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Author Topic: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate  (Read 16817 times)

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Offline madbrain

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CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« on: September 06, 2008, 04:17:36 PM »
OK, so I'm not really sure where this topic belongs. But I don't think it's really "off-topic".

Back in June I placed an order online for an environmental license plate from the California DMV. I tried several plates with the letters "HIV" until I found one that was accepted by the DMV web site and available. They took my money.

Today I received a letter from the DMV stating they denied my request and are refunding me the money. The reason is :

1. Per California Vehicle Code, Section 5105, the department may refuse any combination of letters and numbers that may be considered offensive, which could be misleading, or in conflict with any existing license plate series issued.

I know it doesn't conflict because the site checked it. And I don't think it's any way offensive or misleading (how could a license plate mislead ?).

There doesn't seem to be any possibility of appeal. Do I have to sue them ? And who would be best to contact ? ACLU ?

Online Jeff G

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2008, 04:48:53 PM »
Was this rejection an impersonal computer's decision or did a person tell you that you cant advertise your status on your bumper ?   

Offline newt

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2008, 04:58:02 PM »
Administrative rights or wrongs aside, why would you want to? I am intrigued to know - matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Online Jeff G

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2008, 05:08:48 PM »
Maybe you are being to ambitious with this huge of a disease , start with someting smaller like a plate that says " ButtWARTS4U " 

Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2008, 05:16:49 PM »
Was this rejection an impersonal computer's decision or did a person tell you that you cant advertise your status on your bumper ?   

No, it's personal, and there is the name of a real person at the bottom of the letter.  The rest of the letter clearly implies that this was a human review.

Another quote from it :

"I am sure you can appreciate how difficult it is to balance an individual's constitutional right to free speech and expression, while protecting the sensibilities of all segments of our population. Please understand that this is a very difficult area to regulate and that not everyone feels the same way on any given subject."

Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2008, 05:22:32 PM »
Administrative rights or wrongs aside, why would you want to? I am intrigued to know - matt

I just want to make a statement that it's OK to have HIV and that I will not hide it. I think it's kind of a cool way to make that statement. Oh, and I'm helping the environment at the same time too ;)

Online Jeff G

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2008, 05:24:13 PM »
Sounds to me the someone at the DMV made a judgement call  .
If you really want the plate why not just apply again , chances are the person that rejected it the first time around wont be involved this time .

Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2008, 05:25:16 PM »
Maybe you are being to ambitious with this huge of a disease , start with someting smaller like a plate that says " ButtWARTS4U " 

LOL

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2008, 02:04:50 AM »
What about the person who wants HIVLIES or HIVCURE or somesuch? I rather see the point in the rejection, actually. Open the door, the crazies walk in.

Won't a red ribbon on your car or a bumper sticker be sufficient?

 At the very least, it will give you some memorable, if lengthy, moments in rural areas with the local populations and police.

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Offline komnaes

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2008, 03:44:09 AM »
I remember I wore the "Nobody Knows I am Gay" t-shirt back to school when I was 17..

I am surely not ready to do it now but I figure you can make your own tee that says something along that line.
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Offline David_CA

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2008, 10:37:59 AM »
"Protecting the sensibilities" of a population is so important!   :D  I wonder if you asked for one that said 'HERPES' or 'CANCER' would be acceptable and that if mentioning that it was for AIDS awareness would make any difference.  Personally, I see nothing wrong with what you chose (although I don't have a plate like that on any of my cars).  Perhaps something a bit more discrete would work...

[attachment deleted by admin]
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Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2008, 10:42:36 AM »
I'm a firm believer in non-personal license plates and in leaving the ringer setting on "default."
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Robert

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2008, 11:13:54 AM »
why don't you go to the local newspapers?  That usually stirs things up.
..........

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2008, 12:08:47 PM »
Back in June I placed an order online for an environmental license plate from the California DMV. I tried several plates with the letters "HIV" until I found one that was accepted by the DMV web site and available. They took my money.

Today I received a letter from the DMV stating they denied my request and are refunding me the money.   

Maybe they fear for your safety - like they don't want you to become a magnet for gay bashers or something

Offline denb45

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2008, 12:23:12 PM »
OK, so I'm not really sure where this topic belongs. But I don't think it's really "off-topic".

