I just spent 9 days in Arizona, and had a great time, but also accumulated some questions which I hope someone can answer:
[li] What’s with all the paper license plates? I saw dozens of people driving around looking like they just laser-jetted themselves a plate that morning.[/li][li] Arizona has wooden fences right out of a loony-tunes cartoon. The fences look old and weathered even though they must have been installed within the last decade. Does the AZ transportation dept. have a warehouse of century-old wood, or special fast-weathering wood with which to build fences out of?[/li][li] Does AZ contain the most Chrysler LeBarons of any locale in the world?[/li][li] I saw precious little insect life, but did see gumball-sized… flies(?) buzzing around occasionally near damp areas on hiking trails. What in the holy *&#$@ were those things?[/li][li] Are you guys ever going to get Chip & Pin right? I got to use it once only, and the tip function didn’t work. :dubious:[/li][/ul]
I just spent 9 days in Arizona, and had a great time, but also accumulated some questions which I hope someone can answer:
Not in AZ so YMMV:
[li]Arizona has the weirdest vehicle laws. License plates aren’t required to be on the front, which trips up cops in other states. Most states require you to renew your license every couple of years, Arizona lets you keep it until 65.[/li][li]Don’t know, but for this and your other questions it would be helpful to know which city you were in.[/li][li]Lots of old people?[/li][li]Not up on the fauna, but dragonflies or damselflies?[/li][li]The US is just getting in on this, and it is often Chip & Signature still. I’ve only had two occasions to use it. Not sure what tip function there is - wouldn’t that be a consequence of software or no?[/li][/ol]
Paper license plates in other states are usually temporary issues when transferring a vehicle registration from another state or waiting for a vanity plate to be issued while the accompanying paperwork is being processed. Not sure if that’s the way it goes in AZ.
When you insert your chip card and punch in your PIN, the reader then asks if you want to add a tip, either an amount or a percentage (or zero, of course). You enter your choice and it’s added automatically. You don’t have to ask the server to add an amount for tip.
If AZ is like most states, then the paper license plates are temporary until the “real” plates come in the mail. If you buy a car (and don’t transfer the plates from your old car) then the dealer issues you paper ones that are good for 30 days or so.
This is just a guess without seeing said fences, but it’s fairly common to use cedar or redwood for fences, decks and siding. These types of wood are fairly impervious to rotting, but will nonetheless turn gray and dry out if you don’t stain and/or seal them regularly.
Agree regarding old people. Lots of retirees in AZ, who tend to drive old, large domestic cars.
The US is just now moving toward chip-embedded credit cards, but not with PINs. I can see why using a PIN is more secure, as thieves are unlikely to know an owner’s PIN, whereas hardly anybody looks at signatures. I am still asked to insert my cards (to read the chip) only about half the time, and most retailers still haven’t made the transition and allow you to swipe the magnetic strip.
ETA: Shoulda refreshed. I’m late to the pile-on party.
It sounds like the OP isn’t an American.
Paper plates are US standard for temporary registrations. Right now all the snowbird states are enjoying the annual upsurge in folks moving down for good after their last winter in snow country. So lots of new registrations.
Where did you see wooden fences on highways? Fences are generally the responsibility of private property owners, not the state DoT.
Chip and PIN is NOT the system used in the US today. Neither is it the system we’re going towards. TPTB decided on chip & sig for the future & *that *rollout is proceeding apace, with probably 1/3rd of terminals in big retailers done, and not 5% of Mom & Pops. Check back in a decade & we’ll be doing chip & sig from coast to coast & still discussing changing to the new chip and <who knows what> latest tech.
Maybe for the uber-wealthy for siding and decking … but fencing out of redwood? I think black locust is the better guess.
Almost all the fencing on people’s property in CA is redwood. Only the higher grades are expensive. Decking, too, but not siding so much. You can’t use the cheap, fence-grade redwood for siding.
What’s with all the paper license plates? I saw dozens of people driving around looking like they just laser-jetted themselves a plate that morning.
Arizona is still a little ‘wild west’ in terms of their DMVs. Yes, all you have to do to put a vehicle on the road is go online, pay a small fee, and you can print out a paper license plate that is valid for a few days (you’re still required to have insurance but their DMVs essentially use the ‘honor’ system!)
Arizona has wooden fences right out of a loony-tunes cartoon. The fences look old and weathered even though they must have been installed within the last decade. Does the AZ transportation dept. have a warehouse of century-old wood, or special fast-weathering wood with which to build fences out of?
Arizona is incredibly dry and has intensely strong sunlight. Wood weathers extremely fast there, but for light structures like fences it is adequate.
Does AZ contain the most Chrysler LeBarons of any locale in the world?***
Again, because it’s so dry literally nothing rusts. Ever. 30+ year old cars of all kinds are extremely common.
*I saw precious little insect life, but did see gumball-sized… flies(?) buzzing around occasionally near damp areas on hiking trails. What in the holy &#$@ were those things?
They have a few colloquial names, they’re big flying beetles. Scary looking, but harmless.
Are you guys ever going to get Chip & Pin right? I got to use it once only, and the tip function didn’t work. :dubious:
Almost all of the USA still doesn’t have chip & PIN cards yet.
Tucson resident here. Yeah, the paper plates are just temporary ones.
