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Old 3rd September 2014, 11:43   #1
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Default Shocked! Another car with my number!

Here is how it happened:

I am cruising along ORR near the Bangalore University when I come up behind this white ford fiesta driving sedately. The first thing I notice about this car is the number: KA02 MF681.

My thoughts: Oh look! Another number similar to mine. Wait... Duh! it is the SAME as mine!

This is when horror set in. I was shocked to say the least. Myriad thoughts run through my mind: How can another car have the same number as mine? Did the RTO make a mistake? Is this a stolen car with a fake number plate? Is this a mafia don pulling the number plate switcheroo like in the movies? What if he is a drug dealer or a gangster?

Amidst all these thoughts, I realize that I need to record this scene as evidence - I pull out my mobile phone and take a pic (disclaimer: using the mobile phone to take pictures while driving is hazardous and illegal). Here is the pic.
Shocked! Another car with my number!-noplate.jpg

A close-up of the number plate on the Fiesta
Name:  FiestaCar.jpg
Views: 39359
Size:  28.9 KB

A close-up of my number plate
Shocked! Another car with my number!-mynoplate.jpg

Now, my next thoughts - what should my immediate actions be? Should I stop him and question him? What if he pulls out a gun - after all he could be a gangster right?

I then remember that there is usually an interceptor a kilometer from where we are. I speed ahead hoping for once that the interceptor is there and I can make them stop this vehicle and deal with any resulting guns or goons. While overtaking, I peek into the car - I see a single person driving the car while speaking on the phone - that explains the sedate driving - but he still could be the gangster talking to his mob.

I speed ahead. Unfortunately, no interceptor! Where is the police when you need them?

With no recourse to law enforcement, I steel myself to stop the white Fiesta. I coast gently in front of him and apply brakes so that he cannot "escape". I get out of my car and ask him to lower his window. He is smiling! I ask him what his car regn number is. He appears nonplussed, but replies "KA02MF6813".

I tell him that his car has my number (KA02MF681) instead and ask him to come take a look. We together go to the back of his car. We discover that the last 3 has been washed off and someone has industriously cleaned it to remove all traces of the last "3". I see the front number plate of his car and even that has the 3 partially washed away.

I show him my car and tell him that both of us could get into trouble - I request him to get the number corrected. He assures me he will - he seemed a normal guy and this could actually be a genuine mistake. What an anti-climax! (Thank God!) Anyway, I tell him again to get it corrected and move on.

Now, although the situation turned out to be better than my wild imagination, it is still a cause of concern for me that there is a car running around on the road my number on it - atleast till the owner decides to get the number plate corrected.

A few questions here to all fellow bhpians:
- What recourse do I have at this point - can I complain to the BTP to enforce a number plate correction
- where can I get more details about this vehicle in case I need it at a later point?
- What course of action is most recommended at this point?
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Old 3rd September 2014, 11:57   #2
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Default Re: Shocked! Another car with my number!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamikaze View Post
With no recourse to law enforcement, I steel myself to stop the white Fiesta. I coast gently in front of him and apply brakes so that he cannot "escape". I get out of my car and ask him to lower his window. He is smiling! I ask him what his car regn number is. He appears nonplussed, but replies "KA02MF6813".

I tell him that his car has my number (KA02MF681) instead and ask him to come take a look. We together go to the back of his car. We discover that the last 3 has been washed off and someone has industriously cleaned it to remove all traces of the last "3". I see the front number plate of his car and even that has the 3 partially washed away.
Even though i do not support your actions (stopping an unknown car in that fashion could prove dangerous!), I think you should have been more stern to the offender here.

Any traffic violations by him could fall on your head, while he can simply escape telling its a mistake.
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Old 3rd September 2014, 12:01   #3
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Default Re: Shocked! Another car with my number!

Since someone has taken the pains to clean off the last digit on both the front and rear number plates, it could be a case of taking the law for a ride. Among the oldest of tricks, where someone else pays for your thrills.
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Old 3rd September 2014, 12:02   #4
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Default Re: Shocked! Another car with my number!

Precisely the reason why many states in North India issue numbers as '0681' and not just '681'.
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Old 3rd September 2014, 12:04   #5
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Default Re: Shocked! Another car with my number!

I appreciate your concern, but I feel this could happen with anyone. This is an incident where you could see a car with your number driving on the roads. But what if you had never found it out. As long as your papers are genuine and you are not part of any forgery or fake works, I don't think you should worry.
The Law is well aware of such things and I am sure a genuine person will be able to prove his innocence even if the Law catches hold of you rather than the real offender.
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Old 3rd September 2014, 12:04   #6
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Default Re: Shocked! Another car with my number!

