Vehicle registration plates of British Columbia

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The Canadian province of British Columbia first required its residents to register their motor vehicles and display licence plates in 1904. Since then, plates have changed from being yearly renewals with date stamps, to decals as is the current method.

Passenger plates 1904 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 province's first licence plate that complied with these standards.

Licence plate serials for passenger vehicles omit the following letters: I, O, Q, U, Y, and Z. From the introduction of yearly registration stickers with the ABC-123 series in 1970 until the end of the 123-ABC series in 2014, the set of 20 available letters was divided into two 10-letter blocks: A-K and L-X. When a serial reached the end of a block, the next issue would roll over to the start of the same block, so that AAK was followed by ABA, rather than AAL. Likewise, AAX was followed by ALA, rather than ABA. The serials were issued in two sets of 8 blocks each (letters first 1970-2001, then numbers first 2001-2014): AAA-KKJ, AAL-KKX, ALA-KXK, LAA-XKK, ALL-KXX, LLA-XXK, LAL-XKX, and LLL-XXW. As of the AB1-23C series introduced in 2014, the serials are being issued in a single 20-letter block, in alphabetical order (i.e. AA0-00A to AX9-99X, then BA0-00A, etc.).

Note that the letter Y appears on certain commercial vehicle plates.

Image First issued Design Slogan Notes Serial format Serials issued
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1913 White on blue none 1234
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1914 Dark blue on white none 1234
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1915 Cream on green none 1234
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1916 Black on yellow none 1234
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1917 Black on white none 12345
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1918 1919 Yellow on black none Revalidated for 1919 with tabs 12345
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1920 1921 1922 Orange-yellow on black none Revalidated for 1921, and 1922 with tabs 12345
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1923 Yellow on green none 12345
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1924 Yellow on black none 12-345
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1925 Silver on black none 12-345
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1926 Black on off-white none 12-345
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1927 Black on orange none 12-345
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1928 Golden yellow on black none 12-345
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1929 Black on off-white none 12-345
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1930 Yellow on red none 12-345
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1931 Black on white none 12-345
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1932 White on brown none 12-345
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1933 Brick red on yellow none 12-345
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1934 White on blue none 12-345
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1935 Blue on white none 12-345
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1936 White on green none 12-345
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1937 Black on off-white none 12-345
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1938 White on lavender none 12-345
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1939 Black on golden yellow none 12-345
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1940 Yellow on dark blue none 12-345
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1941 Blue on white none 12-345
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1942 White on blue none 12-345
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1943 Black on off-white none 12-345
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1944 Off-white on black none 12-345
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1945 Red on white none 12-345
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1946 White on red none 12-345
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1947 Green on white none 12-345
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1948 Off-white on light green none 12-345
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1949 Purple on yellow none 123-456
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1950 1951 Golden yellow on black none Revalidated for 1951 with date strips. 123-456
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1952 1953 1954 Black on aluminum none Revalidated for 1953, and 1954 with tabs. 123-456
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1955 Black on golden yellow none 123-456
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1956 Golden yellow on black none 123-456
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1957 Dark blue on white none 123-456
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1958 Green on gold 1858 Centenary 1958 123-456
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1959 Turquoise on brown none 123-456
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1960 Brown on turquoise none 123-456
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1961 Brown on pink none 123-456
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1962 Pink on brown none 123-456
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1963 White on blue none 123-456
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1964 Blue on white Beautiful British Columbia Insurance renewal required a new plate every year, Yearly changes between blue on white, white on blue and red on white. 123-456
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1965 White on blue Beautiful British Columbia 123-456
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1966 Blue on white Beautiful British Columbia 123-456
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1967 Red on white Beautiful British Columbia 123-456
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1968 Blue on white Beautiful British Columbia 123-456
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1969 White on blue Beautiful British Columbia 123-456
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1970 Blue on white Beautiful British Columbia Introduction of yearly vehicle registration stickers and the idea of permanent plates AAA-000 AAA-000 to PMH-999
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1973 Blue on white Beautiful British Columbia AAA 000 PMJ-000 to VUZ-999
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1979 White on blue Beautiful British Columbia AAA-000 AAA-000 to FZZ-999
British Columbia license plate 1986.jpg
1985 Blue on reflective white with screened provincial government flag logo Beautiful British Columbia Flag graphic AAA 000 VVA-000 to ZZZ-999
BC License Plate 820TTE.jpg
2001 Blue on reflective white with screened provincial government flag logo Beautiful British Columbia Flag graphic 000 AAA 000-AAA to 999-XXW, excluding the 000-MAB and 000-VAB series
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2004 Veteran License Plate - Powder blue background with black lettering, a Canada Flag on the upper right corner, and a partial image of the national war memorial in Ottawa on the left side with a red poppy overlaid. VETERAN British Columbia Issued to veterans who must be confirmed by one of the Veterans associations recognized by the provincial government[1] 000 VAA 001-VAA
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2007 2010 Olympic License Plate - Screened mountain design background with black lettering and the 2010 Winter Olympic logo on centre. The Best Place On Earth Issued from April 16, 2007 to December 31, 2010 and it cost $35 with a portion going to Canada's athletes.[2] 000 MAA 000-MAA to 999-MKK
BC Passenger License Plate CF346E.jpg
2014 Blue on reflective white with screened provincial government flag logo Beautiful British Columbia Flag graphic AA0 00A AA0-00A to present
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2016 Memorial Cross license plate - White background with purple writing, a Canada Flag on the upper right corner, and an image of the memorial cross on the left side. Memorial Cross Recipient As of November 10, 2016 this free license plate is issued to recipients of the Memorial Cross.[3] They can only be obtained by contacting the Manager of Provincial Vehicle Registration & Licensing at ICBC headquarters.[4] MC000R MC000R to present

