Personalized License Plates

Personalized License Plates

Sept 2013

Samantha Lawson

Our cars often become our second homes. We wash them, we take of them and we spend countless hours behind that wheel. It’s no wonder that these vehicles become our babies. And what to we do with babies? We spoil them—whether it be with custom wheels, new stereo systems or even a personalized license plate. These plates give your vehicle that extra boost to set yourself apart from all the other cars.


Often called ‘vanity plates,’ these personalized additions evoke that sense of superiority and individuality. Some drivers’ purchase these plates to show off their expensive vehicles through clever abbreviations of phrases, usually involving speed, money and ‘hot-ness.’ This obviously leads to the ‘vanity plates’ nickname. If speed demon isn’t in your job description, there are many more reasons to invest in a personalized plate.


In Ontario, the personalized plates can be ordered online with a valid drivers’ license and a well-thought out phrase. This phrase must be 2 to 8 characters long (both letters and/or numbers) with the option of a graphic, which costs you about $85 more than the $250 basic personalized plate.



The Ministry of Transportation runs through a long, long list of restrictions: no sexual, abusive, derogatory or religious language; no references to drugs, alcohol, criminal activity, politic figures or other authorities; and must be readable with no interchangeable letters (ie S/5). Some rejected suggestions between 2006-2010 were: MYVIAGRA, HOT.BUNZ, RED.WINE, WTF.LOL and OLDFARTS. With all these rules and clever suggestions, we’d like to reinforce the notion of the well-thought out phrase.


The graphics provide an even more personalized expression that doesn’t necessarily have the show off how fast your vehicle goes. There are 60+ graphics to choose from. Categories include: Universities, Sports Teams, Professional Affiliations (Fire Service Society), Charities and Community Organizations such as MADD, Breast Cancer Society and Girl Guides. If you are looking for novelty, hearts, loons and Canadian flags are also available. These plates could be that great personal gift that you’ve been looking for!


Here are some great examples from Ontario:






Looking for suggestions?


For those Star Wars Fans: DRTHVDR

For those speed lovers: SCUSE ME

For sports’ lovers: GOTEAM with the Blue Jays graphic