A new law due to come in force next year will enable car owners to order personalized license plates for the price of 10,000 crowns. Custom license plate numbers will be issued on a first come, first served basis and there will be a number of restrictions.
People hankering for a personalized license plate now have the chance to pick a configuration of their own choosing -their name, nickname or any other “vanity” message of their choice. Car registration offices will open on January 4th and deal with requests on a first come, first served basis. People should have a clear idea of what they want on their license plate and an alternative should the given configuration already be taken. The head of the Prague Car Registration Office Petr Mareček told Czech Radio that ideally people should file their request in person.
“In order to ensure customer satisfaction we really recommend that people turn up in person to file a request. This will enable the clerk serving them to get all the necessary information, check that the given configuration is not already taken and make any necessary corrections.”
A plate must have eight characters of which at least one must be a number, and there are several other restrictions such as that they must not contain vulgar words, certain letters or include acronyms of existing bureau. Whether or not your selected configuration will pass muster will depend on the motor registration office authorities who will be the ones to decide whether it fulfils the required conditions. The Transport Ministry has issued a list of 900 words considered vulgar but the clerk serving you will have the last word on whether the chosen license plate is permissible or not. Transport Minister Dan Ťok says that the restrictions are not excessive.
“People will not be able to use certain letters of the alphabet - specifically G, CH, O, Q and W –which could complicate identification -as well as vulgar expressions. The restrictions were consulted and agreed on with the police force and I think that even with these restrictions the freedom of choice is considerable and people will be able to let their imagination run wild.”
One license plate will cost 5,000 crowns, meaning that drivers will pay 10,000 for the pair. The customized plate cannot be sold but since it is registered with a given driver it can be transferred to a new car. If the plates are lost the driver will not be able to request the same configuration.
Drivers who want to make sure they get the configuration of their choice are advised to make a personal visit to their car registration office, requests made by e-communication will take longer to process and increase the risk that the given configuration may already be taken. If all goes smoothly and the chosen vanity plate is not considered problematic, the new plate should be available within a fortnight.
Although some drivers are eager to sport a plate of their own choosing and ready to pay for it, the Transport Ministry says it expects predominantly interest from companies.