New Service Allows People to Text Strangers Using License Plate Number

By Elizabeth Harrington | January 22, 2013 | 11:35am EST

Helping neighbors avoid the pitfalls of parking in San Francisco,” says CurbTXT, which allows people who sign up for their service to avoid receiving nasty notes on their vehicles. (AP File Photo)

( – Don’t like the way that car is parked? A new service allows individuals in San Francisco to anonymously send text messages to strangers through their license tag numbers.

“Helping neighbors avoid the pitfalls of parking in San Francisco,” says CurbTXT, which allows people who sign up for the service to avoid receiving nasty notes on their vehicles.

“A lot of things can go wrong when parking a car in the city,” the company explains. “We think instant, direct, and anonymous communication can alleviate a lot of the parking issues people have with their vehicles and the vehicles of others.”

“Before CurbTXT, no one could reach you if you left your car’s lights on, for instance, unless they knew you and your car,” the company’s website says.  “Now with CurbTXT, anybody with a cell phone can be a good Samaritan.”

Anyone with a cell phone can send an anonymous text message to CurbTXT subscribers, by texting the license plate of the vehicle and the state abbreviation.

The company provides this example: “CA3214567 you’re blocking my driveway - pls move.”

If the vehicle isn’t registered with CurbTXT, the company will let you know that your message was not received. Registered vehicles are supposed to display CurbTXT stickers.

“Anyone with a mobile phone capable of sending text messages can help our community avoid frustrating parking situations which result in nasty notes, expensive parking tickets, or towing,” the company says. “Like the adage goes, ‘If you see something, say something.’”

If individuals receive messages they believe are inappropriate, however, they can block the messenger and CurbTXT says it will investigate that user.

CurbTXT says you will never have to worry about your car again. “Why call the city and tow a car if you can reach the driver? It’s easier than ever to be a good neighbor, so spread the word about CurbTXT.”

“If we can work together and communicate in San Francisco, we can do it anywhere,” they said.

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