Can I get Personalised Number Plates?!


Personalised Number Plates Cr: S. Cadman number plates, which are officially called Personalised Registration Number (PRN) plates, are becoming more and more popular in all of South Africa’s provinces, especially since the introduction of the new 7 character plates. People use them to express their personalities and companies want them as marketing devices. Can you get the number plate of your dreams? Well, that depends on what your dream is because there are rules that you have to follow! Read on to find out more.

Rules Relating to Personalised Number Plates

Offensive Combinations of Characters

The combination of letters and numbers that you choose is vetted by a committee that checks for offensive combinations in English, Afrikaans and other languages. Personalised number plates will not be approved if they might be offensive to any group on sexual, racial, religious or any other grounds.

If your name is Frederick Ulysses Charles Khoza then you will not be able to register a plate with your initials at all (!). The offensive combination rule will always apply, and combinations like 666, 911GOOD and NO25DEC are unlikely to be approved. That means that you’ll need to consider your choice very carefully before applying. Should your application be denied, you’ll have to start the process all over again, so it’s best to be as sure as you can be before filing an application!

Number Plate Format

You’ll also need to comply with all local regulations about character spacing, number plate background, colours, crests and provincial identification letter suffixes. Adding extra spaces between characters to emphasise the meaning is not allowed and could lead to your vehicle being declared not roadworthy and a fine…

You can use any combination of letters and numbers with 1-7 characters, e.g. HERE4U, HERENOW, 2DAY and 22TODAY. Personalised Number Plates are the same colours as standard plates except in KwaZulu-Natal Province where they are green on a white background rather than the standard blue on white.

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Highly Desirable Personalised Number Plates

Yes, you can have a number plate with a single digit (plus your provincial suffix) but you are going to have to bid for it at a public auction because the provinces make millions of Rands from these sales and need to maximise their income. Here are a few examples of Gauteng personalised number plate prices to give you an idea of what you will need to pay:

  • SL500 GP cost R500,000 at auction;

  • 1 GP cost R500,000;

  • S GP cost R50,000;

  • 77 GP cost R50,000;

  • BEETLE GP cost R50,000.

These number plates are so expensive because there are many people interested in each one, so competition drives up the prices. The less desirable personalised number plates are, the cheaper they will be. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you have unusual initials, for example, you might be able to get your plates much cheaper than the prices listed above.

Previously Registered Personalised Number Plates

There is a healthy after-market in personal number plates because people have bought plates as investments. Personalised number plates can be transferred between owners and vehicles, but there are fees that will need to be paid to local vehicle licensing authorities. As an example, Gumtree recently had the following number plates listed for sale:

  • TDI DSG-GP – Offers over R5,000;

  • HARLEY-ZN – R125,000 including a 2012 Harley Davison;

  • AUM K-ZN – R15,000.

Address Limitations for Personal Number Plates

You can only apply for a number plate from your registered address in your home province. This means that if you want a GP suffix you will need to move to Gauteng because personal number plates with a GP suffix are only issued to addresses in that province.

Now, those are all the requirements out of the way, so how exactly do you go about getting those personalised number plates?

How to Get Your Personalised Number PlatePersonalised Number Plates Cr: Smoobs

Stage 1

  • Choose your desired combination of letters and numbers;

  • Check the number plate’s availability on the personalised numbers website for your province to check if anyone has already registered your preferred plate;

  • Download the application form (SLN1);

  • Fill in the form and EITHER take it to your local vehicle registrations authority office (and be prepared for a 4 hour wait!) OR Fax or post your SLN1 to the South African Licence Numbers Department in Cape Town. Fax to 021 483 2027 or 021 483 7332, or post to P.O Box 2603, Cape Town, 8000.

Stage 2

  • Take either the completed SLN1 or the approval letter you got from the Licence Numbers Department in Cape Town to your local vehicle registration authority;

  • You will also need your identity document and a certified copy of that document, cash for the locally determined fee (approx. R2250) and the car registration document for the car that the new PRN plate will be used on.

Stage 3

  • Wait for the documents you need to be posted back to you;

  • Send off the Order Letter authorising the licence plate manufacturer to make your personalised number plates;

  • The plates will be delivered to your local licencing authority.

Stage 4

  • Take both the Licencing Letter and Form PLN2 that you were sent to your local vehicle registering authority;

  • Walk out with your number plates.

Getting Personalised Number Plates in Summary

As you can see the procedure for getting personalised number plates is not a simple one with all the toing and froing of documents in the post as well as necessary attendance at the vehicle registering centre. However, all this work could be worthwhile because your personalised car registration number plate may increase in value and you can transfer it to any replacement vehicle you buy in the future. Whether you want personalised number plates to show your individuality, or to make an investment in the hopes of selling them in the future, you’re going to have to do a fair amount of work. But it could all pay off!

Main Subject: Personalised Number Plates

February 23, 2016

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