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Brodie Thomas
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, November 20, 2008

INUVIK - They may be thought of as something for the wealthy, but who among us hasn't given some thought to what we would put on our own personalized licence plate?

Would you get a last name or a nickname? Maybe an inside joke or a clever combination of numbers and letters?

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Dave Beckett shows off the two sizes of licence plates available in the NWT. The next deadline for ordering your own personalized plate is fast approaching. If you don't order now, you might have to wait another year for the next printing. - Brodie Thomas/NNSL photo

If you have been thinking about it, the time to act is now because the Department of Transportation is getting ready to do a printing of vanity plates. The deadline for submissions is Nov. 25.

Mary Beckett, an officer for the DOT, said the department only prints the plates once it has enough orders to justify doing a run

"They do take a while to come in," she said.

Once you pay $150 to get your personalized plate printed, the combination is yours almost indefinitely. If your plate is lost or stolen, only you can have it reissued.

"If there is a specific one you're looking for, you have to check and see if it is even available," said Beckett.

With the NWT's small population there are still lots of popular letter combinations available. Beckett said her daughter scored one that is popular among a certain profession.

"It's 'ERTW' which means nothing to the rest of the world but it stands for 'engineers rule the world,'" said Beckett.

She said her daughter, an engineer, was amazed she got it because the ERTW plate is already taken in every other province and territory.

"She was thrilled," said Beckett.

If you do decide to order a plate, there is no rush to put it on your vehicle. She said people often order them for a specific vehicle before they have even purchased the car or truck.

You could even order a plate and never actually register it to a car or truck.

Plates come in two sizes as well: the regular automobile-size plate, and a smaller one for motorbikes.

The letter limit is six characters. You can use spaces but they count as characters as well. Your plate can't be profane or refer to drugs or alcohol. There are a few other rules listed on the DOT website if you're interested in applying.