Want a personalised number plate in SA? Here's what you need to know

<b>RARE PLATES:</b>  Pictured here are some of the rarest car numbers plates in SA, sold at an auction late in 2016. <i>Image Wheels24</i>
<b>RARE PLATES:</b> Pictured here are some of the rarest car numbers plates in SA, sold at an auction late in 2016. <i>Image Wheels24</i>

Cape Town -  Customising your car can be a expensive but that doesn't mean drivers should have to go to ridiculous lengths such as bizarre paintjobs or giant spoilers to individulise their car.

The easy way would be to obtain a personalised number plate. Whether it's 'CATCH ME - GP' or 'SXYBEAST - EC', we've all thought about owning a unique plate in SA. 

"Vanity" or personalised number plates are big business, according to Head of Gumtree Automotive, Jeff Osborne: "Kwazulu-Natal’s Department of Transport announced that they’ve seen a 39% increase in the number of vanity plates created over the last few years, earning the province a cool R2.3 million per year!"

There are more than double the amount of PRNs in Kwazulu-Natal than there is in Gauteng, according to Osborne. 

New number plates for SA

While you're considering a custom licence plate, consider that South Africa will also receive new number plate designs later in 2017, reports the Department of Transport.

News of the new number plates first came to light in 2015 when the Department of Transport sent out a notice informing South Africans of its intended plan of action.

The new plates, says the department, will have to be renewed every five years.

Here's what the Transport Department has to say:

According to the Department of Transport: "You can apply to personalise your motor vehicle number plate with any combination of numeric or alpha characters of your choice [subject to the approval of the Member of the Executive Committee’s (MEC), provided that the number is available and is not offensive.

"Your chosen name/number may not exceed seven characters (excluding the provincial mark) and must comply with the requirements of a normal number plate (e.g. it must display the logo of the province) and be displayed in the same manner as the normal number plate. The name/number you use will not be duplicated by someone else."

Here’s how to go about getting a personalised number plate:

1. Pick a 7-character (or less) name or number 

Osborne says: "This will have to be unique and not in use by anyone else. It also cannot be offensive in nature. But don’t worry, there are over 70 billion different combinations you can try. And, if your desired name is not available, you can use a Personal Registration Number brokerage that buys and resells popular vanity plate registrations for you… However, pricing can be as high as R20 000 though! 

You need an application form!

Head to your nearest local traffic registry office and complete the application form (SLN1). You will also need to submit:

 •  A certified copy of your ID document
 •  A vehicle registration certificate
 •  Proof of postal/ residential address such as a utility bill

There will be a fee that needs to be paid and this differs depending on your province.

3. Once approved, you will receive the necessary documents

This will include:
 • An order letter for the manufacturer giving them permission to make the number plate
 • A licensing letter
 • A SLN2 form to complete
 • A PLN2 certificate stating that you are able to get your desired number plate

4. Register your car and fit the plate

Using the certificate and licensing letter, you can now license your car using your new number plate at the local motor vehicle registering office. An official manufacturer must then create and fit your new number plate.

“In addition to expressing your individuality (and letting the world know that you are a SEXYMOM - WP or SHARK - KZN), these plates are a great way to advertise a business.

"And you’ll be doing your bit for our roads too. Kwazulu-Natal has managed to build 55 bridges and 14 schools with the cash from vanity plates alone!” says Osborne. 

What do you think of personalised licence plates in SA? Have you seen funny or bizarre plates? Email us

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