Speaking of Looney Tunes, we have lots of coyotes and roadrunners here.
I’m not sure where you saw the fences, but on ranchland, it’s very common out here to see fences made with any old piece of wood that was handy, strung with barbed wire. I’ve seen fences that use fallen tree limbs for the most part. Usually, there are decent uprights posted in the ground every few hundred feet, and then then scrap wood is used between them, to keep the wire from spreading or sagging. Here’s a story and photo:
Yes, but they’re not just for people in-between getting their real, permanent plates. If you’re willing to pay the rather high per day fee you can like I said, buy a short duration registration and print your own paper plate (they don’t have windshield stickers in AZ). Also, in NY where I live registration fees are based on the vehicle’s weight, big trucks cost more than little cars etc. In AZ the reg fee is based on the vehicle’s value. IOW newer cars cost more than older ones. And in general reg fees for new-ish cars are *considerably *higher in AZ than in NY. So more people are willing to buy temporary, as-needed ones there.
One other subtlety to the license plate thing is that in some states, when you sell your car the plates go with the car so you only see temporary paper plates on brand-new cars*. In other states, though, the seller is supposed to keep the plates and the buyer has to get new ones and so you’ll also see the paper plates on older cars with new owners. A quick google shows that Arizona appears to be a plates-follow-the-driver state.
*One interesting variation is that next door in California, they’re a plates-follow-the-car state BUT they don’t do temporary registrations at all. If you buy or lease a brand new car, you just drive around without a license plate for 6 months until the plate comes. You’re required to carry the titling documents in case you get pulled over but if you have a sufficiently new-looking car you probably won’t get pulled over for that alone. Supposedly Steve Jobs leased a new car frequently enough that he never had to display a license plate.
I was just in CA, and noticed cars driving around with no plates, either metal or paper. I figured the state doesn’t issue temporary plates. For a state that regulates seemingly everything, I was very surprised at this.
Those cars should have had the dealer paperwork taped to the window somewhere. We just bought a new car, and for the next few weeks we’ll be driving with a plastic pouch stuck to the front window.
I have the plates already (transferred from my trade-in) but they won’t go on the new car until the state sends the new registration and title.
Some people do that, but it’s not required.
Yup. It pays to keep an older car well-maintained. In Arizona, you can register your vehicle for two years at a time. I just registered my 1996 Ford. It cost me $31.74 to register my car for the next two years, until 2018.
It used to be six months; it is now 90 days.
The bigger problem in California is not so much the length of time, as the fact that it’s basically impossible for the police or anyone else to see when your 90 days is up, and therefore whether you are in violation. It’s a fucking retarded system. You can run red lights without worrying about cameras, you can zip through tollbooths without being caught, and, as you correctly note, if your car looks relatively new, no-one will ever pull you over.
me too, and i live here. It’s idiotic.
When i first moved to California, i was amazed that they allowed any time at all without plates on the car. In the early 1990s, back in Australia, i spent a year working as a new car salesman. In the state where i lived and worked (New South Wales), the only time you were allowed to drive a vehicle without a license plate was if you were directly en route to obtain that license plate.
That’s it; no other reason.
If you were pulled over, it was up to you to convince the cop that you were headed directly to the DMV. If the cop bought your story, he would still record your license details, and if some other cop pulled you over a few days later and you still didn’t have the plate, then you were in trouble. The default position of the police in NSW is “No plate, you get pulled over to explain yourself.” Here in California, it’s “No plate, you’re probably fine.”
When we sold a new car at the dealership where i worked, we took care of getting the new plates on the car before delivery. Most dealers worked the same way. When the customer signed the paperwork for the car, we would also have them sign the appropriate registration papers. We had a guy whose job description included frequent runs to the DMV, where he would take all of the paperwork (often for multiple vehicles at one time) and complete the registration process. The buyer would then drive the new car home with the plates already attached. If you had some sort of vanity or personalized plates, or simply wanted to hang on to your old plates, we would take care of the transfer paperwork, and would attach your old plates to the new car.
All this was about 25 years ago. I haven’t lived in Australia since 2000, so i don’t know if things have changed. I believe that other US states have similar systems. California is something of an outlier in this respect.
Taping a little standardized notice inside the window until the real plate comes is done in several states, not just CA. Some of them plate with owner states.
Some new cars in CA already have a plate on them. It’s a matter of whether the dealer already registered it or not. The last new car I bought here didn’t have a plate on it, the others did. It didn’t take 6 months for new plates - a few weeks. When I bought one without, I was actually driving to AZ before the plates would arrive. I was somewhat worried about the AZ cops understanding the issue, but there wasn’t any problem. I think most states have enough out-of-state cars driving around that the cops are used to the issues of “no front plate” and “temporary plate vs. a notice taped inside the window” in other states.
One oddity about the temporary tags when I lived in Colorado - motorcycles. They don’t issue motorcycle sized temporary plates. The motorcycle dealer has to give you the car sized cardboard plate which is too big for the license holder. You screw it on, and let the edges hang out over the sides of the holder.
BTW, CA will now let you get the old “yellow on black” plates instead of the white ones, if you care to pay $50 extra. As well as other "vintage"designs. Note that CA never issues replacement plates as a matter of course, so there’s actually a few cars about which have been driving around since 1969 or before with the original yellow on black. Some of those owners might be annoyed, I suppose.