I think it is best to inform the RTO about this in writing so that you have some evidence incase it is misused. I remember there was a thread where a traffic violation was committed in another city (with the same number) and the owner had to run around the courts. Let that not happen to you.
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Old 3rd September 2014, 12:08   #7
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Default Re: Shocked! Another car with my number!

My immediate thoughts when I read your number plate itself was that it is written wrong. It looks like you have an RTO authorised number plate, which surprises me even more.

Shouldnt it read KA 02 MF 0681? With the '0' (zero) in place.

In Chennai I have had cops pull me up for that as we used to have a single digit number for one of our previous cars and they refused to accept it and said it is always a 4 digit no and the zeros have to be in place.
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Old 3rd September 2014, 12:10   #8
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Default Re: Shocked! Another car with my number!

Quote:
Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
Since someone has taken the pains to clean off the last digit on both the front and rear number plates, it could be a case of taking the law for a ride. Among the oldest of tricks, where someone else pays for your thrills.
Exactly - There can be an honest mistake but peeling off both the '3's and a mistake does not sound accidental. It is better to inform the RTO with the photographs.
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Old 3rd September 2014, 12:10   #9
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Default Re: Shocked! Another car with my number!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8guzzler View Post
I think it is best to inform the RTO about this in writing so that you have some evidence incase it is misused..
+1 to this, go to the concerned RTO (It is the same for both of you), submit a letter along with the photographs of the car, model and the place where you noticed this and try to get an acknowledgement that you have submitted a complaint. Did you manage to get the phone number of the person who was driving the Fiesta? If yes, provide that to the RTO too.
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Old 3rd September 2014, 12:11   #10
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Default Re: Shocked! Another car with my number!

^^ guys, for every offence recorded (eg. speeding, red light jumping) you get a pic of the car performing the violation; I have a friend in the Motor Vehicle Department who is a MVI here in Trivandrum and he told me that before the challan is sent to the customer a lot of verification happens.

If this other guy gets challaned by a highway patrol/ interceptor he will be asked to produce the docs and at that time (hopefully) they will write a challan based on the docs, which will not be fabricated(again being hopeful). Even if it is wrongly challaned this does not go into their database against your vehicle, they have a very long list of pending data entry to do, so relax. Take it as a good joke and laugh it out.

Pramod

Last edited by pramodkumar : 3rd September 2014 at 12:13.
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Old 3rd September 2014, 12:12   #11
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Default Re: Shocked! Another car with my number!

I think in High Security Number plates, the digits cannot get tampered/ washed away like in normal plates. Am I right or even in HSNP, can this happen?
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Old 3rd September 2014, 12:14   #12
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Default Re: Shocked! Another car with my number!

I have another query. Do RTOs issue 3 digit numbers like 681? I have a feeling it is always either 0681 or 6810 and few people intentionally omit the 0 to look "cool and happening". Does your number has a 0 as prefix or suffix? It should have one of the two in which case your number plate is equally faulty and if it had that 0 then the 2 numbers are different regardless of whether the other driver's car had a 3 or not.

Last edited by drmohitg : 3rd September 2014 at 12:15.
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Old 3rd September 2014, 12:16   #13
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Default Re: Shocked! Another car with my number!

I think they do, My brothers old HH CBZ bike had the number 876 and this is how even the RC book had it.

Edit - This is again in Bangalore. So, the RTO here may be different from other places. Heck, we even have the 30 day rule for the outstation vehicles.

Last edited by dass : 3rd September 2014 at 12:17.
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Old 3rd September 2014, 12:16   #14
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Default Re: Shocked! Another car with my number!

Quote:
Originally Posted by virgopal View Post
I think in High Security Number plates, the digits cannot get tampered/ washed away like in normal plates. Am I right or even in HSNP, can this happen?
In high security plates the digits are engraved unlike those radium cut out numbers just pasted on plastic. In case the radium falls off, still the engraving is present in high security number plates which reduces the chances of duplication.

Secondly, there is code embossed on high security plates which eliminate all the chances of duplication.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
I have another query. Do RTOs issue 3 digit numbers like 681? I have a feeling it is always either 0681 or 6810 and few people intentionally omit the 0 to look "cool and happening".
In Mumbai I have seen number of cars with 3 digit registration numbers. Even high end luxury cars over there have 2 & 3 digit numbers.

Thanks

Last edited by ad3952n : 3rd September 2014 at 12:20. Reason: multi quote
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Old 3rd September 2014, 12:17   #15
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Default Re: Shocked! Another car with my number!

On a different note, I heard someone saying that some outside cars are using local number to escape much talked RTO tax checks in Bangalore. I don't know if the news is genuine but possible.

Another reason to worry!
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