The mystery of how Apple co-founder Steve Jobs managed to get away with driving a car without licence plates has been solved by a former security officer at the company's Cupertino campus.
Jobs was famous for driving his trademark Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG sans plates. But, as Jon Callas, a former senior security officer with Apple and now CTO of online security company Entrust reveals, the reason the Apple man got away with it was due to a loophole in California motor vehicle licensing regulations.
Under California law, drivers of a brand new vehicle have a grace period of six months in which to attach a licence plate - so, in another example of Jobs' penchant for "thinking different", the Apple co-founder drove a succession of identical cars, trading them in with the leasing company before they reached the crucial six-month limit.
As US news site iTWire, which spoke to Callas, reports:
"Steve (or someone close to him) spotted a loophole in the California vehicle laws. Anyone with a brand new car had a maximum of six months to affix the issued number plate to the vehicle.
"So Jobs made an arrangement with the leasing company; he would always change cars during the sixth month of the lease, exchanging one silver Mercedes SL55 AMG for another identical one. At no time would he ever be in a car as old as six months; and thus there was no legal requirement to have the number plates fitted."
Something tells us California legislators may have to close the loophole before a rash of well-heeled Jobs-inspired copycats get in on the act...