Police car graphics for personal use?

Jillbeans

Major Contributor
Got a request from a customer.
Their son has a 1960s cop car he's restoring and he wants to put something like Colorado State Police on the doors.
(not sure why)
I am sure this isn't legal for a regular street vehicle.
I don't mind doing it, and it might even be fun.
But don't want the fuzz breathing down my neck.
:thankyou:
Opinions?
Love....Jill
 

gnatt66

Active Member
i dont think i'd do it unless these fellas came in for them.
 

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binki

Premium Subscriber
We are doing a fair number of these. There are a lot of people that build or restore older police vehicles.

These cars are almost always used in police specific car shows and other functions like that. They also get rented out to movies.

So far we have done State Police, Highway Patrol, and an LAPD Adam-12 style decals.
 

SignManiac

Major Contributor
I'm pretty sure the local fuzz would frown upon impersonating a police officer for a personal use vehicle. I've seen on the news several times, cases of people being attacked by nut jobs using flashing lights to pull over unsuspecting victims.

I would go straight to the source and ask a real cop if it's legal or not.
 

WB

Active Member
We recently wrapped a Dodge Charger for a real estate agent. He wanted it to look like the city police cars. He contacted the police and they told him he couldn't used the Police crest or any emergency vehicle light colors (flashing red and blue) other then that he could pretty much do what he wanted. He's even got the flashing lights coming in. except they'll be green.
 

bob

Major Contributor
Got a request from a customer.
Their son has a 1960s cop car he's restoring and he wants to put something like Colorado State Police on the doors.
(not sure why)
I am sure this isn't legal for a regular street vehicle.
I don't mind doing it, and it might even be fun.
But don't want the fuzz breathing down my neck.

It probably varies from state to state but in most there's no law against it. No matter how the establishment might huff and puff. It's a first amendment issue. The only thing you absolutely cannot do is display a functioning set of red and/or blue lights. That's specifically reserved for emergency vehicles.

In the People's Republic of California in the 60's and 70's there was a CHP groupie and philanthropist who outfitted a bunch of derelict autos to look exactly like highway patrol vehicles. He parked them, semi hidden such that they would appear to be lurking in the weeds, along highway 50 from Placerville to Lake Tahoe and from Oakdale east to Pinecrest on whatever highway that was. The object was to intimidate people into slowing down. Not only was/is it legal, the CHP endorsed his efforts.

It worked for a few years until most everyone was on to the 'cardboard cops' as they were called.
 

S'N'S

Active Member
What are the Police going to do to you, your only signing the car, not driving it and not the owner.
 

SignosaurusRex

Major Contributor
...I don't mind doing it, and it might even be fun.
But don't want the fuzz breathing down my neck.

Why would they breath down your neck, its not your car? we have done a number of them over the years and not a single problem. They usually all are licensed with "Collector Car" plates. Based on what you say he wants....I'd do it.
 

Sticky Signs

Very Active Member
I'm not sure about all the rules but I make Police cars, Fire trucks and Ambulances all the time for the film industry. You can often see them driving around the streets of Vancouver going from one location to the next. They always cover the flashing lights with black garbage bags. I guess this is how they avoid looking like they're
"impersonating an officer". I'd call the police just to be on the safe side.
 

firesignz

Celebrating 10 Years in business
As many have stated a quick call to the local precinct should ease your mind. As for the impersonating issue, if it were a 3 year old Crown Victoria, Impala or Charger and you were making the exact same logos currently in use, then that could create a problem but a 1960's is considered a classic replica - special interest class and I wouldn't expect that you would have a problem.

I have a few customers who have purchased old ambulances and fire vehicles retired from service and very successfully redressed them to look like what they used to be as part of their business image (gutter doctor in an ambulance and "the firefighter - onsite computer repair - we put out all the little fires in your network") with a retired rescue truck.

I wonder why they went to they guy called Fire SignZ to do these graphics.

I have also had a few repro's of old PD cars that were used as show cars (not to mention the general lee) which were completely street legal and driven around town regularly without any issues.
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
Hey Jill.....

Check this out. Towards the end, it tells you how you might be doing something illegal and not knowing the laws won't get you out of this tight spot.

allpar.com/squads/collecting.html
 

Patrick46

Member
here's one more...seeing as you're NOT from Colorado...why would you worry??? Plus...it is an old car.

Now, If it was a late model car and they wanted PA State Police on the side...then I'd be making a few phone calls if I were you! :omg:
 

signswi

Very Active Member
I'd be concerned both about the intellectual property involved (who owns the rights to the police logos if you're using actual logos, etc.) as well as any downhill liability from impersonation of an officer claims. Shouldn't be too hard to clear it with the authorities though, let them make the call.
 

showcase 66

Very Active Member
Couple months ago the county just sold 15 of their old squad vehicles. Took off all the graphics but they are still black in the front and back and white in the center. I had a guy come to me wanting to make one of the expeditions he bought to look like the county vehicle but with the security companies name on it. Pretty much wanted all the colors to be the same. I told him I wouldn't do it. About a month later I saw him in the expedition with all the colors of a county sheriff but with the security logo instead of the star. I called my buddy at the sheriffs office and sent them a pic. The guy no longer has the vehicle.

I have done a couple older vehicles that use to be pd cruisers back in the day. The police dept allowed me to them but with the police logos and everything, but I could not use reflective.
 

Jillbeans

Major Contributor
I bid on the job but told the client they would have to run it past the local authorities.
I'd just use a generic VectorArt star and plain text if I did do it.
No reflective either.
Hoping they go for the hand-painted option which would be more authentic anyway for that year of car (I think)
 

CheapVehicleWrap

Very Active Member
Plenty of them around the corner from me used as movie props. All NYC adam 12 types. I don't believe if one is simply driving a police car that that's impersonating an officer. There are many others that have to drive them too.
 
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