Home « Frequently Asked Questions
- Q. Do you ship internationally?
- A. No, I'm sorry but I no longer ship outside of the United States. I've had too many bad experiences, and appreciate you not even asking.
- Q. How soon do you ship after purchase?
I ship six days a week personally at the local post office via priority mail. Plates purchased by 1 pm (M-F) and before 9 am (Sat) ship that day under most circumstances. If for some reason they can't be mailed that day they will definitely be at the post office the next day.
I email a thank you note soon after purchase, then another email supplying tracking number and scheduled delivery date once mailed. My goal is to offer you THE BEST customer service in the license plate sales business, whether you're buying a $4 plate or a $400 plate. All my plates have been rinsed off, front and back, and will arrive inside a 3 mil plastic plate sleeve, then wrapped in newspaper. Cardboard is surrounding both ends of the plate and will arrive in a padded priority envelope which is taped up good. I take pride in packaging to assure you receive the contents the same way it left my hands.
- Q. Can I register your plates YOM in my state?
- A. Possibly. If you see a red sentence at the top of the page saying to check with your DMV first before purchasing, PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR DMV FIRST BEFORE PURCHASING TO SEE IF THE NUMBER IS CLEAR FOR REGISTERING. It's not a bad idea to check with your DMV even if you don't see the red sentence asking you to double check for YOM registering.
- Q. Are your plates authentic or reproductions?
All the plates for sale in my store are 100% authentic issued by the state. I will never deal in reproductions. Some of the older plates may have had work done to them, but these are clearly indicated in the listing. Some will be listed as amateur repaint, repainted, very nice repaint, touched up, re-lettered, older restoration etc and these plates were in this condition as I found them. Plates indicated as Restored were personally done by myself under TagDr.com. Plates that don't have any of the above descriptions are 100% original. Abbreviations such as TU (touched up), XH (extra hole), NOS (new old stock), EX (excellent condition), Natural (meaning only one year sticker seen on a multi year tag) and YOM (year of manufacture) will also be in the description of some Georgia tags when you click on the plate to enlarge the photo.
Another nice feature you'll notice when you reach my site is the green lock in the URL bar. TagDr.com is one of very few sites that sells plates that have this secure lock. Also, after a plate is purchased, it remains marked as Sold for a couple days before it is automatically deleted from the site. The only exception are the Featured Plates. They are removed immediately but are still visible on the individual state page indicated as Sold.
- Q. Are all your plates for sale Expired?
- A. YES. You will never find a plate on my site that still has "Time" left on it. I know eBay has a 3 year rule, .....dozens of sellers selling plates with hidden stickers expiring later this year and I've seen plenty that expire next year or even two years from now. I don't see a problem selling more recent EXPIRED tags on a private website. But anyone selling plates on eBay still valid is just plain stupid, besides being illegal in my opinion.
- Q. How up to date is the inventory in your store?
- A. About once a year I'll run into a situation where I just can't find a plate that still shows for sale in the store. But it is very rare. I do an inventory check every six months to make sure the plate(s) you select is/are here and ready to ship. Unlike many other sites that sell plates, you'll NEVER see a item with "Out of Stock" listed on it. The plates you purchase from me remain in the store for approximately one week with SOLD marked on them. Then the site automatically deletes them, keeping the inventory fresh. There's nothing more frustrating than looking for a certain tag, finding that tag, only to discover it's "Out of Stock". You won't experience that here.
- Q. Do you only take PayPal?
- A. I accept all major credit cards through PayPal even if you don't have a PayPal account. My store checkout is secure and I never see your personal credit card information. And no, you can't give me your CC info over the phone or through email. You need to use the cart and secure store checkout. If you prefer to send a check or money order, email me a list of the plates you're interested in and I'll mark them Sold from my end. Some checks may have a wait period to clear. IMPORTANT : I ONLY ACCEPT POSTAL MONEY ORDERS. (these can only be purchased at your local post office) A POSTAL MONEY ORDER insures immediate shipment once received.
- Q. Do you charge a handling fee in your postage?
- A. No. The shipping fee is what I pay at the post office. Note too that the USPS has had several rate increases recently that unfortunately I have to pass along. And don't forget that shipping is free on orders over $75. NOTE: I ship to the United States only, and sorry, NO International Shipping including Canada.
- Q. Ok, I received my plate but I'm not happy. Now what?
- A. I represent my plates in the photos/description as best I can. Do not hesitate to request additional pictures and/or information BEFORE your purchase. If you receive the plate and are not satisfied, return the plate within 3 days in the same condition you received it and I will issue a refund, less the shipping. Fortunately this rarely occurs. Note also that plates purchased with intentions of YOM that do not get accepted cannot be returned. I don't claim that they are eligible for YOM, so it's up to you to check BEFORE PURCHASE as stated all over my website. (Georgia is the only exception. I do guarantee the GA plates are good for YOM if so stated in the listing.)
- Q. Do you buy plates?
- A. Yes, I'm always on the lookout for nice plates for the store, so should you have plates laying around, please shoot me pictures of what you have and I'll make an offer IF they're something I can use. NO JUNK PLEASE.
