The undistinguished member

Sally Kern’s minivan has license plate “H 84.” This is not some sort of Wicked Disclosure I’m making; that’s the way this state identifies vehicles belonging to state legislators, “H 1” through “H 101” and “S 1” through “S 48.” Whether these plates are intended to ratify some sort of legislative immunity while in transit, I couldn’t say.

Colorado legislators, on the other hand, enjoy a slightly different approach:

According to CBS Denver, the info for these particular license plates is never entered into the DMV database, so when some state senator goes zooming by a speed camera, he or she won’t get a ticket, because the camera system looks up the license plate number through the DMV. Since no info comes up, no ticket is given.

This appears to be true for parking tickets as well. See, even though a parking enforcement officer might leave a ticket on the car, cities like Denver that rely on the DMV for addresses of vehicle owners come up empty when they try to collect on those tickets.

And for all I know, Rep. Kern may have traded off that minivan by now, but the last time I saw her on the road, that’s what she was driving, and the plate would be transferable to a new vehicle. (Which is the opposite of the usual Oklahoma law, which requires that the tag stay with the car when it’s sold.)


  1. Mark Alger »

    5 August 2013 · 11:06 am

    That Colorado story sounds bogus and here’s why: Wouldn’t the LE system, confronted with an apparently invalid plate, cause the nearest officer to pursue (or the parking officer tow)? Rather than giving legislators a pass, it seems it would let them in for extra hassles.

    Yes, I did say that like it was a bad thing. But you know I’m just funning.


  2. CGHill »

    5 August 2013 · 11:34 am

    Were I the new kid on the force, I’d certainly ask that. But I suspect this is drilled into them before they ever write their first ticket.

  3. stixx23 »

    6 August 2013 · 12:00 am

    I believe OK state lawmakers get two plates. Which is why if you’re ever in downtown Norman, you can sometimes see two cars parked side-by-side with H 45 license plates.

  4. CGHill »

    6 August 2013 · 7:25 am

    Seems logical. I don’t go looking for these guys, but paying attention might not be a bad idea right about now (I keep telling myself).

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