Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
You gonna finish that?

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



license plate disguiser

(+8, -8)
  [vote for,

I remember watching a tv show as a kid, where some kiddie detectives tried to catch a dognapper... however his license plate was spattered with mud and was unreadable.

The device would be an overlay of some sort for your license plate that, at the press of a button, would make it impossible to read the plate. It could be little aluminum strips that unfold (akin to window blinds), or even a piece of clear piece of plexiglas that would become jet black in an instant, as it goes through some polarization process.

If you ran a red light, or ticked someone off on the road (yeah, I'd be mad at you), pressing the button would make it more difficult for a cop/driver/pedestrian to identify the tag.

I don't think I'd use the device, personally, and I'm sure it'd be illegal as hell -- not that other questionable devices, such as slim jims, cable descramblers and handgun modification kits aren't already on the market under the guise as something else. I'm sure someone could, in fact, sell these things as "tag protectors: keep mud from obscuring your license plates when four-wheelin'" or something.

cswiii, Jun 26 2000

3M Privacy Film http://www.manufact...0303.97/05d8965.htm
Liquid crystal film overlay that turns from frosted to clear when current is applied. A more active approach than the always-fuzzed covers mentioned below. [koz, Jun 26 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Discount Photo Blocker http://www.discountphotoblocker.com
Link moved from [covertideas] annotation to here. [bristolz, Mar 01 2006]

Please log in.
If you're not logged in, you can see what this page looks like, but you will not be able to add anything.
Short name, e.g., Bob's Coffee
Destination URL. E.g., https://www.coffee.com/
Description (displayed with the short name and URL.)

       I've always thought that if I had a car I would shell out the extra money for a vanity plate and get the license plate number "0O0I110I". If enough people do this, we won't need to disguise our plates.
dominus, Jun 26 2000

       In California at least, you can't get 0 (zero) in a vanity license plate, only O (oh).
jutta, Jun 26 2000

       I just wrote down the same idea... I would have no problem shelling out cash for when I get in an accident, just at the click of a button, voila! New License Plate...! How odd someone else thought of this too...
imroxy, Jun 29 2000

       My brother's license plate is OQOQQO. When my sister and I get reliable cars, we intend to get variations on the theme.
clynne, Jun 29 2000

       Maybe it's an American thing but I don't see what's funny about either of the personalised number plates mentioned here....sorry and all that, maybe someone could enlighten me?
MrTheRich, Jul 06 2000

       What's "funny" is that they're difficult to distinguish and remember.
egnor, Jul 06 2000

       ... thereby rendering them useless, as distinguishing individuals is the entire purpose...
absterge, Jul 07 2000

       Absterge, that's kind of the point.
StarChaser, Jul 30 2000

       Believe it or not, this one's baked- at least up here in Canada. Baked and buried, in fact.   

       I don't remember the manufacturer, but there is a product that looks like clear Plexiglas which mounts over your license plate and actually block the numbers from photo-radar cameras. I'm not exactly sure how the technology works- some form of polarizer, apparently, that obscures the letters depending on the viewing angle of the observer.   

       I checked with a few of my relatives in the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and they told me that the device actually does work- and quite well.   

       Those same police relatives have assured me that it is also "a very serious criminal offense to mount such a device on your vehicle" (I love copspeak!<g>). The fine for such an offense is in the thousands of dollars, as well as the possible suspension of your drivers' license.   

       In addition, the police usually pull you over immediately when they see one, which is not difficult to do as they tend to stand out a bit- especially when seen through a photo-radar camera. Intentionally obscuring a license plate is a crime, I've been advised, so the police are usually very quick to react when they see one.   

       In other words, cswiii, it's not only illegal as hell, but it's apparently also pretty easy to spot, as well.
BigThor, Aug 05 2000

       I've seen these things in the USA too...Cops use the license plate as a good place to bounce the laser from the laser speed detector, and this scatters the laser as well as making the plate unreadable on cameras.
StarChaser, Aug 05 2000

       I think I heard about a perspex-type clear material that fits over your plates. It is supposed to look exactly the same as a piece of ordinary perspex in the visual spectrum (no matter what angle you look at it from), but it is meant to absorb radar by stopping radar waves from passing through it, thereby making it impossible to reflect off the highly reflective number plate material.
mirage, Aug 22 2000

       StarChaser and mirage:   

       That's exactly the device I was talking about. The fines for these vary from region to region, but they're usually very high.
BigThor, Aug 22 2000

       Does anyone know where these License Plate covers can be bought? its not for me but my friend has been bugging me about one and....... i'm sure you guys know how it is.
porschefan, Sep 12 2000

       Here in Australia, all applications for personal number plates are subject to a brief review, to scan for possible offensiveness and if they are too hard to distuinguish. Although, I may be wrong on this. Hence, that ingenious OQQOQQetc idea would probably not pass... damn.
Detly, Sep 12 2000

