A little over a year ago, another intern here wrote a great post about what to do if your license plate, or the tag on your plate, get stolen. You can check out that post by clicking here.
Unfortunately FPSE has been getting reports again that license plate tags are being stolen. A member of the community reported that it looks like someone went up and down an alley near Arco & Gibson and took the tags off every vehicle they could. So, here’s what you can do:
First and foremost, check your car. See if your tags are up to date and still on your vehicle.
If your tag is stolen, please contact the police. If you are ticketed for expired plates, filing a report that your tags are stolen can prevent a $100 fine from the city.
If your tag is stolen, and you have contacted the police, order new tags. If you can, order these “enhanced” tags that make it more difficult for people to steal. If your tags are about to expire, you will be getting these enhanced tags when you go to the DMV. If you want these tags now, they are about $12 ($8.50 plus a $3.50 fee).
If your tag is not stolen, consider replacing the tags with the enhanced tag version. If you cannot afford to do that, here’s another tip: score the tag on your plates with a sharp knife, razor, X-Acto knife, or something similar. This makes it more difficult for people to pull off without ripping the tag into pieces. The downside is that that tactic works best when it’s the only tag on your plate. If you have a bunch of tags on top of each other, the tags could simply fall off.
Consider parking elsewhere. Park your car in a public-viewing area, garage, where a camera points at it, or where a neighbor can keep an eye on it. Dark, quiet alleys that get almost no foot traffic are a higher risk because the thieves know they do not have to worry about witnesses and have access to many cars at once.
I have one last bit of advice for you – How to correctly install a license plate tag:
- Remove previous tag(s)
- Clean the area with a paper towel and some cleaning agent
- glass cleaner works well, so do disinfectant wipes
- let the area dry or wipe down with a dry cloth, otherwise the adhesive might not stick to the plate
- add the new sticker
- if this is the enhanced version, you’re done!
- if this is the normal version, score the sticker with a knife and you’re good to go!