply with road use laws AND the FAA laws!

Saturday, February 23, 2002

How long to build a car?

From the NewsGroup

Anyone know (on the average) how long it takes to build a vehicle? I'm curious as to how long a Suburban, Camaro, Mustang spends on the assembly line. Then I would like to know about how many man hours it takes to build the entire car (assemble the engine, trans and other components before they arrive on the assembly line).

Edward said-

It's been a few years since I've toured an assembly plant but those that I did, were popping cars off at about 60 to 65 minutes during peak sales periods. That's from the moment the frame (remember them?) was placed on the conveyor to the moment the car was driven off the end of the line. Actually, I did see a car with a frame being built recently at the Arlington Assembly Plant in Arlington, Texas near Dallas. That was the year the Chevrolet Caprice was taken out of production. The line was moving pretty much dead slow. I would imagine that the unit body cars could be assembled in the same amount of time or better.