“Foreign Organization” plates in California

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/09/foreignorganizatioon-thumb.jpgI’ve been licensed to drive in California since 1990, put probably close to 300,000 miles on various cars, and I swear, I’d never seen one of these until this week in Silver Lake.

What the hell is a “foreign organization”? The California Motor Vehicle code is a little vague.

Anyone know of an organization in L.A. that flies these?

8 Replies to ““Foreign Organization” plates in California”

  1. Those are usually reserved for diplomatic corps. Getting hit by them is usually OK as the state is nicely self insured.
    Don’t get hit by a car with CA Diplomatic plates. You are totally screwed as a few have in the past had no insurance on the blasted things and created claims nightmares. They claim diplomatic immunity and hide from their responsibility. Arghh…I hated claims with them almost as the ones with Disney and Scientology.

  2. oopsy…the diplomatic corp plates are issued to groups that the state felt could prove were legit they were nicely insured, not that the state insured them.

  3. Come on people…anybody ever heard of Google?

    It is a nice little site that helps you find the CA DMV, which gets you this:

    Foreign Organization Special License Plates

    5006.5. (a) The department may issue, for a fee determined by the department to be sufficient to reimburse the department for actual costs incurred pursuant to this section, distinctive license plates for motor vehicles owned or leased by an officer or a designated employee of a foreign organization recognized by the United States pursuant to the Taiwan Relations Act (22 U.S.C. Sec. 3301 et seq.) when the department is otherwise satisfied that the issuance of the license plates is in order.

  4. Hi, Tracon – I actually linked to that from the post already.

    As I say, it’s a little vague: Sure, it refers to a Taiwanese organization, but what does “organization” mean? Is it an NGO? A trade union? A super-secret cabal of bankers? A soccer team? Just sayin’.

  5. Based on the Taiwan Recognition Act (yes, somebody actually reads these things) it would seem that since the US does not formally recognize Taiwan, this plate is akin to an “unofficial” diplomatic corps.

    The US “de-recognized” (I love that government-ese) Taiwan in 1979 but still maintains relations. These plates most likely are there to keep our Taipei friends happy and not offend our Beijing friends.

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