There has been a fancy for “stylish number plates”, an uprising that has brought a worldwide crackdown on fancy number plates. Various countries around the world have been faced with different iterations of this epidemic and are conducting their own operations to deter vehicle owners from getting their hands on illegal number plates.
The enforcements have been of irregular sizes of alphabets or numbers that do not comply with the country's number plate guidelines. In some cases, stickers and images are drawn on the number plates, obscuring them or even fakes have been created in some cases. Here are some examples of countries that have faced with the fancy number plate epidemic, and what governed bodies have done to overcome the current problem at hand.
Places like Begumpet, India have taken a more stern action on the matter and have warned motorists to replace their fancy number plates as traffic police in the region were facing problems in tracing vehicle registration number plates using their cameras in case of any violations. A penalty hike of Rs 5000 (£59.62) has been implemented to deter motorists.
India is one of the largest in the world with an annual production of 23.96 million vehicles in 2015-16. Vehicle owners have learnt a quick fix in the recent “Even-Odd” plan introduced into the country, where license plates ending on odd-numbers are restricted on odd-days of the month, and even on even days. The solution that various number plate sellers have suggested is to create 2 separate plates (one odd and one even) or to use a sticker for the last odd or even digit to bypass the even-odd plan, but by agreeing to this, they have said to the vehicle owner if they get caught, that they don’t reveal their company or name to the authorities, because this is obviously illegal.
The more pressing problem is that a significant number of vehicles on the road around the world will inevitably fail to meet the more stricter specifications set out. Take for instance, In Karachi, a police crackdown led at least 37 cars carrying illegal number plates, in just one night! Although, the authorities swooped in on the vehicle owners, the vehicle owners say that without giving them sufficient time it is not fair to scrutinise their vehicles. Also, there’s some fear that government vehicles flout the norms in not following number plate guidelines themselves.
Authorities in China introduced a new set of military number plates for vehicles called Jun Che. Private vehicles and luxury cars costing over CNY 450000 (£56k) and have an engine size 3.0 or greater are forbidden from using these number plates. But this didn’t stop vehicles owners from using these military number plates on day one, not to mention, people using these plates have been spotted as being civilians. The military plate has been known to give special privileges when it comes to traffic rules, so how did these people who probably are not in the military, and cars are not eligible get these number plates? You guessed it, it seems that fake versions of the military number plate have been spreading in China, and for some time now.
These are just a handful of offenses that have been committed around the world, but unlike most, we clearly differentiate what is a novel (fancy) number plate that is only used for recreational uses and replacement number plates, that we require official vehicle documents as evidence that you own the vehicle before number plates are dispatched. Stay tuned to hear more interesting insights in the world of number plates around the world...