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PASS AB 516: Temporary License Plate Program

This petition had 757 supporters

On August 17, 2013, Michael Bonanomi, a wonderful and amazing friend, brother and son, was killed by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the street in Los Angeles. The person who hit and killed him simply sped away. While there were five witnesses and several surveillance videos of Michael’s tragic death, none were able to identify the car that killed Michael because it had only temporary dealership paper plates. Quite simply, if a license plate had been on the car, the person that killed Michael and cowardly drove away would have been caught.

California is the only state in the nation that allows cars to drive without a license plate on their vehicle for as long as 90 days. This poses a significant risk to public safety and is enabling unscrupulous motorists to evade tolls across the state. Each year, approximately 1.9 million new vehicles are purchased in California and driven out of the dealership without a license plate. Over 100,000 used vehicles are also sold by independent dealers without plates. A permanent license plate is usually mailed to the registered owner within about three weeks, but sometimes can take months. While plates are legally required to be installed “upon receipt” or within 90 days, whichever is sooner, many vehicle owners drive their vehicles without plates for months, some for years. And law enforcement can’t even tell when plates are required to be on the car so enforcement is extremely difficult. The status quo undermines public safety, allowing motorists to avoid detection in criminal activity, traffic and toll violations. From 2013-2014, California had a loss of at least fifteen million dollars in toll violations. 

Assembly Bill 516 (Mullin), introduced in February 2015, would require all cars sold by a new or used car dealer to leave the lot with a temporary license plate that includes a unique license number. Assembly Bill 516 requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to establish a temporary license plate program, similar to that in effect in over a dozen states, so that all vehicles sold in California receive a temporary license plate at the point of sale. The bill would prevent cars without permanent license plates from escaping hit-and-run crimes and accidents and make it easier to identify cars involved in abductions, leading to more effective Amber Alerts. The bill would also allow police and highway patrol officers to run a car’s temporary license plate number when pulling a car over, and to know whether the driver of the vehicle presents a risk to them. 

There is no reasonable opposition to AB 516. The improved public safety and increased revenue to California vastly outweighs the negligible cost and effort to implement the program. As a result, the cost of each temporary license plate will be minimal, and dealers will merely be required to include the temporary license plate number with the registration information they already send to the DMW when they sell a car. This system can be implemented using “off the shelf” technology that simply requires dealers to have an internet connection and a printer. California is one of few states that do not require temporary license plates. AB 516 will remedy that. To learn more about AB 516, please go to:

To show your support for AB 516 and tell the California legislature how important it is that the bill pass:

1. Sign the petition;
2. Pass the petition on to someone else; and
3. When you sign the petition, please share why this bill is important to you.

AB 516 will not bring back Michael or catch his killer, but it will stop other drivers in the future from cowardly running from the scene of an accident.


Today: Ann is counting on you

Ann Frederick needs your help with “The California State Assembly and Senate: PASS AB 516: Temporary License Plate Program”. Join Ann and 756 supporters today.