Back in June I placed an order online for an environmental license plate from the California DMV. I tried several plates with the letters "HIV" until I found one that was accepted by the DMV web site and available. They took my money.

Today I received a letter from the DMV stating they denied my request and are refunding me the money. The reason is :

1. Per California Vehicle Code, Section 5105, the department may refuse any combination of letters and numbers that may be considered offensive, which could be misleading, or in conflict with any existing license plate series issued.

I know it doesn't conflict because the site checked it. And I don't think it's any way offensive or misleading (how could a license plate mislead ?).

There doesn't seem to be any possibility of appeal. Do I have to sue them ? And who would be best to contact ? ACLU ?


You could contact the ACLU, if you wanted to stir things up a bit, but, if you live in the BIBLE BELT like I do, I wouldn't DARE put anything like that ANYWHERE on my Truck, not even a Rainbow Sticker,unless I wanted to pick a FIGHT every time I went somewhere in my Truck, but since you happen to live in LIBERAL California, BTW (I use to live in SACRAMENTO 6 or 7 yrs ago)  I don't see a real problem with it, I also find it odd, that it was denied, but at least the DMV is offering a "Refund"  but you do understand, that if you accept that "refund" then you will have no-recourse to complain, just something to consider?
« Last Edit: September 07, 2008, 07:59:29 PM by denb45 »
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Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2008, 06:48:19 PM »
Hi,

You could contact the ACLU, if you wanted to stir things up a bit, but, if you live in the BIBLE BELT like I do, I wouldn't DARE put anything like that ANYWHERE on my Truck, not even a Rainbow Sticker,unless I wanted to pick a FIGHT every time I went somewhere in my Truck, but since you happen to live in LIBERAL California, BTW (I use to live in SACRAMENTO 6 or 7 yrs ago)  I don't see a real problem with it, I also find it odd, that it was denied, but at least the DMV is offering a "Refund"  but you do understand, that if you accept that "refund" then you will have no-recourse to complain, just something to consider?

I am puzzled by the denial given where I live also.

The DMV is not giving me a choice of taking the refund or not. The letter also states that the fee will go back to my credit card within sixty days.

Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2008, 06:50:52 PM »
I remember I wore the "Nobody Knows I am Gay" t-shirt back to school when I was 17..

I am surely not ready to do it now but I figure you can make your own tee that says something along that line.

Yes you could. I don't like to wear the same t-shirt every day, though. I do drive the same car every day though.

Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2008, 07:00:26 PM »
Hi,

What about the person who wants HIVLIES or HIVCURE or somesuch? I rather see the point in the rejection, actually. Open the door, the crazies walk in.

As far as those plates, I'm not sure about the first one you listed (it doesn't make sense, but I don't think it's offensive), but I certainly wouldn't see anything wrong with the second one.

Quote
Won't a red ribbon on your car or a bumper sticker be sufficient?

 At the very least, it will give you some memorable, if lengthy, moments in rural areas with the local populations and police.

Different ribbons get used for so many things. Not everybody knows what a red ribbon means. So no, I don't really think it would get the message accross.
I have never really been a fan of bumper stickers for some reason.
And neither of them accomplishes the goal of helping the environment.

Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2008, 07:01:18 PM »
why don't you go to the local newspapers?  That usually stirs things up.

I'm thinking about it. But first I'm trying to find out which of the 3 reasons listed in the letter the DMV denied me for, since they didn't specify. I have been on hold with the DMV for a while and so far no luck.


Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2008, 07:09:17 PM »
Maybe they fear for your safety - like they don't want you to become a magnet for gay bashers or something

Well, a plate with the word HIV in it doesn't necessarily mean I am gay. The plate I chose did not actually imply that.

Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2008, 07:12:38 PM »
Sounds to me the someone at the DMV made a judgement call  .
If you really want the plate why not just apply again , chances are the person that rejected it the first time around wont be involved this time .

Well, the letter has a 3-digit case ID associated with the plate name so I bet it would come back to them. I didn't try to reapply yet, not until I figure out their exact reasons.

Offline denb45

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2008, 08:02:55 PM »
Well, the letter has a 3-digit case ID associated with the plate name so I bet it would come back to them. I didn't try to reapply yet, not until I figure out their exact reasons.


