I dropped a license plate and didn’t even realize it…

3 minute read

September 13, 2004, 12:27 AM

Seems that on Saturday, I dropped a license plate! When I left for work today, I noticed that my front bumper was bare. I look at it, and I’m thinking, oh, crap, no license plate. I’m also figuring out when I can go to DMV to get my missing license plate replaced. Then my thought process changed to figuring out when it fell away, and whereabouts it would be. I didn’t hear anything that sounded like a metallic object falling off the front of the car on my way home from work, though. And it would have had to have been at least then, since I had my license plate when I left on Saturday.

So being unsure of where my license plate fell away, and being pretty sure it wasn’t malice (I’d had to reattach the license plate once before), as I was driving to work, I was not only looking where I was going, but also scanning the sides of the road on the side I take for my return trip (US 340 is a divided highway most of the way to Waynesboro). I usually ride the left lane, so if it fell away on 340, it should be readily visible from the other lanes.

My assumptions for this quick search (object staying on the left side, and possibly being off the road after falling off of a moving vehicle at 55 mph) were probably wrong anyway, but regardless, the plate was not found, and as it turned out, I didn’t drop the plate on the road anyway. As it turned out, the plate had already fallen off by the time my van was in the area I looked in.

By the time I got to work, I figured the license plate must be at work, and thought about checking our lost-and-found to see if anyone had turned in a license plate with a derivative of “Schumin Web” on it. I also figured I’d quickly check where I’d parked the day before to see if it was there.

So guess where I found my license plate.

My license plate had fallen off of the car when I went to park on Saturday. I found it on the ground, just in front of the parking space (I park in a side space, so there’s dirt and grass in front of it, where the plate was sitting). So I parked in that space again, and, realizing how my car was parked relative to where the plate was sitting, figured out how I jarred it loose. Look:

How I dropped the license plate

As you can see, the parking space is at a downward slant, and the bumper completely clears the curb. However, the license plate (not shown), since it hung down lower than the rest of the bumper, got knocked loose.

So after I found it, I put it back in the car for safekeeping.

I also had a number of people at work comment to me that they saw a license plate in the parking lot, and that it looked like it might be mine. There were big giveaways that it was my plate. First of all, the plate itself is a variant of “Schumin Web”. And if you missed that, the license plate frame gives it away. My license plate frame has my logo on the top part, and my URL on the bottom in large letters. Still, I thanked those concerned, and told them that I recovered my license plate.

Now it’s just a matter of making sure it won’t come loose again. That’s the trick. I figure the holes where they are now, drilled when the bumper was installed in 1997 (the van received new bumpers after a major accident that year), are officially unusable, as three license plate replacements have stripped them. We went from the AAG-1118 plate that we got when we moved to Virginia to the “CITY PLZ” plate that I got in 1998. Then this past April, for all of one day, the car wore cardboard “Multi-Use” tags after I got ownership of the van and therefore had to replace the plates. Then the next day after I put on the multi-use tags (it figures), my current plates showed up in the mail, and so I affixed them to the car. So I figure the holes are probably stripped, especially after my birdbrained attempts to make them go in. So I’ll probably need to make new holes for the license plate. Probably an inch to the left or right, to cover the old holes and keep the plate in place with new ones. Plus possibly up to keep them from falling off again.

And so there you go. I dropped a license plate. But I have it again.

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Categories: Toyota Previa