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Vehicles’ personalised number plates from October

Updated July 01, 2015

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The specialty number plates will be issued upon paying a premium. These vanity plates, like any other license plate, will have the license number. But they will have an additional feature – a specific vanity symbol.—Reuters/File
The specialty number plates will be issued upon paying a premium. These vanity plates, like any other license plate, will have the license number. But they will have an additional feature – a specific vanity symbol.—Reuters/File

LAHORE: The Punjab government has started the process of selecting companies having expertise in preparing personalised (alphanumeric) and specialty (vanity) number plates for vehicles which it expects to launch in October this year.

The system is being introduced under the Provincial Motor Vehicles Ordinance, 1965, amended by the Punjab Assembly for the purpose early this month.

The idea was floated by the Law and Order Wing of the Chief Minister’s Special Monitoring Unit in August, 2014. The team included Analyst Huda Wajih and Senior Member Salman Sufi.

The specialty number plates will be issued upon paying a premium. These vanity plates, like any other license plate, will have the license number. But they will have an additional feature – a specific vanity symbol.

The symbols will cover causes and themes like breast cancer awareness, counter terrorism, disabilities, culture of Punjab, WWF, education, symbols of Pakistan (architecture, historic sites), Punjab and national iconic figures (deceased) like the Quaid-i-Azam, poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, singers Mehdi Hasan, Noor Jahan, classical Punjabi poet Waris Shah, poet Habib Jalib and painter Abdur Rehman Chughtai, besides all recipients of Nishan-i-Haider, and one figure from each of the provinces, like Khushal Khan Khattak (from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa).

An official said there was a proposal to donate a percentage of revenue generated from these plates to the related cause.

The customised alphanumeric license plates’ will have inscriptions like PAKISTAN1, PAK123, MULTAN28, etc. However, there will be specific SOPs ensuring that the customised plates do not contain any caste or last name, inappropriate message, hate symbols or derogatory terms. A team will specifically scrutinise applications for these number plates to ensure nothing offensive is permitted.

Officials said the purpose of the initiative was to present a soft image of the country by highlighting its heroes and to prevent usage of number plates personalised by the owners of vehicles. There will no longer be number plates carrying words like “Mian 1, MPA, “or any inappropriate contents or images.

The new number plates could be detected by Auto Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.

Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2015

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