I doubt the DMV will ever tell you why? I'd be very supprized if they did, cuz you could sue them, so, I sure don't think the DMV is that dumb  ??? but then again, it's a State Govt. Agency, so, maybe they are?  ::) that would be better for you (if they were) only if you really wanted to push-the-issue.............
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 08:07:28 PM by denb45 »
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Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2008, 08:14:11 PM »
I doubt the DMV will ever tell you why? I'd be very supprized if they did, cuz you could sue them, so, I sure don't think the DMV is that dumb  ??? but then again, it's a State Govt. Agency, so, maybe they are?  ::) that would be better for you (if they were) only if you really wanted to push-the-issue.............

Well, they listed 3 reasons in the letter (offensive, misleading, conflicting), all I want them to tell me is exactly which one of the 3 it is that I was denied for. If it's one the first two, I'm not asking for the whole reasoning about why it might be offensive or misleading, I don't expect them to tell me that. But it would determine what my next course of action is - try to sue them about this plate, or apply for another one.

I was on hold with the DMV for about 1/2 hour and just hung up on without ever being able to talk to anyone . Business as usual for the DMV .

Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2008, 08:56:30 PM »
Well, the letter has a 3-digit case ID associated with the plate name so I bet it would come back to them. I didn't try to reapply yet, not until I figure out their exact reasons.


I just checked on the DMV web site and the plate I chose is now listed as "unavailable". So clearly they have reserved it permanently after denying me and it's not possible for me to apply again for the same plate. Other plate combinations with HIV still appear to be available.


Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2008, 09:10:18 PM »
Well, a plate with the word HIV in it doesn't necessarily mean I am gay. 


yeah well, we certainly know that 'round here. ..but you know how the general public loves to assume.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2008, 08:51:32 AM »
Here's a thought, instead of tilting at windmills over a vanity plate and the DMV. Why not slap a Honk If You Have HIV   bumper sticker on your car and donate the time, energy and money you're wasting to a worthy HIV related cause?

Offline woodshere

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2008, 02:22:16 PM »
While I admire your willingness to be so open about your status, I wonder if there might not be a better way.  I think one needs to choose their battles wisely and is a stink over a license worth it. Just a thought could you have a special license plate holder made to accomplish the same thing?
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2008, 03:25:49 PM »
Here's a thought, instead of tilting at windmills over a vanity plate and the DMV. Why not slap a Honk If You Have HIV   bumper sticker on your car and donate the time, energy and money you're wasting to a worthy HIV related cause?

As I said, I don't like bumper stickers. And I wouldn't want anyone to honk at me for any non-traffic releated reason.

I have already given thousands of dollars to HIV related causes. I don't think it's exclusive of having the license plate I want.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2008, 03:48:35 PM »
And I wouldn't want anyone to honk at me for any non-traffic releated reason.


Huh?  Are we to believe that they wouldn't "honk" with this license plate?  I don't get that one.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline denb45

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2008, 05:21:37 PM »
Huh?  Are we to believe that they wouldn't "honk" with this license plate?  I don't get that one.

Oh they would honk (where I live) they would also follow you, and BASH you to  ??? depends on where you live, is what they might do to you........
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Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #30 on: September 09, 2008, 05:27:59 PM »
Have you posted the actual plate number you asked for?  If so I missed it.

Perhaps there is an alternate reading that you hasn't occurred to you that someone else would spot if you posted it?
Hi,

As far as those plates, I'm not sure about the first one you listed (it doesn't make sense, but I don't think it's offensive), but I certainly wouldn't see anything wrong with the second one.

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Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2008, 07:01:23 PM »
Have you posted the actual plate number you asked for?  If so I missed it.

Perhaps there is an alternate reading that you hasn't occurred to you that someone else would spot if you posted it?

No, I did not post the full plate here. I have contacted the local newspaper though, and they told me they are interested in doing a story.

Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #32 on: September 09, 2008, 07:03:33 PM »
Huh?  Are we to believe that they wouldn't "honk" with this license plate?  I don't get that one.

I wouldn't expect it, but I will report on it when I finally get my plate.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2008, 07:12:52 PM »
I wouldn't expect it, but I will report on it when I finally get my plate.


Let me get this straight.  An HIV bumper sticker would elicit "honks" but an HIV license plate would not?  That's what you're trying to express in this thread, correct?
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline denb45

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2008, 07:16:13 PM »
Let me get this straight.  An HIV bumper sticker would elicit "honks" but an HIV license plate would not?  That's what you're trying to express in this thread, correct?

