During my recent travels, I ran into a guy in New York City who was politically well connected. He had a license plate that began with 1SP., and was followed by a two digit number. He began telling me that the state police union had a series of special plates made, and only available through Hamilton county in New York. He claimed that this plate was given to "friends" of the police union, and the lower the number was that followed the 1SP, the more important you were to the cops. He said that this plate routinely gets him out of traffic and parking tickets.
This sounded like a lload of BS to me, so I activated my Google skills. What I found was that handing out special plate numbers is a common practice in New York. and I quote:
To some recipients, special license plates issued by the Saratoga County clerk are a symbol of county pride. For others, they are an inherited treasure passed on by a family member or loved one.
For many who have them — a list that ranges from county workers to state Supreme Court judges — an unwritten rule is that a lower number may indicate a special driver.
Indeed, an examination of the recipients of the special plates, which carry an "SP" prefix, shows they are coveted by a select group of government employees and elected officials, including judges, prosecutors, town supervisors, attorneys and political party leaders. The spouses and children of those people are also among those, estimated to be in the hundreds, who have the plates.
Now the SP prefix goes to Saratoga County. The 1SP prefix, which I can find little about, belongs to the State Police. This is how things are done there, from Concealed Weapons Permits to License plates, corruption and special favors rule the day.
They claim it is for "county pride" but I am sure there are not that many people who believe that. This is a way of announcing to the police that you are politically well connected and should receive special treatment.