       I think it'd be a better idea to just be able to push a button and the cop chasing you explodes
AfroAssault, Sep 14 2000

       Having a license plate of 'OQOOQQO' I think would be quite the opposite of useless when it comes to identifying a car. When you can tell the officer that is was a green SUV with a license plate of all O's and Q's I think you are nabbed. I have got to imagine that the search engine on that database could find you in a minute.
blahginger, Sep 16 2000

       I love you very much, AfroAssault, but why push a button when we can harness the power of brainwaves?
Monkfish, Oct 26 2000

       California has human review, as well, and OQOQQO passed here. You'll never know if you don't try. blahginger has a point though. Clearly my family members and I need to make sure we all buy the same make/model of car before we go out committing vehicular crimes in our ambiguously-licensed cars.
clynne, Apr 19 2001

       This product exists, and it works very well. It is a special electrochromatic film applied to the inside of the license plate cover. When you flick a switch, the cover instantly turns opaque so nobody can see through it.   

       It's available from www.hightechspeed.com - for $150.
hightechspeed, Aug 07 2002

       Apparently spraying hairspray on your licence plate makes it unreadable to speed cameras, In NZ they produced a product in a can that you sprayed on your number plate that did the same thing.
Gulherme, Aug 07 2002

       //hairspray on your licence plate//
I'm thinking 'urban myth'!
angel, Aug 07 2002

       Maby it is you could always test it. The product from NZ was real though untill it got banned for obvious reasons.
Gulherme, Aug 07 2002

       Yeah, this stuff exists all over the place. Not necessarily triggered by button, but assembled or sprayed. However, the plate is still readable by human eye - it works by scattering the light from the flash when a picture is taken thereby obscuring the plate. I think the idea csw3 is making is simply to obscure the plate so that no-one can read it at all, ever. However, you're then likely to be pulled over and charged with driving a car in an unroadworthy condition - "wash the car, sunshine".   

       Why can't criminals simply stick to the James Bond thing with the revolving number plate?
PeterSilly, Aug 07 2002

       I've seen motorcycle number plates that can be tilted to the horizontal plane using a pulley mechanism.   

       I've also seen motorcyclist pulling huge wheelies past speed cameras, therby pointing their number plate at the ground.   

       My own car went in to the garage for an MOT last week. The mechanics told me that it needed new plates, as the old ones were cracked and foggy. So they duely put new plates on and gave me my MOT. It wasn't until yesterday that I spotted they had mixed up the digits on the new plates. Consequently, I had great fun on the way home last night - I managed to trigger five speed cameras!
Mayfly, Aug 07 2002

       Mayfly - I'd change them back pronto. Just don't get stopped with those wrong plates on.
PeterSilly, Aug 07 2002

       It's great fun driving round Holland in a car with UK plates that isn't yours, tripping all the GATSO cameras and knowing there's not a damn thing they're going to be able to do about it. My friend has a German-registered Mercedes he drives in the UK for just this reason. He keeps his English registered BMW in Germany..... these cameras are just revenue rasising devices and nothing to do with road safety.
8th of 7, Aug 07 2002

       Regarding this licence-plate obscurer: I'm hesitant to suggest this (being a law-abiding type myself), but perhaps rather than obscuring the whole plate (which is obvious when a completely black plate is seen on radar/IR or whatever), why not have an overlay which is selectively opaque. Your licence plate is really something like:   

       FOI D3C...   

       but under radar it looks like   

       EQL BBO   

       which the rozzers wouldn't spot.
Loris, Aug 07 2002

       [8th]: A speed camera recently recorded a Dutch (I think) registration which was the same as a UK plate doing 50 in a 30 zone. The fine went to the registered keeper of the UK plate, which turned out to be a museum. The plate belonged to a vintage tractor with a top speed of 18mph which had been off the road for 50 years.
angel, Aug 07 2002

       Angel: Happiness is .... a frustrated and helpless bureaucrat. That story has brightened a dull day.
8th of 7, Aug 07 2002

       For those f us who live in the states, check this out, and we wont have to worry about covering plates for speed cameras.... http://www.speedtrap.org/
Nufenstein, Aug 07 2002

       Stealth Plate (flip a switch and the glass in front of the plate goes gray) and Fast Tags (Flip a switch and the plate folds up) are both somewhat popular with sportsbikes. Sportsbikes actually have the power to easily outrun cops on the roads, so they have a good chance of escape if no one knows their plate number.   

       Some also bend the plate to appear at 45 degree angle, or get an obscure license plate combination.   

       Well, guess what?   

