Why do people cover their license plates?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by sofauxboho, Aug 22, 2021.

  1. sofauxboho

    sofauxboho Lacks Undo Supporter

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    I've been curious about this for years: When listing bikes for sale, some folks are careful to cover their license plate, either with a physical object before taking the pictures or by digitally editing the photos after they're taken.

    Why bother? What's the point? What can somebody do with a license plate number anyway?

    I mean, we ride around with 'em on display all day. And folks don't seem to cover them when taking glamour shots of their bikes. It seems to be a "for sale" thing only...
    #1
  2. ozmoses

    ozmoses persona non grata

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    :photog

    Why?

    Have you met many people??
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  3. rick danger

    rick danger The further adventures of

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  4. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    "Nice bike, I think I'll have that", quick search gets you the address, some help a van and the new 'owner' takes the bike.

    Someone decides they need new plates because theirs are too well known or because they don't want to pay tolls, copies the ones from the bike they just saw.

    Someone decides to make money from home, repeatedly sells your bike online.

    All sorts of reasons. Mostly paranoia but it's not totally unjustified paranoia.
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  5. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    With that logic you should be covering up your plate when riding and parking locally because thieves always prefer to steal a bike close by compared to one far away. They can just take a pic of the number and drop by later that day to pick up the bike.
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  6. Bighammer49686

    Bighammer49686 Been here awhile

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    I don't think it's easy to get an address from a plate. Even with your plate obscured, somebody can repeatedly sell your bike. (also unlikely) Copy your plate? Haven't heard of that one. Maybe they print a copy of your plate and hope nobody notices?

    Some of us just don't care and don't want to cover them. (esp. with a vanity plate combining Pure Michigan and the UP)


    screenshot-dsvsesvc.sos.state.mi.us-2020.08.14-23_55_30.png
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  7. US7IGN

    US7IGN HAM radio n00b

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    You can just distract attention )))

    NSFW
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  8. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    It's dead easy to get an address for a plate. Repo. agents and insurance companies do it every day. Even if it's not legal to do it, it's easy.

    I find your faith in the system disturbing ;).
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  9. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck Super Moderator Supporter

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    That I need to see. :lurk
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  10. cmattina

    cmattina Long timer

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    It is not dead easy in Canada.

    You seem to be implying a crooked repo agent or insurance company may take your info from the image within the ad... But, that exact same risks exist every day your bike is out in public, driving by 1000s of cars a day (depending on traffic). A crooked bank teller could empty your account as well...
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  11. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    No, I'm not saying that, what I'm saying is that if you have criminal connections or are just sufficiently motivated you can get someones address if you have the numbers from the plate. It's also done legally every day, example above. And while someone could also get it while you drive past, it being online puts in everyone's face, not just the locals.
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  12. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    I have tried to get info off a plate. I was not able to. Would like to learn how.
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  13. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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  14. SlowlyGettingThere

    SlowlyGettingThere Slowing down but will ride till I die.

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    So I just wasted an hour of my life, trying to get information on my 6 license plates, and my girlfriend's 3 plates, to see how easy it is. Well I learned nothing, not even what vehicles the plates are on. My girlfriend also tried, and netted zero information.
    Doesn't seem to be as easy as a few claim.
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  15. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck Super Moderator Supporter

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    That’s why it’s absolutely ridiculous to cover them, and why I chuckle when I see people do it. The urban legend is strong with this one.
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  16. TheJudgeHolden

    TheJudgeHolden Adventurer

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    Why don't you show us how it's done, we'll wait.

    Actually we won't, because the only people who are going to be able to get an address from a tag are cops, dispatchers and DMV workers... You, as none of the above, will never be able to get diddly squat from a tag except for possibly a vehicle make, model and year via public records request.

    Source: me, a cop.
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  17. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    My wife worked as a clerk for the traffic part of the police for a while. It wouldn't be hard, the phone was going all day as the result of fender benders and the like.

    Just be good at hacking wetware.
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  18. Bighammer49686

    Bighammer49686 Been here awhile

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    I find your paranoia and gullibility equally disturbing.
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  19. sofauxboho

    sofauxboho Lacks Undo Supporter

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    So our current biggest worry is a thief calling the police with a plate number, social engineering an address out of the police, and then going to that address to steal the vehicle?

    I am… not particularly concerned about this “threat”.

    Even if it were easy to get an address from a plate, what’s the thinking here? The criminal element will break into the garage to steal the bike?

    This all seems like a lot of risk and trouble to go through when you can find many bikes parked right out on the street.
    #19
  20. Ruizing

    Ruizing Back for more adventures Supporter

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