Thursday, 14 May 2009

Vinnie Loves His Number Plates!

Vinnie Jones may have moved to Hollywood but recent pictures show that his love of number plates are still with him. Vinnie, footballer turned actor was pictured in Hollywood, driving his Range Rover with the number plate 'UK VIN'. And driving behind him in a Jaguar was his wife, Tanya. Her car had the registration 'UK TANYA'. It's not known why they were driving separate cars - maybe they wanted to show off their car registration?

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Plate Confusion

In the UK number plates are unique. Of course you will get similar variations but you can be sure they are definitely all different. The only time you will see two identical registrations is when one has been cloned. When this happens, it can be quite a nightmare. Spare a thought then for the people in America, where even if you have a registration, there could be 68 others just like it. That's right - it is possible for one registration to be shared by 69 plates.

Marie Lai, a resident of Lisle, Illinois received traffic fines from New York even though her car was parked in her garage, 500 miles away. That's a nine hour drive! After a lot of investigating and with help from a newspaper's “Problem Solver” column, Lai found out that the offences were caused by another vehicle with the same registration.

Ernie Dannenberger, director of the vehicle services department in the Illinois secretary of state's office, said that there should not really have been any confusion. Although it is possible for commercial vehicles and domestic passenger vehicles to have same license plate numbers, commercial vehicles have a slightly smaller letter at the end of the plate character string.

So how is it possible that one registration can be on 69 vehicles? Well, these variations are possible because the state allows various custom or “specialty” plates to be issued. These variations include 18 college plates, 18 military plates and 33 other private plate versions promoting various groups and causes. The number plates are apparently distinguished from one another by a two-letter code, smaller than the main characters, which is stacked to the right of the main registration ID number.

Doesn't seem very distinguishable to me!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Insanity Plates!

It's not just the UK that love number plates. In America, personal registrations or vanity plates as they are known over there, are just as popular. The system in the US differs from that over here. They are a lot more flexible with the format of their registrations and almost anything (as long as it gets past the issuing authorities) goes. This though can make filtering what are seen as offensive or inappropriate plates much more difficult.

Recently, I came into contact with Jason who recently got into plate spotting in the US.

He sent us this picture of a car spotted in Washington.

And just to show you can have anything here's a car with just 'U' on. Who could the U be?

And for someone who wanted a vanity plate but couldn't decide what to have:

Check out the other photos on Jason's site at Insanity Plates.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Flags Finally Allowed on UK Number Plates

It's taken eight years but at last it is legal for drivers to have flags on their number plates. In 2001, it was only the Euro flag that you could legally display however drivers were also told that the national flags would be legal and the legislation would be altered within a month. For some reason, it wasn't. So for the last eight years, anyone with a national flag had illegal plates. Although authorities had been asked to take a 'relaxed attitude' to these, it didn't stop the police stopping and fining drivers.

Now finally, we are officially allowed to display the Cross of St George, the Scottish Saltire, the Welsh Dragon and the British Union Flag on our number plates. However, anyone who has a national flag on their plates will find that they are still required to display a “GB” sticker when heading to Europe.

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