Canberra's number plate no-no's

Canberra's number plate no-no's

What ever you think of personalised number plates, they are sure to elicit a reaction from passing motorists.

Perhaps that is why people opt to pay hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to get them.

However some Canberrans were denied the chance to generate a reaction because of the likelihood they would cause offence with their desired number plates.

Access Canberra has released some of the personalised number plates refused by the agency which included DRDEATH, J1HAD, UP4MDR and FATASS.

A mock-up of rejected ACT number plates.

A mock-up of rejected ACT number plates.Credit:Josh Hall


An Access Canberra spokeswoman said the Road Transport Authority must refuse to issue a number plate where the content of the registration number is considered by the authority to be potentially offensive to the community.

She said other reasons for refusal were where the combination of characters may be difficult to distinguish from other registration plates and where the content may be in breach of a copyright or trademark.

There is also legislation in place that protects names and acronyms of the Australian Defence Force from being used as a number plate. These protections extend to ANZAC, RAAF, RAN, ARMY, ADFA and ADF.

The spokeswoman said there were currently 27,829 non-standard number plates registered in the ACT which covers personalised, European-style, Raiders and Brumbies themed plates and more. More than 11,000 were classified as personalised.

The authority receives on average between 1000 and 1100 applications for non-standard plates each year and this figure has remained steady for about six years.

The ACT government pulls in between $850,000 and $900,000 each year from the registration of personalised plates. Personalised plates start at $466 which have to follow a certain format and can go all the way up to $2828 for completely unique plates. In the ACT this is a one-off fee unlike some other Australian jurisdictions.

Wanniassa plasterer Stefan Jeremenko went to a whole new level when he bid $9350 in 2013 to win the first set of Canberra centenary plates C 100.

Stefan Jeremenko has the first Centenary of Canberra number plates and a personalised set.

Stefan Jeremenko has the first Centenary of Canberra number plates and a personalised set.Credit:Elesa Kurtz

Mr Jeremenko said there were a few reasons why he decided to splurge for the plates.

"Well I've always just wanted some good plates," he said.

"It's an investment, if you put them on a nice car I think it enhances it and if you hang onto them long enough you could get a bit of money for them.

"And it went to charity so it was good to help them out."

The money raised by Mr Jeremenko's bid went to Dollars for Dili, a charity that helps people in Timor Leste.

Mr Jeremenko has the centenary plates on a Holden Commodore VF GTSR, one of the last Commodores made in Australia.

The centenary plates join Mr Jeremenko's personalised plates SJ 068 he's had since his youth growing up in Queanbeyan, they now adorn a panel van.

"I've had those plates for 40 years, since I was a young fella," he said.

"You know how we all were, it was just a wow thing, all my mates had them and you had to follow."

The government has recently added more options for Canberrans to express themselves through their number plates.

Motorists can purchase rainbow plates in support of marriage equality which cost $60. The spokeswoman said 185 rainbow plates had been issued to date since December, 2017.

The Bush Capital was also added to our collection of number plate slogans last year when it convincingly won an online poll of new slogans. It joined The Nation's Capital as another slogan option while Heart of the Nation, Feel the Power and Canberra - Age Friendly City are being phased out.

Information on number plates is available via the Access Canberra website.

Elliot Williams is a reporter for The Canberra Times

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