Truck plates 1979 to present[edit]

Image First issued Design Slogan Notes Serial format Serials issued
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1979 green on white Beautiful British Columbia Large decal from 1979 to 1985 00-00-AA
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1985 blue on reflective white with screened provincial government flag logo Beautiful British Columbia Flag graphic 0000 AA
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2004 Veteran License Plate - Powder blue background with black lettering, a Canada Flag on the upper right corner, and a partial image of the national war memorial in Ottawa on the left side with a red poppy overlaid. VETERAN British Columbia Issued to veterans who must be confirmed by one of the Veterans associations recognized by the provincial government[1] 0000 LV
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2007 2010 Olympic License Plate - This plate has a screened mountain design as the background and 2010 Winter Olympic logo on centre. The Best Place On Earth Issued from April 16, 2007 to December 31, 2010 and it cost $35 with a portion going to Canada's athletes.[2] AA 0000
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2009 blue on reflective white with screened provincial government flag logo Beautiful British Columbia Flag graphic AA 0000
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2016 Memorial Cross license plate - White background with purple writing, a Canada Flag on the upper right corner, and an image of the memorial cross on the left side. Memorial Cross Recipient As of November 10, 2016 this free license plate is issued to recipients of the Memorial Cross.[3] They can only be obtained by contacting the Manager of Provincial Vehicle Registration & Licensing at ICBC headquarters.[4] MC0000

Consular licence plates 1967 to present[edit]

Image First Issued Design Slogan Notes Serial Format Serials Issued
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1967 The first year diplomat plates are issued with date stamped plates changing yearly from red-on-white, blue-on-white, and white-on-blue. Beautiful British Columbia Date stamped from 1967 to 1972 CONSUL 000
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1973 The first year for decals, small decals, in the blue-on-white colour scheme. Beautiful British Columbia Small decal from 1973 to 1978 CONSUL 000 101-500

501-600

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1979 The first year for large decals, in the white-on-blue colour scheme. Beautiful British Columbia Large decal from 1979 to 1985 CONSUL 123 002-100

601-999

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1986 The first year of the "flag graphic" plates with the blue-on-white colour scheme. Beautiful British Columbia Flag graphic CONSUL 000 101-500

501-999

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2001 Continuation of the flag graphic with a change of serial format Beautiful British Columbia Flag graphic CONSUL A00 A01-D99*

*Unconfirmed

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2007 Red background with white writing and rising sun logo; created by ICBC and the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa None Diplomat-level Representative - Includes dependents or International Organizations DL 000A
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2007 Red background with white writing and rising sun logo; created by ICBC and the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa None Career Consular Officers - Includes level foreign representatives and their dependents or Consular Post where headed by a Career Officer CC 000A
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2007 Red background with white writing and rising sun logo; created by ICBC and the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa None Honorary Consular Officers - Includes Canadian citizens, level foreign representatives or a Consular Post where headed by Honorary Consular HC 000A
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2007 Red background with white writing and rising sun logo; created by ICBC and the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa None Consular Staff - Includes administrative, technical and service level foreign representatives and their dependents CS 000A
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2007 Red background with white writing and rising sun logo; created by ICBC and the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa None Special Representative - Includes foreign officials and their dependents from Offices of Political Subdivisions of Foreign State and from other Office and for their Offices[5] SR 000A

