Updated: Sep 25, 2020
Adding numbered car hang tags to your school carpool can make life much easier for the staff working your carpool line, giving them an easy way to identify drivers at a distance while still allowing drivers to easily remove the tag as desired or required by state traffic laws.
You can purchase third party car hang tags that will work with Beeline from a variety of sources, such as Amazon or from your local office or school supply stores, you can even order custom made sets online, and, if you have trouble finding tags that work for you or your budget, Beeline has created a car hang tag template built with Google slides that you can use to create your own tags with little more than some time and a printer.
Car hang tag numbers, numbers & letters, or just letters
What is the best car hang tag to use?
The best car hang tag is usually the most inexpensive tag featuring high-visibility numbers that count high enough to accommodate the drivers you have at your location. For most schools, this usually means a large three-digit number as shown in the image above and that is used on our own free template. Using three digits, you can accommodate up to 1000 unique driver numbers, "000" to "999".
My School has thousands of potential drivers, what do I do?
For schools with more than 1000 drivers, you'll either need more digits on each tag or you need to get creative. Four or five digits in a row are about the most you can get on a car hang tag before the numbers become difficult to read without standing very close to the car.
It is possible to use a three-character solution and still accommodate thousands of unique driver identification combinations. Below are a couple of examples using a three-character format while still supporting 1000+ drivers.
Alphanumeric combinations to support 1000+ drivers
Using a simple alphanumeric combination such as one letter followed by two numbers, such as "A12" or "B23," allows for 2,574 possible combinations.
Use letters in the first two positions. For example use a series of three letter combinations like "AA0", then "AA1", then "AA2", etc., until you get to "AA9" when you change to "AB0", "AB1", "AB2", etc., until you get to "AB9" when you change to "AB0," AB1", "AB2", etc. combinations rise to 6,084.
Still not enough!?
Change to using only letters. For example, a series of three letter combinations like "AAA", then "AAB", then "AAC", etc., until you get to "AAZ" when you change to "ABA", "ABB", "ABC", etc., until you get to "ABZ" when you change to "BAA," BAB", "BAC", etc. You can realize up to 17,576 possible combinations. Here is a page with a good example of how many possible combinations exist, and it only shows combinations with the first letter starting with A-D!
Depending on how many drivers you have at your school, alphanumeric combinations can even allow you to create an initials-based system such as "AD1" representing a driver damed "Amanda Davis" and "AD2" representing a different driver named "Arnold Daniels" to better help drivers remember their numbers in case they forget their car hang tag altogether.
Is it better to buy or make your hang tags?
Purchasing a set of durable plastic car hang tags can save time for your school and they will last a long time. However, these can come with their own problems as parents sometimes forget to return them after the school year is over, causing you to need duplicates or find some way to find a replacement. Making your own car hang tags can be time consuming, but can also virtually eliminate any cost or replacement concerns, you just print a new one.
Making your own car hang tags using the Beeline car hang tag template
To make your own car hang tags, you can open our car hang tag template and make a copy to your own Google account or download the template as a Powerpoint. This car hang tag template has editable fields for your school name and a car number sized to be easy to read from a distance. Feel free to edit this file as needed.
The road to better car hang tags
Follow these best practice tips to help implement car hang tags at your location:
Make sure car hang tags are legal for use in your city or state before implementation.
Printing in black ink on white or light colors works best.
If you are printing your own car hang tags, use card stock if possible.
Laminate your car hang tags or add a wide strip of clear packing tape on the top portion before you cut them out. Doing so makes them more durable and easier for drivers to frequently remove and re-hang without tearing.
Instruct drivers to place the car hang tag in a clearly visible location. Preferably hanging on the rear view mirror of the car.
Discourage drivers from leaving the car hang tags laying flat on their dashboards as this can make them hard for a carpool worker to read.
Always require your staff to physically identify carpool drivers and follow all laws and school guidelines before placing any kid in a car, regardless of what any car hang tag says.
Make sure any carpool staff use the Beeline Curbside app. It offers a simple interface for quickly entering car hang tag numbers and showing details for the associated driver.
Hopefully this article has helps you better understand how to implement hang tags at your location. If you have additional questions, need help or have suggestions, let us know!
Link to free Beeline car hang tag template: Free Beeline car hang tag template