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Has your licence plate sticker been stolen?
A reader writes: Yet another dirty trick foisted on legitimate drivers
While my car was in to have the front brakes renewed on Friday March 27th, one of the mechanics commented that someone had stolen my licence plate sticker. When I asked what he was talking about, he took me to the back of the car to show me where someone had removed my newly applied February 2010 Ontario vehicle validation sticker.
Most of us simply clean off the surface of the previous sticker and put the new one on top of it. That way, all a thief has to do is to pry off the layered stack, clean up the back and glue your sticker onto their own license plate, or worse, sell it to someone else to apply it to theirs.
This simple theft allows them to avoid the need to bother about paying for an Emissions Test, paying the plate renewal fee of $74.00, or the new Toronto private vehicle tax (only in Toronto) and, by extension, probably drive uninsured. Next year they will simply repeat the process with another stolen sticker.
Unless these drivers are stopped by the police for some reason and the ownership validation sticker number is checked against the number on the sticker on the license plate, they may well get away with it for years.
On Monday I went to the Ministry of Transportation to obtain my new sticker; the staff there indicated that this occurrence is quite common. The replacement cost for a new sticker was $7.00. Once again the victim takes the hit.
This time, I scraped the sticker location on my licence plate completely clean of old stickers, washed the site with lighter fluid, and then applied the new sticker and rubbed it down well.
The lady that served me at the Ministry indicated that once the site is cleaned off and the new sticker is applied and well rubbed down, you can take a sharp Exacto knife or something similar and very carefully score lines vertically and horizontally across the sticker. This guarantees that it can only be removed in small, useless pieces.
This tip came from a customer who had been hit with the same problem as mine. My new sticker is now in place and well scored. Incidentally, as the licence plate is aluminum, there is no risk of rusting due to the scoring.
Whenever you replace your validation sticker, my advice is to completely remove all traces of the old sticker(s) and follow the process above. At least then the thieves will give up, or possibly try to steal someone else's sticker, not yours.
Note: While this happened in Toronto , it could happen anywhere in the province -- or for that matter, anywhere that uses a similar licence plate validation sticker.
CarTest.ca. Posted April 27, 2009. Submitted by Mark Baker, Toronto.