- Q. Are you still restoring tags?
- A. Naw, I'm finally retired from restorations and the 55+ years in the workforce, but did enjoy the thousands of them that I did over the years. (well, probably not all of them. Some were pretty rough) So these days I'm working my online license plate store. It's work trying to keep up with inventory but I enjoy it.
- Q. So what's the difference between a restored plate and a repainted plate?
A lot of work for starters! I see repainted plates all the time on eBay and tag shows being sold as restored. They're not. Very few plates are actually "restored". Repainted plates are just that......repainted. Little if no prep work is done on the tag, and the original paint is underneath the new paint. Not always, as sometimes a light sanding is done to scuff up the old paint. Usually no damage is repaired, especially addressing pitting, so they just take an old rusty plate, or one lacking original paint, shoot some primer on it and attempt to paint the base the accurate color. Then they come to the show stopper. The lettering. There's a bunch of different techniques to apply the lettering, some worse than others. But they do an amateur's attempt at it, stick it on eBay, and call it restored.
When I was doing restorations all those years, you start off by glass beading the plate down to bare metal, both sides. Once removed from the blasting cabinet, it should look like a shiny new nickel. Then the damage is repaired. I used a trim hammer and anvil to tap out the imperfections. For the extra holes and or missing metal, I used a marine type fiberglass and cloth that made for a nice repair, done on the back. (never look at the back of a restored plate. That's where and how the repairs are made.) Most of the time involved on these resto's was the prep. Several different primers were used, starting with an etching primer on the bare metal. I'd venture to guess that the majority of plates you see listed on eBay or at tag meets stating the plate was restored did not go to the length that a true restorer goes through. Believe me when I say, no one has any idea of the time involvement to get these pieces of tin done right. I'll leave this Q&A with that, and take the procedures that follow to my grave. Too many years of trial and error that one has to experience to be successful at license plate restoration.
- Q. How did you get into license plates?
I got the license plate bug as a little kid in the mid '50's when my dad would remove the plates from our car and I'd hang them up in the garage. Although dad wasn't a tag collector per se, we had a wall full of colorful Ohio plates that made a really nice display. I can remember going into the garage as a kid and just staring at those walls. The colors and numbers were a big fascination to me, and nothing has changed after all these years. Plates really became an obsession when I started driving and hanging on to the plates from my cars. (I crashed quite a few vehicles back then.) My buddies knew I had an interest in tags so they'd give me their plates, and my collection started to grow quite by accident. Later on in life I had approximately 600 plates hanging up in our rec room for many years, (not counting the ones in the garage) and folks used to smile and just shake their head when they'd come over. My reaction was, doesn't everyone have plates hanging up in their house?
Being somewhat of a late bloomer on the internet (2001) I immediately found out there were lots of folks really into plates. Prior to this, I honestly thought I was the only guy on earth into tags. Very soon after that, I discovered the license plate club, ALPCA, and joined the day I learned about it. It's opened all kinds of doors, and I highly recommend the club to anyone and everyone who shares an interest in license plates. License plate collecting IS the greatest hobby on the planet. www.alpca.org
- Q. Do you have any advice for a new collector?
I don't advise doing what most of us did when the license plate bug grabbed us. And that was to buy up anything and everything you saw without a plan. (I understand the addiction believe me) Seriously, most new collectors start off by acquiring a plate from all 50 states. Once they've gotten all those, the 2nd collection that generally happens is getting a plate from your birthyear, although for us old folks, that can be challenging along with expensive, depending on how far back you go.Those are the two main groups that new collectors like to start out with.
Then after that, the sky's the limit. There are so many "collections" one can come up with. You might start a birthyear run for your family members. Grandkids birthyear runs are pretty easy and inexpensive, since they're newer plates. Others like to collect plates from states they've visited on vacation, getting more specific to find the years they were actually there. And license plates make for a great gift, especially for that person that's hard to buy for. Get them a tag from the year and state they were born. Chances are they don't have one. I've even heard stories of guys becoming collectors after receiving a birth year/birth state plate. They then go on and get one for their wife or other family member.
Some guys will collect truck plates, or "oddball" tags. Oddball tags are not passenger plates, or truck tags, but other issues such as school bus, taxi, farm use, limo etc. The different types to collect are endless, but with a little imagination, you can think of a category to collect and then have fun putting your run all together. And of course a nicely arranged wall of tags in your rec room or garage make for an interesting conversation piece.
The main thing is, start out with a plan of what you'd like to collect and work on a run or two at a time, and not try and get them all at once. It can become overwhelming if too many "groups" of tags interest you at the same time.
Also, I encourage you to join ALPCA where you'll come in contact with many other collectors, and have access to plate meets where you can meet folks with like minds. But more importantly, it's the people that make this such a great hobby. Many life long friendships are made along the way which truly does make this the most fun hobby ever!
Thank you for visiting my secure license plate store website.
21+ year active ALPCA member #9337
50+ year plate collector
50+ year plate collector