ROFLOL  ;D
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Offline AlanBama

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2008, 09:52:35 PM »
m.b.

I think you totally missed the point JK is trying to make.  I agree with him 100%.

The examples he tried to give you were what someone who might be a HIV denialist might ask for on a tag.....so you can see how it could be dangerous.

I'm all for people who can be totally out with their status, but I must admit, I have NO IDEA why you would want it on a license plate.  (but I'm with Philly here, I like just the numbers and think 'vanity' plates are absurb; most of them are nonsense to most people anyway)
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Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #36 on: September 09, 2008, 10:02:47 PM »
Let me get this straight.  An HIV bumper sticker would elicit "honks" but an HIV license plate would not?  That's what you're trying to express in this thread, correct?

A bumper sticker that says "honk at me if you have HIV", as suggested, yeah, I would expect it might generate honks.

Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #37 on: September 09, 2008, 10:07:19 PM »
Well, I just got a phone call from the San Jose Mercury News. They will run a story about my plate, I'm not sure which day this week.

Good news - the paper was able to sort things with the DMV. The writer told me on the phone that it was an error from an inexperienced DMV clerk. The DMV letter is going to be rescinded, and I will be getting my plate after all.

Online Jeff G

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2008, 10:09:52 PM »
Congrats madbrain , HIV high fives all around .

Offline AlanBama

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #39 on: September 09, 2008, 10:39:56 PM »
Well congratulations I guess.....

Please tell me you didn't get "HIV ROCKS"......cause it doesn't.
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Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #40 on: September 09, 2008, 11:23:36 PM »
A bumper sticker that says "honk at me if you have HIV", as suggested, yeah, I would expect it might generate honks.


Hard to have a discussion if you insist on being willfully obtuse.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2008, 06:08:13 AM »
Well congratulations I guess.....

Please tell me you didn't get "HIV ROCKS"......cause it doesn't.

No, I did not, I got something more positive than that.

The article is up, at http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_10422911?nclick_check=1

Offline Basquo

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2008, 08:04:28 AM »
Good for you for not backing down, and thanks for sharing your experience.

Offline Peter Staley

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2008, 09:09:22 AM »
Cool story.  I couldn't get the link to work at first, and think this one might work better:

http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_10422911

Bravo on this stigma-busting effort.  I've told the POZ.com folks about this, so they might just post their own story about it.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2008, 09:24:29 AM »
Good story! I hope you hit the national and international newswires. May I offer a headline to Poz.com (in keeping with their usual light, word play style)?

Licensed to Thrive

Offline David_CA

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #45 on: September 10, 2008, 09:54:47 AM »
Good news - the paper was able to sort things with the DMV. The writer told me on the phone that it was an error from an inexperienced DMV clerk. The DMV letter is going to be rescinded, and I will be getting my plate after all.


That part I don't believe.  Always blame it on the 'new guy'.  Congrats on getting it, though.  (make sure you have good insurance coverage on your car, though!  ;)  )
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Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #46 on: September 10, 2008, 04:46:39 PM »
Thanks Peter !

I just did a TV interview for CBS5 also . It will be on the 6pm news in the bay area.

Cool story.  I couldn't get the link to work at first, and think this one might work better:

http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_10422911

Bravo on this stigma-busting effort.  I've told the POZ.com folks about this, so they might just post their own story about it.

Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #47 on: September 10, 2008, 04:47:35 PM »
That part I don't believe.  Always blame it on the 'new guy'.  Congrats on getting it, though.  (make sure you have good insurance coverage on your car, though!  ;)  )

Yeah, I don't know if I believe it either, but I'm happy to be getting my plate.
And I do have full coverage, and an umbrella policy on top of it even.

Offline MOONLIGHT1114

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #48 on: September 10, 2008, 09:09:43 PM »
Just saw the headline on the homepage here.  Congrats on getting your plates and not giving up.  :)
HIV+ since '93, 1/12 - CD4 785 and undet.   WOO-HOO!!

Offline madbrain

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Re: CA DMV rejecting HIV license plate
« Reply #49 on: September 10, 2008, 09:13:09 PM »
Just saw the headline on the homepage here.  Congrats on getting your plates and not giving up.  :)

Thanks !

 


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