Home « Frequently Asked Questions
- Q. Do you ship internationally?
- A. I no longer ship outside of the United States, including Canada. I've had some bad experiences, and appreciate you not even asking. There are NO exceptions on this. I'm sorry to those collectors outside of the US. If you have someone in the US I can mail them to and then they forward them along to you, no problem. Please let me know these intentions BEFORE you purchase plates because the order will be revoked immediately.
- 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 before noon EST (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 business day. And speaking of shipping, beginning Jan. 21, 2024, the USPS is going up on their fees to $10.60 which is what I pay at the post office to ship your plate(s).
I email a thank you note soon after purchase, then another email once mailed supplying tracking number and scheduled delivery date. NOTE: If you haven't received my email check your SPAM folder. 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.
One other thing about shipping.......have you ever bought something online like eBay and five minutes later you get an email saying it's SHIPPED? They give you a tracking number and 3 days later they actually get it to the post office. When you get an email from me saying it's headed your way, IT'S AT THE POST OFFICE. I personally handed it to a clerk and you can start checking the tracking.
- Q. Can I register your plates YOM in my state?
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.
The only plates I guarantee to be clear for registering are Georgia plates. Each state has different rules and regulations, so it's up to you to verity whether a certain states' plate is registerable. Currently there's approximately 46 states that honor the YOM. (don't quote me on this, but I believe the only states that do not have YOM are Delaware, Hawaii, New Jersey and Wyoming)
IMPORTANT : If your state issues pairs, and pairs are required for YOM, and you see a single plate in my store for that year, DO NOT BUY IT TWICE THINKING I HAVE THE MATE. I don't. If it says SINGLE under the plate, I only have the SINGLE plate. If I have the pair, I will show both plates, and it will say PAIR under the plates.
One other thing to note.....it's always a good idea to carry a copy of your states' YOM rules and regulations when you go to your local tag office. Some of the workers there may not be aware of YOM and it's nice to be able to provide them the facts.
- Q. Are your plates authentic or reproductions?
All the plates for sale in my store are 100% authentic issued by the state. 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. You may see 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) or YOM (year of manufacture) that will be in the description of some Georgia tags when you click on the plate to enlarge the photo.
After a plate is purchased, it remains marked as Sold for about a week 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 that is often abused, .....as there are sellers with hidden stickers expiring later this year and I've seen some that expire next year or even two years from now. Personally 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's 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. One other thing I'd like to point out; you are buying the ACTUAL plate(s) pictured on the website. You'll NEVER see the common phrase "plate numbers you'll receive differ from plate shown", or, "random plate numbers" and the times I've been the victim of this ripoff, I've never received a plate in equal or better condition of the one shown. Never. I've learned the hard way. Just an FYI.
- 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, (POSTAL Money Order ONLY PLEASE) 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, with the exception of current ALPCA members. Postal money orders can be purchased at your post office.
- Q. Do you charge a handling fee in your postage?
- A. NO. Never.. 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. As of Jan. 23, 2023 the fee is $10.40. 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. No exceptions.
- 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, but did enjoy the thousands of them that I did over the years. (well, probably not all of them. Some were pretty rough which can be seen on the revolving before and after's on the tagdr site) So these days I'm working my online license plate store. It's work trying to keep up with inventory but I really 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. It always cracks me up.
When I was doing restorations, after taking a "before" picture, I'd start off by glass beading the plate down to bare metal, both sides, and send you pictures. Once removed from the blasting cabinet, the metal should look like a shiny new nickel. Then all damage is repaired. I used a trim hammer and anvil to tap out all 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 involvement 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. 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 I used with me to my grave. Too many years of trial and error that one has to experience to be successful at license plate restoration. If I had a nickel for every plate that I had 95% finished only to have something go belly-up and have to strip it back down and start over.....well, I'd probably be in the next tax bracket.
- Q. How did you get into license plates?
I got the license plate bug as a little kid in the mid to late '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.
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. Soon after that, I discovered the license plate club, ALPCA, and joined immediately. 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
Over the years I have attended National plate meets in Huntsville, AL, Ft. Wayne, Ind, Knoxville, Tenn, Covington, KY and Hampton, VA. Other meets I've been to include Marietta, GA, Cleveland, Tenn. Lake Junaluska, NC. Crossville, Tenn, Columbia, SC, Spartanburg, SC and for several years I co-hosted the Georgia tag meet in Avondale Estates, GA before the show eventually moved to Marietta.
- 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) But 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 older 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 the old guy 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 go on and get one for their wife or other family member. Then it's all over. They're addicted. lol
Some guys will collect truck plates, motorcycle tags, or "oddball" tags. Oddball tags are not passenger plates, or truck tags, but other issues such as school bus, taxi, farm use, limo, dealer, semi truck, trailer 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 together. And of course a nicely arranged wall of tags in your rec room or garage make for an interesting conversation piece. When folks would visit us and see all the tags hanging up in our rec room, they'd just smile, shake their head, and I'd say, don't everyone have plates hanging up in their house?
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. Lots of collectors like to put together a County run from a state they have interest in. With the state of Georgia where I live, there's 159 counties, so this can be rather challenging, but also very rewarding when finally assembled.
In closing, I encourage you to join ALPCA where you'll come in contact with many other collectors, and have access to plate meets where you meet folks that have like minds. But more importantly, it's the people you meet along the way that make this such a great hobby. Many life long friendships are made which truly does make this the most enjoyable hobby ever! Now go out, have some fun and pick up a few tags !
Thank you for visiting my secure license plate store website.
23+ year active ALPCA member #9337
50+ year plate collector
50+ year plate collector