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.
“Once you’ve bagged that number plate – if it’s a good one it adds value to it. Some are iconic and will be sought after. Some of the best are simple but exquisite.”
The biggest went for £180,000 in May last year – for KR15 HNA – which was a new British record for the most expensive current style personalised registration plate.
Today, plates with just one number and two letters cost an estimated £60,000, 20 times more than the early 1990s, when drivers could expect to pay somewhere between £3,000 to £5,000.
A DVLA spokesman said: “Many people enjoy displaying a personalised registration number and the general sale and auctions remain extremely popular with the public.
“Since we began selling personalised registrations we have raised around £2.3 billion and all the money raised is passed to the Treasury.”
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