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Thread: HAM Licence Plates

  1. #1

    Default HAM Licence Plates

    Hi all,
    I'm new to the forum, but I've had a call sign for a couple of years now. I'm in kind of an odd situation and thought I'd check in here to see if anyone has ever been through the same thing.

    Last Tuesday (2/12/19) I was hit by an oncoming driver on my way home from bowling. The road conditions were far less than prime and there was simply nothing I could do except try to mitigate the damage as best as possible. Unfortunately, my car was officially declared totaled on Friday (2/15). I'm completely fine, BTW.

    The oddity of this comes in with my plates since I've got Amateur Radio plates. I know under normal circumstances that I'm supposed to relinquish the plates after a total loss accident. However, I'm realizing now that these don't qualify as standard or even standard vanity plates and that I'm the only person qualified to apply for and hold the plates with my call sign.

    So, has anyone been through this before? Do I turn in the plates and reapply for them on my next car? Can I transfer the current ones? I just don't know. I'm going to try and reach out to my local county treasurer in Iowa this morning for some clarification, but I thought maybe someone here my have been through this and have an answer.

    David Hammer

  2. #2
    K7KBN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Bremerton WA USA


    Here in WA, the ham license plate goes with the ham, not the vehicle. You're in Iowa, so YMMV. Whenever I've changed vehicles I let the seller know that I keep the plate and to please install it in place of the dealer plate. Never a problem. Sorry about your loss. We here in western WA just came through the snowiest February snowfall most of us could remember. Had a foot of it on the lawn - but I drive a Subaru. And it has snow tires. Studded ones. Even with that going for me, I didn't venture out until well after the worst was over.

    Born and raised in Las Vegas NV. It snows there about every 4 or 5 years. It sounds like you're wondering if there's some involvement by the FCC in the case of a ham plate. No. They issue the radio license. The State of Iowa issues vehicle licenses, and I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time something like this has happened. There might be a fee for transferring the plate to another vehicle, but that should be about it.
    Last edited by K7KBN; Thu 21st Feb 2019 at 05:47.
    Pat K7KBN
    Semper ubi sub ubi.

  3. #3


    The call sign plates should go with you, not the car. They do in California, but it's best to check the laws of the state where the car is registered.

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