Saskatchewan residents have a lot of ways to express their personalities on the prairies, with custom license plates gaining popularity as another option.
According to SGI, there are currently 51,773 registered custom licence plates in the province, accounting for roughly five per cent of all registered plates in Saskatchewan.
“It’s the same reason somebody might decide to get a tattoo, you know, just to express something about themselves,” Tyler McMurchy, an SGI spokesperson said.
McMurchy sees primarily pop culture references such as Star Wars or Star Trek, as well as many ‘joke’ licence plates and sports team plates.
Custom plates have been available since the 1980s, but the popularity has really increased in recent years, especially amongst new Canadians, according to McMurchy.
Applications for personalized plates have grown by 20 per cent over the last five years, and in 2021, nearly 8,500 custom plates were requested.
“Sometimes somebody comes here and (custom plates) wasn’t something that was available to them where they lived. So it’s a novelty that people certainly enjoy,” he said.
Those looking for a custom licence plate can do so by visiting SGI’s website and filling out a form. The plate costs $75, though extra costs are associated with different themed licence plates, like the popular ‘Saskatchewan Roughriders’ series.
There are limits however to the messages that are allowed. McMurchy said nearly 5,000 slogans have been banned or prevented when requested.
“Things that we won’t approve of are slogans that are political in nature or slogans that refer to criminal behavior or risky driving behavior,” McMurchy explained. “References to alcohol or drugs are not permitted, and essentially slogans that the public may find offensive or suggestive and are not in good taste.”
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