Got a ticket for no plates and registration

Got a ticket for no plates and registration

We bought a used Tesla Model S just last week from Tesla Inc. This is our second Model S - the first one we had gotten new in 2013, which we sold off last month.

As is typical when buying a used vehicle from a dealer, we got a temporary identification (used vehicle dealer notice) that was affixed on the windshield.

My wife was driving and the cop stopped her for some right turn she was not supposed to take. Apart from her improper right turn, he tacked on two more violations on the ticket:
- Driving without a license plate
- Driving without a registration

It's funny - the temporary dealer notice clearly says on the back that vehicles displaying this may be operated without license plate or registration. The ticket was given in Fremont - right where Tesla headquarters is. The cop of course saw the temporary notice, took it with him, and still came back and gave her the ticket for not having a plate and registration. He said the vehicle shows a 2015 registration and that tags were issued for the vehicle which expired in May, 2018, and hence the ticket. My wife tried to explain to him that this is a used vehicle purchase from Tesla, and that temporary notice shows that - but the cop was adamant that since the vehicle was already registered, we should have the license and registration for it.

Not sure if Tesla didn't file all the proper paperwork with DMV when we bought the vehicle, or cop was not fair to us. Did anyone had a similar experience after purchasing a used Tesla from Tesla Inc., and if so, how did you end up resolving this? He also mentioned that the fine for driving without license plates is >$2K. I should mention the violation is marked as "correctable" on the ticket. So I am assuming that when the real license plates and registration paper arrive, we can take it to court and get those violations taken off the ticket.

lilbean | 14 augusti 2018

Was she nice to the officer?

sanjaysingh | 14 augusti 2018

Yes, she was.

cmalinowski | 15 augusti 2018

Call Tesla and get them to help sort this out. They should have paperwork somewhere. Maybe your owner advocate can help. I am new to this whole tesla thing--Our first tesla (Model S) is coming at the end of September. Anyway, our OA and the rest of the team seem to be very helpful here in MD. Not sure if that's the case everywhere, or whether it will continue. I'm hoping it will. Good service is one of the reasons I use or purchase from a company.

Good luck.


FactDoc | 15 augusti 2018

Wow, what a waste of time for you guys for something that should have never happened in the first place

rxlawdude | 15 augusti 2018

That sounds like a total BS traffic stop. Cop must not have had his morning donut.

If there's no license plate, the only way the cop would determine it was previously registered would be from the VIN. However, in California, it is COMMON for used vehicles to be sold without a plate (for example, if the plate was a personalized one from the prior owner) and the temporary registration document must be honored by law enforcement.

Too bad about the illegal turn. If you do go to court, an understanding hearing officer (they rarely are "judges" in traffic court) may also dismiss the moving violation.

carlk | 15 augusti 2018

A couple months ago a cop, not a CHP probably Santa Clara county sheriff, pulled me over on I280 and told me he saw me cutting in and out of lanes twice and going at 90 mph. He said each of these three violations could get my license suspended. After checking my drivers license, registration and insurance on his computer while I was sitting there trying to figure out what to do nest he came back and said I'm going to give you a verbal warning this time. Thank you very much officer and have a great day. Sometime luck does have a lot to do with it. All stars were aligned at that very moment.

COrich | 16 augusti 2018

I had a similar problem with a officer wanting to ticket me for not having a front and rear plates at the supercharger in Rancho Cucamonga. I was visiting from CO and still had the temporary Colorado tag on the rear of the vehicle. He told me that I still needed 2 plates, but let me go with just a warning. There seems to be a problem with trained cops in CA.

rxlawdude | 16 augusti 2018

If only CHP would be so diligent in weeding out HOV lane violators.

mustangsv | 17 augusti 2018

hi everybody. i did he same thing as an author (by the way this page is for you if you dont want to waste time in case if you are buying new auto or writing assighnments) and its good to know than i am not the only one person who did it

frankie | 17 augusti 2018

Those are both correctable violations. I assume your wife didn't have any of the other paperwork with her showing the recent purchase of the vehicle when she was stopped. Also in regards to other responses on here the officer probably did run the VIN to get the information on the vehicle. As you said the vehicle was just purchased by you guys. Chances are between the paper work going from Tesla to DMV and then being updated in the DMV system probably wasn't complete, which in turn only showed the older DMV vehicle information.

