Thursday, May 07, 2009

Licence Plates

A long time ago a friend told me a joke, and immature as it is, it's still funny. It's a bit like adding "in bed" after a fortune cookie saying. The joke is that someone who moves around a lot always gets a personalized licence plate reading MY BODY. It's an affirmative statement that could be New Age-y, a political statement, or a fitness buff showing off. It doesn't matter. The joke just needs some rationale to display it on different licence plate.

The fun comes when you combine the personalization with the slogans already embossed on various jurisdictions' plates. Head over to the Acme License Maker to see what I mean.

Wisconsin, Idaho and Ontario made me laugh out loud, but Alaska, West Virginia and and Washington DC were worth it too.

I always find myself looking at licence plates. They stand out as different every time I fly to a new state or province, and I try to find some pattern to the numbers. Sometimes there is a different first letter for a different year, or a different part of the state. And I like to wonder about the significance of personalized plates.

Here is a real personalized licence plate I spotted on an old station wagon in Scarborough. I'll let a reader comment on the significance of this one, for those who don't already know.

In California I'm sure there are more cars than in all of Canada put together, so they have seven characters on their licence plates. They also use the letter Q, and have strange characters like hearts. I think the hearts and the like are only for personalized plates. This picture I took to show the heart and the Q, oddly raised, to distinguish it from an O.

Florida has a lot of different designs and colours for affiliations with things like sports teams or "Protect Florida Whales." I don't think it takes much to get a special licence plate designed for an affiliation group.

I think I just liked the old grille on this car. The only thing special about the plate is that it's a handicapped one.

I didn't see this one myself, it was on Failblog, but, if the photo isn't a fake, a big "You GO Girl!" to Gina for managing to sneak that by the California DMV. I'll bet they recalled it.

This school bus plate was on a perfectly ordinary car, not a schoolbus at all. I don't know why it had a special plate. Perhaps the driver was a schoolbus inspector or this was a very, very short bus.

And the piece de resistance of my collection, no this is not my car, and I didn't take the picture. "Aviatrix" is quite a common handle for my ilk. There are probably hundreds of pilots who use the pseudonym in one context or another. I know two pilots with the same first name and very similar e-mail addresses using the word. But still, "hey it's me!"

If you see any other licence plates that could be mine, please send them my way.


Paul Tomblin said...

I saw a New Jersey plate that said "IFR PILOT" once.

ShinySideUp said...

I have personally seen the dvagina plate close to LAX- nearly crashed my car from laughing...

Aviatrix said...

Thanks for verifying it, ShinySideUp!

dph said...

Too bad the crusty old station wagon is still around and the Aero isn't... :(

I Lol'd at the fact that the Aviatrix one is on a Saab...

k1mgy said...

Unfortunately no photo to share, but my absolute favourite got by a flunky license plate censor back in 1970.

After waiting in a long line to apply he was asked what he'd like for his 6 letters.

"B I O Y A"

When asked "What, exactly, does that mean", by the then rather out of touch flunkie, he had to think quickly. Of course now I can't remember his exact reply (which had zero connection of course to the inscription), but the whole thing was priceless.

If ever there was one, this is it.

Tony Smith said...

RE: The Bus Plate

I had a get a new number plate here in the UK a few years ago when the kids were teenagers.

Where they normally put the name of the garage in small letters underneath the main number I had them put..

"Dad's Taxi"

zeeke42 said...

Re school bus plate

In at least some states, any vehicle used for student transportation needs school bus plates. My father is a manager at a school bus contractor in Pennsylvania. His company minivan has school bus plates so it can be pressed in to service if necessary. A lot of special ed students are transported by minivan because there's only one or two going to a special school outside the district.

Chad said...

The flight school in London where I did my multi-rating was owned by an older couple who were both pilots, her licence plate was "Aviatrix".

Ed said...

Moving over to the aviation side of registrations my favourite is a hot air balloon here in the UK with the callsign Golf - Oscar November Alpha Delta.

Jim said...

Back when Ontario first allowed customized license plates, the Star reported on a few of the ones that were issued. From a distant memory:

NO TTC (ref. the Toronto Transit Commission - the bus, trolley and subway system)

IM A 10 - apparently a guy got this plate for his wife/girlfriend. She didn't want it on her car, since the Ontario tag, underneath, is "Yours To Discover".

Mark said...

An airline pilot who parks his Mercedes at YYC has a plate that says LANDJET

5400AirportRdSouth said...

I had to google BIOYA to find out what it means. Worth the effort. But seeing as how that was 1970, I bet you could get away with it today. I'm not the hippest cat around, ( hip cat... is that "square" or what??), but I've never heard that one before....

Unknown said...

Perhaps "bioya" loses something in crossing the pond, as it means nothing here.

local car M 155 PVC.....wonder what she does for a living!
Back in the 1950's my father claimed to know a doctor in the 30's who had "ELP 1 " on his car. you don't get a format choice in UK....the original single letter and figure evolved to 3 letters and 3 figures then they were reversed (digits first) then letters, digits and a letter identifying year, finally the format was reversed IE A 123 we have some really odd combination which has a 6-monthly "age -identifier" change! the licencing dept sells "cherished numbers" and makes a packet on transfer fees. "rude" or offensive numbers are no longer issued.

(though" 1 WOG " was still on a vehicle, some years ago.

Seen in a London Mews garage- 2 Rolls Royces "NOT1 " "BUT2 "

E said...

"My Body" with California plates I found a bit humorous although it may provide a scary mental image!

Anonymous said...

m155 pvc - saw that car yesterday, driving through north Cambridgeshire. Blue BMW Z4. Driver - blonde female. From the type of colour blonde, almost certainly fake (real blonde isn't that white).

No idea what she does, but my first thoughts were "prostitute" with a plate like that. Funny plate, but perhaps it gives the wrong impression?