Vehicle registration plates of the Northwest Territories

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The Canadian territory of Northwest Territories first required its residents to register their motor vehicles and display licence plates in 1941.

In 1970, to celebrate the centennial of the territory, a unique polar bear-shaped plate was introduced. The basic bear shape has been retained ever since, and the plate is now a registered trademark of the Government of the Northwest Territories.[1]

Influence on Nunavut plate design[edit]

In April 1999, the territory of Nunavut was created from the eastern part of the Northwest Territories. The new territory adopted a virtually identical bear-shaped licence plate, following an agreement between the governments of the two territories. In 2011, the Government of Nunavut decided to discontinue the bear shape and replace it with a conventional rectangular design, which was introduced in July 2012.

Passenger plates 1966 to present[edit]

In 1956, the U.S. states and Canadian provinces came to an agreement with the Automobile Manufacturers Association that fixed the size for licence plates for vehicles, except those for motorcycles, at six inches in height by twelve inches in width, with standardized mounting holes. The 1955 (dated 1956) issue was the Northwest Territories' first licence plate that complied with these standards. The current bear-shaped plates feature the standardized mounting holes.

Image First issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1966 black on reflective orange Canada's Northland 1-234
12-345 (following exhaustion of previous format)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1970 bear-shaped; white on blue Centennial 1-234 (variable number of digits) 1 to approximately 7-500 Awarded inaugural "Plate of the Year" for best new licence plate of 1970 by the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1971 bear-shaped; blue on white none 1-234 (variable number of digits) 1 to approximately 8-500
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1972 bear-shaped; white on blue none 12-345 (variable number of digits) 1 to approximately 10-500
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1973 bear-shaped; dark blue on white with yellow slogan, date, and border RCMP Centennial 12-345 (variable number of digits) 1 to approximately 11-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1974 bear-shaped; red on white none 12-345 (variable number of digits) 1 to approximately 11-500
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1975 bear-shaped; turquoise on white none 12-345 (variable number of digits) 1 to approximately 18-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1977 bear-shaped; red on white none 12-345 (variable number of digits) 1 to approximately 21-500
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1979 bear-shaped; turquoise on white none 12-345 (variable number of digits) 1 to approximately 21-500
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1981 bear-shaped; red on white none 12-345 (variable number of digits) 1 to approximately 21-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1983 bear-shaped; blue on white none 12-345 (variable number of digits) 1 to approximately 30-500
Northwest Territories license plate.jpg 1986 bear-shaped; blue on white Explore Canada's Arctic 123456 (variable number of digits) 1 to approximately 125000
2010 bear-shaped; nature scene Spectacular 123456 300000 to present

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nunavut polar bear (license plate) on verge of extinction". APTN. August 5, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2011. 

External links[edit]