       Recently I was stopped on my sportsbike. I was supposedly caught going ~60mph in a 30mph zone (which is a wreckless driving ticket here in VA), "tearing up the road and had to be stopped" according to the PO, lane splitting (which is also a wreckless driving ticket), and doing a little burnout start from a red light (which is also a wreckless driving ticket, but the PO didn't notice since it was nighttime. Or at least I think they didn't notice)   

       Additionally, my bike also has some stuff that would not pass inspection, and could get me even more tickets. (non illuminated plate, for example)   

       If I played any of the license plate obstruction tricks outlined above, I would have been screwed. All these tickets, court costs, lawyer costs, would have put a dent in my wallet. PO generally don't have any mercy on people that purposely try to evade the law.   

       But instead, I got a talking to and a warning. I was on my way in 20 minutes max.   

       Lesson: there is no good license obstrcting product. Take your chances, hope for the best, and if all else fails, go to court.   

       Witold www.witold.org/bike/bike.php3
Witold, Feb 03 2003

       Sorry, I posted something similar, a search for light sensitive licence plate, showed nothing.   

       An LCD screen, connected to a photo-diode switched electronics, could well help for speed cameras at night.
scubadooper, May 16 2003

       scubadooper i had my comment ready to post on your idea... before you just added it on here :). i was wondering what was wrong with the site! you were in the midst of deletion while i was simultaneously trying to post on it! .... I think those cameras are evil! Regardless smart speeders are aware speeders... or rather they should be. If you choose to take the risk in speeding... isn't half the adrenaline rush the thrill of getting caught? I mean I could get into my personal record... 120mph in my old quattro... but needless to say I was caught eventually so I'll stop there. I'm always out to beat the system... but checks and balances keep pedestrians safe.
bubblegrrl79, May 16 2003

       I have license plate disguiser hider LCD&nbsp; I'm selling LCD license plate hiders I manufactured as a test run.& I have some left and am selling them barebones on ebay under the seller name nekojin19. If you want to see a video of it send me an email at nekojin17@hotmail.com.
nekojin17, Aug 12 2005

       (link moved) sells a spray containing a highly glossy formula that you spray on your license plates. It is invisible to the naked eye but reflects photo-flash; helping to avoid those costly tickets. Criminals or those causing accidentents can't use the technology to evade police or keep them from reading their plates, which I think is good. I do not advocate leaving the scene of an accident or other criminal activity. But, my thoughts on red light camers.... the human mind is the world's fastest computer by far. I think we have all run a light or two because we were caught in between, using our minds to assimilate all information gathered (traffic conditions, risk, etc.) and have chosen that it is better to go than to slam the brakes and cause a "rear-ender". I for one do not want a ticket for making an appropriate judgement call. Go to (link moved) and check it out.   

covertideas, Feb 28 2006

       //But, my thoughts on red light camers.... the human mind is the world's fastest computer by far// It may be quick, but it can't spell-check to save its life.
coprocephalous, Mar 01 2006

       A plate full of G's and 6's would be confusing too.
Jscotty, Mar 01 2006

       [covertideas], if you wish to post a link you can by using the link functionality provided. I have, in this case, moved the link for you.
bristolz, Mar 01 2006

       I'd like to let everyone know that the place to get the electronic license plate disguiser is 'hide a plate .com' without the spaces of course. These are not the kind that "stand out" - in fact there is nothing to notice about it when its "off". when its on its like trying to look through the glass of your best friends shower when his sister in there scrubbing down her pussy when the shower has fogged glass. There are othere kinds that are basically a film that is highly reflective to make taking pictures of the plate almost difficult or if you at an angle to the plate it shows up white. The new ones run about $300 are shipped from Canada - but they really are something else. Quite amazing!
KE7JRH, Jan 23 2007

       //An LCD screen, connected to a photo-diode switched electronics, could well help for speed cameras at night.//   

       Well that would have to be some mighty fast electronics and liquid crystals, to switch in the time it takes light to travel from the diode, through the LCD, bounce off the plate, and leave the LCD. If your diode is mounted 5cm out from the plate, that's 0.17 nanoseconds.
BunsenHoneydew, Jan 23 2007

       I've always liked the idea of LCD panels and the like however, the problem is that once stopped a policeman is at liberty to examine the numberplate. I propose that one rewires one of the numberplate lights to another circuit and in the other side a small capsule of thick oil and a smaller pyrotechnic charge. Then when one wishes to hide the plate it is sufficient to close the fuse for the numberplate bulbs and paf! the numberplate is covered with oil. To add to detail, add to fuse connections of the numberplate lights a very circuit (with capacitor) that can detonate the pyrotechnic and if pulled over one simply needs to rip out the circuit and shove it in any small cubby hole in the car.
duxxyuk, Sep 28 2007

       A simpler technique that should work with the type of cameras that use IR illumination and IR cameras to read the plate is to cut the letters/numbers out of IR filter material (like a Wratten 87) that looks to the eye to be black, but is transparent to IR, mounted on a retroreflective plate background.
The plate will be human-readable, but simply blank to IR cameras.
For cameras that use visible flash, use a slave flash to dazzle the camera,
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Sep 28 2007


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle