Stickers to Put on Offensive Cars - Illegal?

Would it be illegal for me to place stickers on offensive cars? For example, a bumper sticker that says “poseurmobile”?

My gut reaction was “Of course it’s illegal.” It seems at least in California the definition of vandalism is

So, it’s not quite clear to me if putting a sticker on is illegal, provided that the sticker can be easily removed without damage. I am not positive, though, as ‘defaces’ could stretch to fit this as well. It seems if the sticker cannot easily be removed that this would fit the ‘damage’ category, at least to my non-lawyer eyes.

Any lawyers wanna take a crack at this?

Would it be illegal for me, without your permission, to sew a big patch on your ummm… jacket that says “Clueless Wonder”. Think about it. Same principle applies.

Hint, think “private property” + “damage intentionally without permission” = ?

1: A hearty laugh enjoyed by all.

2: A righteous hammer blow at the black heart of capitalism.

3: A potential ass kicking and/or a visit by law enforcement authorities eager to ascertain your rationale for this behavior.

They do it at parking lots at Niagara Falls and Stone Mountain. While you’re seeing the sites a guy goes around and puts a “bumper sticker” on your car with little strips of wire, so it can be completely removed when you eventually notice it. Until then you are a rolling ad for the attraction.

This happened here to someone I know here in Kansas City. It was illegal, but it was a ridiculously small fine - something like $50.

I caught someone trying to put an “Abortion Stops a Beating Heart” sticker on my car once. Regardless of whether I supported his view or not, I was ready to take the piece of steel reinforcing rod behind the driver’s seat and start chasing him around…

Whether it’s legal or not, it’s not a nice thing to do.
“Do unto others…etc.”

If I caught you putting a sticker on my vehicle, I would certainly detain you until the police arrived to determine whether or not it was illegal. Most people would probably just kick your ass.

I found some really neat ones while on vacation in Germany last November. They are a picture of a hand configured into giving someone “the bird”. I put one on my bumper, but was convinced by the cop who works the beat at the hospital where I work to remove it. I did, and then put one on the bumper of his prowler. He was not amused and read me"the riot act" (whatever that is - maybe a source for a new thread?). But since we’re friends, he didn’t issue me a citation.

Speaking of Germany, I think the stickers are not illegal over there, and I saw one that was quite interesting: It was a white circle with a black cross in the center and one of those red-striped universal “NO” circles superimposed on top of it. I supposed it to mean the driver was an atheist.

However, if you give someone the “bird” in Germany, I understand you can be made to pay a hefty fine.

Go figure.


Uhh, if someone did this to your car, wouldn’t you be pissed off? It doesn’t matter if the bumper sticker can be easily removed; what if you have a very expensive paint job? You can always claim the sticker invoked some amount of damage, no matter how much they claim it was “easily removeable”. My guess is, if a cop sees you doing it, you’re busted.

Interestingly, I believe that you can technically be arrested in the United States for flipping the bird. I believe it has to do with outdated obscenity laws or some such thing. I’ve heard of it happening, but this was probably in the 1960’s or so. I doubt you’d even be noticed doing it today, unless you gave the signal to a police officer.

I’ve seen some here with the fish shape but the word Buddhist inside.

Because the guy was a friend of mine, occ, he already KNEW who did it and it wasn’t a big deal. He just told me about the laws regarding this and everything was cool after that. Would I put a sticker on someone else’s car? No, I would not. As I mentioned, I put one on my own vehicle to begin with. Okay? :smiley:

Yeah, and most people would get their ass KICKED in the process of detaining someone. You need to learn the buddhist principle of “non-attachment to material posessions.” You are prepared to put YOUR life in danger and possibly harm someone else, just because they put a sticker on your pretty little car? What happens when someone splashes gritty dirt onto your car and scratches the surface, do you chase them down and detain them?

Let me tell you a little story. One day my boss doubleparked his van outside our computer store in downtown LA, and ran in to grab some equipment for a job. When he returned to the van, he found a local homeless criminal in the cab, trying to hotwire it and make off with the van loaded with about $150,000 of computers. He dragged the guy out of the cab, tried to detain him, and got into a violent fight. It took 4 guys to take the criminal down. The criminal was injured, he was quite bloody, and many passers-by tried to get involved and let the guy go, he was being held down with a knee to the neck, and still struggling to get free. Eventually the cops came and hauled him away, and he was convicted of a wide range of crimes. BUT… my boss and everyone involved got sued for injuring the guy. It took them months and months to get free of the lawsuit, they eventually had to settle and pay the guy big bucks.

Here’s your answer:
Where does “to read the riot act” come from?


