Ham Callsign Plates Problematic For NH EZPass

MA ham operator plate sampleGeorge Harlem, VA2EBI/ W1EBI writes on the YCCC list:

This is new.  I have had my callsign license plate for several years.  It seems always to be recorded at gas stations as “W1/EBI”, but that lightning bolt after the W1 is giving EZDriveMA trouble.  I got an invoice from NH EZPass for a trip through the Hampton tolls last month, based on their plate camera, but MA EZPass says there is nothing wrong with my transponder. 

The customer service rep told me my plate should not have been listed with a slash since that character can’t be processed by their computer!  We usually take my wife’s Jeep to Maine, but I know I have driven my Chrysler sedan to Maine numerous times and have never received an invoice from NH.  The rep at MA EZPass told me not to pay the NH invoice, she is going to have supervisor look into this.

So does anyone else in Massachusetts with their call sign license plate have a similar story?

George W1/EBI on the car, VA2EBI on the air

3 thoughts on “Ham Callsign Plates Problematic For NH EZPass”

  1. Larry Banks, W1DYJ, comments on June 11, 2021:

    Hi George,

    I have never had issues with my transponder and my “W1/DYJ” plate. I did
    get an invoice from NH that read the plate correctly one time when the
    transponder fell off the windshield. There was a time 10 years ago when
    the “/” could not be processed by the MA computer at my car dealer when I
    move the plate to a different car, and the guy at the car dealer had to
    personally go to a MA DMV to process it.

    73 — Larry — W1DYJ

  2. Greg Zenger, N2GZ, comments on June 11, 2021:

    I have a NH transponder and CT call plates and have an interesting story.

    Back in 2015 when I bough a second vehicle I had an issue registering with EZPass NH. Both my pickup truck and car have call plates. CT allows multiple vehicles to have the same registration (license plate) number (at least for call letter plates) as long as the registration type is different (Passenger, Commercial, Motorcycle, Camper or Combination are our options for call letter plates). The NH EZPass system would not accept two transponders with the same plate numbers from the same state. I called them up and after a few days of trying to figure something out, I got a call back and they changed my pickup truck to N2GZCOMB as a plate number in their system (overriding the 7 character limit). It worked fine for several years. I had a damaged tag a few years ago (bumper mount) and when I activated it the system allowed N2GZ for both vehicles without arguing this time, so looks like the programmers have fixed it. With regards to the / I was informed to use the format that appeared on the registration paperwork itself. In CT this is just the call sign, no spaces or slashes or dots. In CT we do have a lightning bolt after our call suffix on the actual plate, though it is considered a feature of the plate and not part of the registration number.

    How does the registration paperwork in MA stylize the plate number?

    Greg N2GZ

  3. Charlotte Richardson, KQ1F, comments on June 11, 2021:

    I got a bill last month for tolls, so we called the transponder people, and they complained about the slash in the records (KQ1/F), and then decided that the transponder must be broken (after charging the tolls to my account) and said they would ship me a new one, which they haven’t. So when home, which I am not at the moment, I have been avoiding tollroads. I think they have a software bug.

    de KQ1F (not slash, no lightning bolt!)


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