Loophole Let Steve Jobs Drive Without A License Plate

California law made it easy for the Apple CEO to drive incognito.

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

Share This Photo X