The Truth Behind Steve Jobs' Missing Licence Plate - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-28-2011, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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The Truth Behind Steve Jobs' Missing Licence Plate

A few weeks ago, we told you about the mystery surrounding the missing license plate on Steve Jobs' silver Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG. Was it a payoff to the cops? Did he have a permit to drive plateless? It turns out he just wanted to be "different."

iTWire had the chance to talk with Jon Callas, the CTO of Entrust, who had worked at Apple in various senior security roles. And according to Callas, Jobs had found a loophole in California vehicle laws that allowed him to legally and permanently drive without a licence plate.

Taking the Apple motto of "Think Differently" to the roads, Jobs learned that a new car can drive without a licence plate for a maximum of six months. Jobs made a deal with the leasing company: he would swap his old car for a new one during the sixth month of the lease. Jobs always got identical silver Mercedes SL55 AMGs, so one would have to have a very keen eye to be able to spot the differences. This meant that Jobs never owned a particular SL55 AMG for longer than six months, therefore he never had to put a licence plate on it.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 03:45 AM
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So what did he do for 2008 and later years? Did he have SL63s or did he lease used SL55s? Or is this an old picture and he stopped when there were no more SL55s?

You still have to pay the DMV fees at the time of lease and so he had to pay twice instead of once a year. Leasing once a year makes more sense. And when the plates do come from the DMV (usually takes 4-8 weeks) you are obligated by CA law to put them on the car. The law only says that you have up to 6 months unless you receive the plates sooner.

I doubt this is really an answer but simply something this Callas person thought was reasonable and so it ended up going viral. Another urban myth.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 04:21 PM
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It's not uncommon in CA to run paper tags and no plates for over a year. People do it all the time here, it's easy to do on a late model/current gen/shiny newish looking car. For those that don't get pulled over on a regular basis for moving violations, it's no big deal. Worse case scenario in CA is a fix-it ticket, which can be signed of by officer once the plates are installed.

I ran my 2008 C300 for over 12 months with no front plate and a rear paper plate (plus small registration paper folded and taped inside at bottom of windshield.). 6 months into ownership my wife was pulled over for speeding in the Benz, no fix-it ticket was given, the cop didn't think to ask how old the car was or how long the car had gone without plates.


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