There are over five million people living in the state of Victoria. We're driving around in almost four million vehicles between us. And each and every one of these cars has been hand-picked by its owner.
The car you choose to drive says a lot about you. You carefully choose a colour, perhaps some wheels, and other options you hope will reveal your distinct sense of style and individuality. Your car is one of the biggest investments you'll make during your life. It's understandable that you'd like it to make a unique statement about you.
Unique at least, until you're greeted at the lights by someone driving exactly the same car as yours. Exactly. Same colour. Same wheels. Everything. And to make matters worse, that driver thinks his car says something about him. How could it? It's your car!!
A custom plate shows the real you to the world, and expresses your individuality. Because each and every plate is one of a kind, Custom Plates are a fun and unique way to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Everyone has a different reason why they might choose to display a customised plate. For some, it's a desire to be different. For others it's the unique opportunity to give their car a finishing touch. We're glad to be able to offer Victorian motorists the chance to do something creative and individual.
Buying a customised number plate supports the development of Victoria's road projects and road safety initiatives for the benefit of all Victorian motorists.
So the next time you see a personalised number plate, you can thank the owner for their contribution...personally!
• The purpose of a number plate
Number plates are important legal identifiers for your vehicle. All registration numbers remain the property of the state of Victoria. By purchasing a customised plate you have purchased the right to display that combination on a vehicle of your choice.
• Separators and fonts; why they are important
With so many Custom plates to choose from it is important they each have their own unique attributes; this being different fonts, colours, images and separators. All plates are camera tested prior to their release to ensure these attributes are clearly visible. Plates are important legal identifications for your vehicle so you cannot modify, obscure or deface your plates in any way. Adding your own attribute, such as that sticker that shows allegiance towards your favourite team or club might look great, it's technically breaking the law, and by affixing it to your number plate you're running the risk of attracting a fine.
• What we will issue and why
Not only do we decide what number plates are issued, we also decide what plates are refused. Regulation 58 of the Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations 2009 provides VicRoads with the right to withhold a number plate from sale. Reasons why plates may be withhold include; if they could be mistaken for another registration number, used for advertising purposes or potentially released at a number plate auction event.
• Plates we won't issue
Being responsible, safe and considerate to other road users is something we take seriously. Plates containing offensive language, anti-social values or negative road safety message is unacceptable. So plates which are likely to offend or send a negative message will not be issued.
• Illegal plates
It is an offence under the Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations 2009 to display a number plate which has not been issued by VicRoads. This is a punishable offence that means Police or authorised VicRoads officers have power to seize any number plates they have reasonable grounds for suspecting was not issued in accordance with the Road Safety Act.
• Before buying on the secondary market
Although we don't participate in the sale of second hand plates, we strongly encourage you contact VicRoads on 1300 660 417 before purchasing. We can tell you the status of the plates and potentially save you from any disappointment.
In 1909 the Motor Car Act put into writing that, "Every motor car shall be registered by the Chief Commissioner who shall keep a register and shall assign a separate identifying number to every car so registered and shall enter in the register every such number..."
Initially, the responsibility was placed on vehicle owners to display their registration number on their vehicle. With no common standard for number display, owners took their own liberties in design and display. Some elected to paint their registration number directly onto their body of their vehicle, while others even took the opportunity to design their own number plates and fit these onto their vehicles.
Recognising that a common approach to registration number display was required, official number plates were designed and enforced under legislation in 1932.
"No person shall drive any motor car... unless the identifying number of each or all is clearly shown on the number plates firmly affixed in front and rear thereof in an upright position so that every letter and figure on the plate is upright and
Handmade from heavy gauge metal, with embossed or raised numbers, and coated with black and white vitreous enamel, these original number plates acted as a practical and functional tool. Drivers at the time would not have imagined the future desirability of these original plates.
From 1932, until their discontinuation in 1939, VicRoads (then the Motor Registration Branch), issued 284,999 of these original vitreous enamel plates-sequentially from plate number "2" up to number "285,000".
Advancements in technology resulted in the introduction of machine-stamped plates to Victoria. Not only did this new procedure greatly increase total plate output and satisfy the growing demands of motor vehicle popularity, but it also opened up many new opportunities for the exploration of customisation and design.
Since 1939, standard Victorian state plates have been black and white (1939-1977), green and white (1977-1994), and they are currently, blue and white (1994-present). Those with a taste for something a little more exotic have jumped at the opportunity to splash a "Granny Smith Green", "Flamingo Pink" or "Chilli Red" coloured plate on their car. Sporting
buffs have also proudly been showing their allegiances towards favourite teams on their cars since 1993, with the
availability of footy plates.
European car owners were invited to complete the look of their European cars in 2005, as VicRoads Custom Plates added Euro Plates to its suite of products. The plates were specifically designed to fit the larger plate recesses of these cars.
2007 saw the introduction of Signature Plates, and the response from motorists exceeded even the most optimistic expectations. Victorians jumped at their first opportunity to display just their two initials, or their initials combined with one or two numbers. These signature plates marked VicRoads first deliberate foray into "prestige plates", with combinations offered in silver and gold.
Although we love to have a good time, we're serious about your safety on the road. Victoria's road users are among the safest in the world. This is no accident!
Please visit roadsafety.vic.gov.au to find out more.