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In the movie "From Paris with love", why is James swapping car plates, in an illegal manner? That is his task, until he gets promoted to work with C. Wax (John Travolta bald version).

I thought that he is helping some illegal guys to escape - you know just like the bad guys change their car plates after a robbery, in order to disappear.

However, it is evident that he does it on the sly (since he is hiding from the car's passengers).

So, what is the purpose of swapping car plates without the owner's knowledge?

See the Youtube Video with the speechless scene (timestamp marked), until the 6th minute - the German dialog preceding the scene is irrelevant.

  • I'll have to wait til I can watch my copy (in English) to know for sure but I would guess it is so that whoever is driving the car will not be tracked by potential spies or intelligence agencies looking for the car based on make, model, and license plate number. I'm guessing the dialogue preceding the scene has to do with the task of covering tracks or something for some special diplomatic-status people. – TylerH Dec 2 at 19:08
  • @TylerH exactly my thought, but why then do it in the sly, and stay hidden, until after the car with the changed plates sets off? Maybe there could be another hypothesis.. – gsamaras Dec 2 at 19:12
  • Well my guess is that it's probably illegal--you are supposed to go through proper channels and bureaucracy to get a license plate changed... fill out forms, etc. Remember this guy also is a low-level CIA guy and that is right up the CIA's wheelhouse. – TylerH Dec 2 at 19:49

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