• Oct 28th 2011 at 2:00PM
  • 14
Two people pose outside Steve Jobs' car, which had a ba... Two people pose outside Steve Jobs' car, which had a barcode instead of a license plate. (Claire L. Evans)
So it turns out, if you are incredibly wealthy, live in California, and are somewhat paranoid, you can find a way to drive around town without those pesky license plates cluttering up your car.

At least, that's what Steve Jobs did. Thanks to a seemingly endless supply of money, IT Wire reports he found a way around having a license plate: By treating his Mercedes SL55 AMG cars as if they were disposable.

Turns out, in California, you can drive a brand-new car for six months without getting a license plate. So that's what Jobs would do. He'd lease a silver SL55 (starting price: $103,000) for almost six months, then turn it in and get an identical one when it was time to get a new one.

The New York Times has identified the statute as California Vehicle Code No. 4456, which says that a new vehicle can be driven for up to six months without license plates. (Although the newspaper goes on to explain that the law is changing to shorten that period to three months in July 2012.)

So Jobs' grand act of defiance was made possible by simply leasing a new car every six months.

But before we close the books on the license plate issue, we'd like to perhaps see some more evidence. If Jobs indeed acquired a new car every six months, we'd have to assume that sometime in 2009 he started driving something other than an SL55 AMG. It went out of production in 2008, and was replaced by the 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG. Yet we've seen photos of what is said to be Jobs' 2007 SL55, reportedly with over 21,000 miles on the odo in summer 2010.

Perhaps this is just another case of Steve's "reality distortion field," persisting even after his death.

Contributing: Jeff Sabatini of AutoBlog

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's worth noting that *every* Mercedes has a bar code underneath the license plate. It is actually the vehicles VIN number placed on the car by the manufacturer.
      • 3 Years Ago
      was he disabled?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Driving a car without license plate, may be authorities thought Steve Jobs just bought the car new. If not, he is very well popular in California where his company is located. May be others think, he is very strong connection.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Brilliant man, but the more I read he was a great big jerk. Wow, how normal is his wife & kids/
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hey, do they have that loop hole in North Carolina? www.allvinyl.info
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think it'd draw more attention NOT having a license plate then having one that just blended in with everyone elses, as long as it wasn't customized APPLCEO or something.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It is the vehicle's VIN. Just VIN. VIN number, like ATM machine, is redundant.
      • 3 Years Ago
      he also parks on the handicap spot
      • 3 Years Ago
      true story! the car dealership would take it back and never "make an effort" to sell it. their was only 2 cars. when he brought back car A they would give him B. when he brought back B they would give him A back.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I know... I hate when ppl say 'NIC card'... It's just NIC. Thats all.. NIC.
        • 7 Months Ago

        Network Interface Controller.  So yes, NIC card is acceptable.

      • 3 Years Ago
      I would probably do the same if I were in his shoes... I remember reading something about the limo space outside the offices... I think he used to park their as well sometimes... didnt he use a helicopter to go back forth from apple and pixar?
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