Aside from that just get the purchase paperwork together and once your plates arrive from DMV in a couple weeks contact any law enforcement officer and have them sign off the ticket. You will most likely have to pay a processing fee which shouldn't be more that $25-$50. After that when you find out the actual cost maybe Tesla can help you out, if not $50 is still much cheaper then the moving violation for the right turn and no points on her record, also much cheaper than driving school.

rxlawdude | 17 augusti 2018

@frankie, as the poster was totally within the law (had the temporary registration in the window), in my view he should not have to pay a penny. Not as a fine, not as a "processing fee." NFW.

Now, the moving violation is a totally separate issue, but it has nothing to do with the bogus "fixit" counts thrown in.

frankie | 17 augusti 2018

@rxlawdude the biggest issue is we only have the information provide and we were not there. Its possible that Tesla didnt put the new temporary reg in the window and it was old. Maybe the driver was rude to the officer. There are many things that could have or could not have happened. I agree that if everything was correct with the vehicle she should not have to pay anything. But in the officers defense maybe he gave her a fix it ticket instead of the moving violation. That would still show he is doing his job and enforcing traffic laws but also cut her a major break. a red light or stop sign ticket can cost up around $500 with traffic school and/or points on her driving record which would then effect her insurance.

All I am saying is $50 is not as bad as it could have been. Also remember she was originally stopped for a traffic violation and ended up with just a fix it ticket. I would take a fix it ticket any day over a moving violation.

rxlawdude | 17 augusti 2018

"As is typical when buying a used vehicle from a dealer, we got a temporary identification (used vehicle dealer notice) that was affixed on the windshield."
"Apart from her improper right turn, he tacked on two more violations on the ticket:
- Driving without a license plate
- Driving without a registration"

So the car was, if the OP is truthful (we must assume so), legally registered with the temporary registration displayed on the windshield.
And his wife WAS cited for the right turn violation.

So I stand by my statement that there is NFW the citation for the registration should cost OP a penny.

Of note, OP has never returned.

frankie | 17 augusti 2018

@rxlawdude I agree with you. And with re reading the statement if she was cited for the improper turn she shouldn't have any fee for the correctable violations. When she goes to court for the moving violation she will just have to show the court the paperwork and they should wave the correctable violations. And again if she had the correct paper work with here and in the window she shouldn't have been cited for the violations.

with that being said, there is more to the story no matter how you look at it. The paper work that the vehicle had was wrong, vehicle information was not in the DMV system at the time, or even possible the officer failed to do his job correctly. All we know is something occurred to end of with those violations.

The truth is, if the improper turn never happened she never would have been stopped.

On a side note everyone makes mistakes weather it is rolling though a stop sign running a red light etc. Lucky everyone was ok with the incident and it sucks she ended up with two violations that she shouldn't have.

nrechtman | 28 augusti 2018

I’d call and speak with his supervisors.

zippy | 28 augusti 2018

I would ask Tesla about this. If it's a paperwork error in their part they might eat the fixit ticket for you.

And remote possibility but as they're a major employer in Fremont, they might be able to persuade the local PD not to come down Navy Seal style on obviously recently purchased Teslas with dealer paperwork displayed.

lilbean | 28 augusti 2018

@frankie +1 on maybe she was rude

jimglas | 29 augusti 2018

@lilbean: Maybe she was not white

SCCRENDO | 29 augusti 2018

@jimglas. Clarify your statement. Was that a Trumpian dog-whistle?

lilbean | 29 augusti 2018

@jimglas I'm not sure if you were referring to the officer or the driver. Either way, I've been on the receiving end of racism by a police officer. It's truly horrible beyond words. That may be a good explanation as to why she was wrongly ticketed. In that case, it's deeply disturbing and truly heartbreaking. She needs to fight the ticket either way.

rxlawdude | 29 augusti 2018

She's SOL on the illegal turn, at least the odds are against her. The junk registration BS charges will be dismissed with prejudice.

Vegan | 19 december 2018

What's the update? Were you able to get it straightened out without paying the $2k? Did Tesla follow-through and help get the car registered?

rxlawdude | 19 december 2018

It's funny how these threads get started and the OPs just disappear.

Perhaps she was jailed for making an illegal turn. ;-)

sabbia | 20 december 2018

Sorry to interrupt. @rxlawdude can you come back on join us on "Climate Change Science is sound"? We have an odd poster floating around there, one "DarthAmerica." We can use your analytic skills.

allensasphalt | 20 december 2018

I have not received my registration papers tag runs out on 12.27.2018
I have not made a payment bank has no record

jimglas | 20 december 2018

I was close to running out. I called the SC and they overnighted new temp tags good for another 2 months.

rxlawdude | 20 december 2018

@sabbia, will check it out.