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Baja plates no hindrance for CHP

Image by Rick Geary

Heymatt:

Every day I see cars here in San Diego with Baja California license plates. I was wondering if our cops can run the plates on cars that are registered in Mexico or if those vehicles were essentially “off the grid” in regards to the Highway Patrol and other law-enforcement agencies. Like, if someone stole a car and then threw a set of Mexican plates on it, could it be hidden in plain sight that way?

— Pat, Del Cerro

The Highway Patrol can’t run Mexican plates like they can for cars registered in the United States. They have to get in touch with the Mexican authorities (and they have a Mexican liaison unit for just such a purpose) in order to acquire DMV-type records for cars with Baja license plates. Of course, that doesn’t mean throwing a set of Baja license plates onto a stolen car is effective camouflage.

Let’s say a CHP officer is cruising along the freeway and he sees a car that matches the description of a stolen vehicle, the only difference being a set of Mexican tags. All he has to do is pull the driver over and run the vehicle identification number through the DMV databases and that will bring up records of the vehicle’s past registrations. If it turns out that the suspect vehicle used to be registered to the person who just reported it stolen, then it’s time to get the cuffs out and all the tricky Baja license plates in the world won’t help.

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Image by Rick Geary

Heymatt:

Every day I see cars here in San Diego with Baja California license plates. I was wondering if our cops can run the plates on cars that are registered in Mexico or if those vehicles were essentially “off the grid” in regards to the Highway Patrol and other law-enforcement agencies. Like, if someone stole a car and then threw a set of Mexican plates on it, could it be hidden in plain sight that way?

— Pat, Del Cerro

The Highway Patrol can’t run Mexican plates like they can for cars registered in the United States. They have to get in touch with the Mexican authorities (and they have a Mexican liaison unit for just such a purpose) in order to acquire DMV-type records for cars with Baja license plates. Of course, that doesn’t mean throwing a set of Baja license plates onto a stolen car is effective camouflage.

Let’s say a CHP officer is cruising along the freeway and he sees a car that matches the description of a stolen vehicle, the only difference being a set of Mexican tags. All he has to do is pull the driver over and run the vehicle identification number through the DMV databases and that will bring up records of the vehicle’s past registrations. If it turns out that the suspect vehicle used to be registered to the person who just reported it stolen, then it’s time to get the cuffs out and all the tricky Baja license plates in the world won’t help.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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