How Not To Make A Personalised Number Plate
Police have a first rule for anyone thinking of knocking up home-made licence plates.
It’s simply: “Don’t”.
But for those who didn’t get the memo, they have a second suggestion.
“If you do, make sure not to use cardboard from a pizza box and magic markers.”
The pizza box registration plates had been attached to a Buick. As well as the number written in green, it also included the state abbreviation “Mass” in blue.
Police charged the “creative operator” for driving an uninsured and unregistered vehicle and attaching the “‘fake home-made’ plates”.
A Canadian man whose surname was deemed too offensive for his personalised car registration plate says it is a case of "bureaucratic hypocrisy".
Lorne Grabher argues in a recently filed affidavit that there are plenty of potentially offensive signs and place names dotted across Canada.
Those include Crotch Lake (in Ontario) and Dildo (in Newfoundland).
Mr Grabher's personalised plate was cancelled because it could be seen as a "socially unacceptable slogan".
DVLA bans 'offensive' number plates
Why do people still buy personalised number plates?
The Nova Scotia man is taking the province's motor vehicle registrar to court after a request to reinstate the plate was denied.
In the affidavit filed with Nova Scotia's Supreme Court this month, Mr Grabher also singled out recent ads placed on transit buses in the city of Halifax by municipal water services.
The slogans in those ads include the slogans "Powerful sh*t" and "Our minds are in the gutter".
The ads are not meant to offend but to raise awareness of the importance of the full water cycle, according to a Halifax Water representative.
Mr Grabher's registration plate was cancelled in January after the office of the registrar received a complaint. It had been in use for 27 years.
The office said the personalised plate with the last name "Grabher" could be misinterpreted by the public.
Mr Grabher says that his surname is of Austrian-German heritage.
The personalised plate has been used by three generations of his family, including by his son who lives in another province.
"We are proud of our surname, which tells a story about both our past and our present," he says in the affidavit.
"We are not ashamed of our immigrant background or our role in Canadian society."
Mr Grabher has said he thinks he is being punished for President Donald Trump's obscene language.
During the American election, a video surfaced of then-candidate Mr Trump saying the words "grab them by the pussy".
Nova Scotia's licence plate regulations allow the province to refuse names deemed to be offensive or in poor taste.
The province currently bans about 3,100 names.
How close a series of letters or numbers are to a real name of word: if the match quality is high (and the numbers and letters are very convincing in making a popular word), the value of the registration plate will be higher. This means that a match like 5IMON, for the name Simon, will be worth a lot more than a more obscure set of letters and numbers that are not as convincing a match, such as S17 MMM for the name Sam.
The style of the plate: this means establishing if it is a new-style plate, an older-style format or if it is dateless or Irish, for instance. Other options are that it is a prefix-style plate or a suffix-style plate. New-style number plates, which have been produced since 2001, tend to be the least valuable because they are a bit less appealing to some collectors, plus the rule about not having plates that are newer than your car can also come into play, putting people off from buying a newer-style plate for their older car. Prefix-style number plates, which were in production between 1983 and 2001 can be more popular as more vehicles are entitled to have those licence numbers, and they may have fewer characters in total. Suffix-style plates, issued from 1963 to 1983 are relatively rare, which means they can attract higher prices than prefix-style plates and newer designs. Dateless number plates, also known as cherished number plates, were produced between 1903 and 1963 and are nearly always the most valuable number plate configurations; they have fewer digits and their dateless nature means that people can hide the age of their car. Irish number plates are similar to dateless number plates, especially because they don’t have a year identifier. They also tend to be cheaper than other types of vehicle registration plates.
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