Incorrectly affixing license plate stickers

So a while ago I noticed a few people that had placed their registration stickers anywhere but the little square that’s made for said sticker. As I live in Illinois I noticed a few people putting the sticker right in the middle of the plate over Lincoln’s face. Another time I noticed that someone was apparently very lazy and affixed the sticker to the plastic covering their plate instead of the actual plate. To give the person some credit, it was at least in the top right corner where it belonged.

Ever since noticing this a few time’s however, and thinking to myself that these people were ridiculously stupid, I’ve started to notice it everywhere! People will have one in the top right, then another below, and another below that. Or Lincoln’s face will be covered, or their just horribly lined up somewhat near where they’re supposed to go.

I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m going to get out of my car and ask these people (as I typically notice these things stuck in traffic) but I’m getting there. I see this all the time and can’t help but wonder what thought process is going through all these peoples heads. It’s too widespread to be a fluke.

So, have you seen this? What kind of logic do you think is going through these peoples tiny little brains that makes them over complicate something we all did in kindergarten? I need to know soon or I’ll be forced to actually confront someone and I’m afraid that I might be tempted to use harsh words in regards to their intelligence when they provide me with some ridiculous answer.

When the sticker is on a corner it’s very easy for a thief to cut the corner of the plate off (it’s aluminum) and take it home to carefully remove the sticker. Much harder it it’s in the center - he’s got to yank the whole plate or peel the sticker off while it’s on the car, which often tears the sticker.

Missouri officially instructed to put the stickers in the middle even on plates that were designed to have them in the corner because of this. They eventually redesigned the plates to have the sticker in the center.

Whoa. That was another thing I had never heard of. My girlfriend sticks hers on and then slices it diagonally with a razor. I didn’t know people stole them by peeling them off whole let alone cutting an entire corner of the license plate off. I guess that could explain putting them right smack dab over Lincoln’s face.

It’s especially easy to steal the yearly tabs when people keep stacking the things up. After four or so years, you can easily pop off the stack as it’s thick enough that the top sticker won’t fall apart and because the adhesive is starting to dry out on the original sticker.

So, it’s a good idea to peel off as much of the old stickers as you can when you put on the new one.

Another thing I see people doing is lining up the leftover peel tabs - a little sliver of the sticker material about 1/8" wide - along the edge or bottom of their plate. It’s almost as if they’re saying “Look how old my car is!”

Yes, scoring with a razor is a deterrent because it makes it hard to get a usable sticker. Missouri’s stickers come “pre-scored” with cross-hatched long perforations. Another important thing is to not put the sticker over a previous one. When stickers are on top of each other, the stack can be quickly sliced off with a razor blade without damaging the top one. This might be one reason people put each new sticker in a different location. Of course it’s better to remove the old sticker and put the new one in the same place, but that takes effort. :rolleyes:

Or on preview, what gotpasswords said.

I have a sticker in all four corners of my plate. Because I can. It’s legal, so why’s it an issue?

Don’t know where you live, but it’s not legal everywhere. I’ve checked, and in my state, the sticker must go in the designated spot (or it’s a fine).

I’ve seen this too, and it drives me crazy. Putting it in the center certainly makes sense from a theft POV, but sticking it in all four corners doesn’t stop the quick snip for a thief.

I have a plastic cover over my plates to combat the plate snip. My sticker is supposed to go in the upper left corner, where the little dent is, and that’s where I put it. (I’m such a nazi)

Even though the registration stickers all over the plate might be a fun way to decorate, police should be able to determine if your plate is valid by looking in one spot. Not looking for the right sticker in the rainbow of stickers all over your plate.

Michigan. And I’d never heard of the snipping the corner until this thread.

I just did the fourth corner, so the next one goes in the right corner again anyway, assuming my car lives that long (which it might not).

Is this most common in states which suspend your registration if you have unpaid parking tickets? I’d imagine Chicago is a place where it is quite easy to rack up a large number of parking tickets and then get a huge car registration bill when all the unpaid tickets show up on the registration bill. Of course, they’re at three times the fine and some of the tickets you never even knew you got.

I can see how someone who has a registration bill they can’t pay might be tempted to swipe someone’s current year registration sticker.

As a former career criminal, this is the most rediculous thing I have ever read. If you want to pirate a registration sticker, you wouldn’t take the time to cut off the corner of the plate. Two half-assed screws and you got the WHOLE plate to do with what you want at a later time in the privacy of your crime lair. I’d give you details, but its not allowed on the boards.

But, yeah. I’ve oftened wondered about the erratic sticker placement. Me? I take pride in my 3/4 buildup of ancient stickers on my plates!

No idea, I’ve never seen that. However once someone did try to steal my registration sticker. They only managed to peel about 40% of it off, so I was still able to drive around with it.

A friend in IL just had his sticker stolen. Texas has stickers that you put in your windshield, next to the inspection sticker. They’re pre-scored and a pain to remove each year. Is there some reason why a plate-sticker is preferred? I guess it’s easier for police following a car to see a date without having to look up the plate.

Down here in NC we have a month sticker which is supposed to stay in place permanently and a year sticker that is replaced every year. Every once in a while I will see someone who has placed their new year sticker over their month sticker. I just don’t get it.

In Ohio they’re numbered and linked to the owner. They’re also scored. This is the first I’ve heard of them being stolen and I’m guilty of stacking them one on top of the other. I’ll have to check how easy they are to remove next time I get one but my car sits in a garage so 90% of the time it’s not easy to get to.

Maybe your career didn’t include stealing license stickers?

Those plates are thin aluminum. They can be cut with ordinary scissors a heck of a lot quicker than they can be unscrewed, especially if the screws are rusted in. One pair of scissors works on any plate, whereas a variety of screwdrivers and nutdrivers would be needed to access all the various screws used. (They can even be torn off by hand, by flexing the metal back and forth, fairly quickly.) A corner of a plate is much easier to conceal and carry than a whole plate.

“Empty your pockets” Mike yells. Out come eight license plate corners. Photo here.

Some focus on the corner with the registration stickers, simply clipping off the corners…Pennsylvania is making plates harder to cut by using thicker aluminum. The Missouri Department of Revenue has moved the license plate year tabs from the lower right-hand corner to the center of the plate, making them harder for thieves to cut off.

Sometimes the thieves break off the corner of a plate

thieves simply take tins snips and cut the corner off…[last entry, at the bottom]

Ridiculous or not, it is definitely occurring.

I think the person stealing the stickers isn’t likely to be a career criminal. More likely someone who is broke and can’t afford a $2000 car registration bill. A cop can easily spot your outdated registration sticker and pull you over.

Seems odd to steal stickers. If I were going into the business of selling bogus stickers, I’d just print some from my computer. Even if they weren’t shiny, how much detail can you see from a distance?

From lots of experience it is from people who are too stupid to read simple directions. With pictures. In fact ZenBeam is the first person I have seen who has done it on purpose while knowing it was wrong. NJ started doing stickers a few years ago. They stopped them about 4 years later. Doesn’t make too much sense now that a 1 second plate lookup on the computer in the patrol car will show if the car is registered.

ANPR takes that long in the US? :slight_smile:

With regard to stealing whole license plates, it used to be a big problem here n Britain. We now have two countermeasures: special screws to attach the plate, and plastic plates which will shatter if you try to remove them forcibly. Further, the process of making plates is regulated.

But you aren’t going to look up every plate on every car that drives by. The whole point is to appear properly registered so as to not get pulled over in the first place due to a visibly obvious out-of-date sticker.