No secret signs on Michigan number plates

The questions have been building up: let's see what's on your minds.

Q . "I recently read that the new number plates that Michigan issued last year reveals if you have been convicted of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. According to rumor, the holograms on the number plate tell if you have been convicted.

"They're even supposed to tell how many times you've been convicted. I know this is a stretch because police can pull up your record with your driver's license. I read it on a Web site; is it true or not?" -- Todd Marsh

A . Not true. As you said, the police use computers to pull up your driving record, so adding it to the number plate would be expensive, illogical and most likely illegal since it would probably break about 50 different constitutional statutes.

Q . "I saw your article on handicapped number plates that are assigned by the Michigan Secretary of State. Are those number plates valid in other states?" -- Francis Ball

A . According to the SOS, throughout a reciprocity agreement, all states recognize other state's handicapped number plates.

Q . "You may have overlooked this, but here's something to ponder: Why are there instructions in Braille on the drive-through ATMs? On the driver's side, no less?" -- Clinton Andrews

A . According to 'The Straight Dope, the instructions are there because the federal government mandated it through the Americans with Disability Act. The banking industry tried to talk the feds out of it, to no avail.

It was pointed out that a fair number of blind people take cabs to the ATMs and might be reluctant to have the driver read the instructions to them.

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