BC Parks plates 2017 to present[edit]

On November 28, 2016 BC announced its new BC Parks Future Strategy. In this, was the mention of using a special ICBC issued license plate that would have the proceeds go to preserving BC Parks.[6] On January 18, 2017 ICBC unveiled the new plates. There are 3 different designs and they went on sale January 29, 2017, through the Autoplan broker network. They are $50 for the initial purchase with $33 going to fund BC Parks. After that, there is an annual renewal fee of $40, 100% of which goes to funding the parks system.[2] In just under 8 weeks since becoming available, it was reported that 10,000 BC Parks plates have been sold; this includes all 3 deisgns.[7]

Image First Issued Design Slogan Notes Serial Format Serials Issued
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2017 An image of a Kermode Bear as the background with black lettering. The Kermode Bear is also a provincial symbol. It is a white black bear subspecies; it is not albino.[8] Beautiful British Columbia No provincial graphic, but with a secondary slogan of "Discover BC Parks" PA000A
ICBC Purcell Mountains Parks licence plate.jpg
2017 An image of the Purcell Mountains with the snow-capped peaks as the background with black lettering. Beautiful British Columbia No provincial graphic, but with a secondary slogan of "Discover BC Parks" PA000A
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2017 An image of Porteau Cove overlooking Howe Sound as a background with black lettering. Beautiful British Columbia No provincial graphic, but with a secondary slogan of "Discover BC Parks" PA000A

Licence plate decals[edit]

Since 1970, it has been necessary in British Columbia to place a decal on the rear licence plate as proof of current insurance in order to be permitted to drive the vehicle. Decals have been used since 1970, but they all expired on February 28 of the following year until March 1980. Then they expired at the end of the month on the decal, until 1994. Then an additional decal, with a number on it for the day it expired, was introduced.

The decals are currently issued by the provincial motor vehicle insurer, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. The following are the colour patterns used in years from 1980 onward:

Image Year Colour
1980 Black and white
1981 Red and black
1982 Green and white
1983 Black and white
1984 Orange and white
1985 Blue and white
ICBC Jul 1986 Registration Decal.png
1986 Red and blue on white (Expo 86 Logo)
1987 Red and white
1988 Dark blue and white
1989 Green on white (thick border)
1990 Pink on white
1991 Blue on white
1992 Black on white
1993 Green on white
1994 Red on white
1995 Blue on white
1996 Black on white (Jan-Sept)
1996 Pink on white (Oct-Dec)
1997 Green on white
1998 Red on white
1999 Blue on White (thick or thin border)
2000 Black on Yellow
2001 Black on Orange
2002 Black on Dark green
2003 Black on Pink
2004 Black on Yellow (no border, long decal)
2005 Black on Sky blue (no border, short decal)
ICBC Apr 2006 Registration Decal.png
2006 Black on Red
2007 Black on Light green
2008 White on Baby blue
2009 Black on Dark orange
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2010 Black on Green
2011 Black on Yellow
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2012 Black on Pink
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2013 Black on Orange
2014 Black on Baby blue (full year shown)
2015 Black on Mustard Yellow
2016 Black on Pink
ICBC Feb 2017 Registration Decal.png
2017 Black on Green
ICBC Feb 2018 Registration Decal.jpg
2018 Black on Orange

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "British Columbia Veteran License Plates". www.bcpl8s.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  2. ^ a b c "Love B.C. Parks? There's a new licence plate for you". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-01-24. 
  3. ^ a b Infrastructure, Transportation and. "B.C. launches Memorial Cross licence plates | BC Gov News". news.gov.bc.ca. Retrieved 2017-01-25. 
  4. ^ a b "British Columbia Memorial Cross Recipient License Plates -". www.bcpl8s.ca. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  5. ^ "British Columbia Consular License Plates". www.bcpl8s.ca. Retrieved 2016-11-19. 
  6. ^ "B.C. government creating more than 1,900 new campsites". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-01-24. 
  7. ^ Environment. "10,000 BC Parks specialty licence plates sold | BC Gov News". news.gov.bc.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  8. ^ "BC Parks licence plates". www.icbc.com. Retrieved 2017-01-24. 

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