Dopers may have seen the “Parking Violation” slips, mock parking tickets, that novelty stores sell (“May the Fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits”). I got a pad of these from Johnson Smith once, and even translated the message into Spanish–with the assistance of my college Spanish teacher. (I keyed it on a computer in both English and Spanish and made a printout.)
However, I showed this to my lawyer–who is fluent in English and Spanish. He said even to slip a joke message under the windshield wiper of someone else’s car, however innocuous it may seem, is a big risk.
(I also once got a card that read:
I Had to Park Two Blocks Away,
You Stupid, Inconsiderate Moron
Innocuous? No; fun? sure! :D)

Can someone be ticketed for doing this? I have noticed it being done by drivers of Corvettes, Cadillac/Land Rover SUV’s etc., and it really frosts my balls. (excuse my language ;)) I know they wanna protect their car, and I can’t blame them for that, but I mean Damn!


[hijack] Quasimodem said:

The band Bad Religion issues stickers with this logo. Sometimes the stickers say “Bad Religion”, sometimes there’s just the icon. The sticker you saw could be for the band, or could be indicating a non-Christian in the car, opr could be indicating somebody who hates crossroads. No way to know for sure without asking.

Now, that being said, I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. I don’t believe that stickers of this nature are equivalent to stickers showing “the bird”. And, if you’ve placed either sticker on your own car, this situtation doesn’t apply to the OP.


Regarding the OP, I suppose it depends on the laws in your state, county, or city.

For example, stickers can be placed on windows as well as on paint. Stickers placed on windows seldom, if ever, damage the windows and can be removed easily. (I’m speaking from experience with my own car here.) If the laws specify that it’s illegal to cause damage in some way, but the sticker is on the window, it may not be possible to prove damage. But if the sticker is on the paint and causes damage, that’s different.

In other words, I don’t know. :slight_smile:

Any lawyers out there to answer this one?


Well according to a police officer i know, you could be ticketed for it. Actually, if you say, went up to a cop and said, “Fuck you pig!!!”, you could be charged with assault on a police officer. How dumb is that?

Yeah me too, and the reason they do it? Their thought is (usually) that if they double park it deters door dings and other such unpleasantries. Reminds me of a funny story… There was a guy that lived in my best friend’s apartment complex that ALWAYS did this. He had a pretty expensive truck IIRC. Anyways, there were many (my friend included) that this really annoyed, and though repeatedly asked, the guy wouldn’t stop. So one night, an anonymous note got left under the windshield wiper of his truck, asking him one last time to kindly stop double parking, lest all the paint be keyed from his truck. I don’t think he ever double parked again… :slight_smile:


Does this question even need a reply?

For those who amused FatherJohn by actually answering, you’ll be amused to know that FJ is frustrated by SUVs to the point that he now considers potential vandalism of SUVs.

He has become rather frustrated over his hate of SUVs/SUV owners and he can’t take it anymore, so he wants to try embarrasing SUV owners. FJ wants to be the judge/jury of which SUV owners are not making full use of the towing and off-roading ability of the SUV. FJ wants those with a need for space to drive minivans, becase SUVs, which are more useful than minivns (his thoughts) are not used by every owner for their complete usefullness, they are used for being “macho” (and he references women to help prove this).

Oh, and you’ll find it entertaining to know that he claims people drive them to be macho, even though it’s common knowledge that SUVs are suburban family cruisers (his thoughts again)…which begs the question, FJ, “Then how can people try to be macho by driving suburban family cruiser?”

FJ has it stuck in his head, despite his own arguements that refute his obsessive thoughts, that SUVs are for being “macho”.

His obsessive thoughts have taken over his mind and lead him to think of putting stickers on SUVs that point out that the driver is trying to be “macho”.

Very entertaining.

umm… philster, just where did fatherjohn mention SUVs? Or is it so obvious to you that SUVs are poseurmobiles?

FYI, there is a website that organizes tagging parties for SUVs specifically. Check em out at

They produce a little bumper sticker that merely says “I’m changing the climate, ask me how!” and the URL at the bottom. They have a downloadable file so you can print your own stickers, and provide instructions on selecting proper sticker adhesive forms so the tagging is not permanent or damaging. This cannot be considered vandalism since it is not damaging to the car. The worst damage is the few seconds it takes to peel off the sticker, and the humiliation you get when you’re busted for driving a machine that destroys the environment faster than any other type of personal automobile.

There’s another site at that produces simulated parking tickets with information about the ecological unsuitability of SUVs.

It is the opinion of myself and many dedicated scientists that SUVs are a menace to the world’s ecology. Global warming is a fact, and SUVs contribute to it more than passenger automobiles. Nobody on earth needs a Lexus or Mercedes SUV, they ARE poseurmobiles. The EARTH is the judge and jury on this one, and the verdict is already in, SUVs equal global warming.

Check out this site:

This seems like a good idea. If people want to express themselves by attaching all sorts of fiberglass and polyurethane contraptions to their cars, we ought to be able to express our opinion about their cars.