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Feedback sought on expanding specialty licence plate program

Province and ICBC asking B.C. residents if they would like to see more choices of specialty plates

Would you like to have a choice of more specialty licence plates in B.C.? Here’s a chance to have your say.

ICBC and the Province of British Columbia are asking the public for their thoughts on expanding the specialty licence plate program in the province, via an online survey.

Specialty licence plates feature unique graphics or images that can represent different organizations or causes. British Columbia currently offers a limited number of specialty plates, including a Veterans commemorative plate and BC Parks plates.

The BC Parks plates have been wildly popular. Launched in 2017, the program offers B.C. drivers the opportunity to purchase one of three distinctly British Columbian scenes: a Kermode bear in the Great Bear Rain Forest; the Purcell Mountains; and Porteau Cove. Joanna Linsangan of ICBC media relations told the Journal in 2019 that they did not know what to expect when the plates went on sale, as there was nothing to compare them to.

“We expected to sell 37,000 plates by 2022,” she said. “We sold more than 100,000 in almost 18 months.”

When the five-year anniversary rolled around in 2022, the province announced that more than 300,000 of the BC Parks plates had been sold, generating more than $20 million in total revenue to further protect and enhance B.C.’s world-renowned parks system. The projects have involved more than 200 community partners and more than 70 First Nation partners.

In the Thompson-Cariboo region, the licence plate program has helped fund monitoring of Steelhead trout, a fuel management plan and implementation at Green Lake, interpretive trails at Big Bar Lake, grassland and wetland monitoring at Tunkwa Lake, and more. The funds have also been used to support the Student Ranger program, which allows up to 48 youth to get hands-on outdoor experience in BC Parks each year.

Now ICBC is looking at the possibility of offering even more options when it comes to specialty plates.

“Both ICBC and government regularly get requests from people asking whether there are licence plate options beyond what we currently offer,” says David Wong, president and CEO of ICBC. “Hearing directly from British Columbians on this topic is an important first step on a longer journey toward a wider variety of licence plates on our roads.”

The possibility of expanding the program to include non-profit organizations and charities is being explored. Proceeds from these specialty plate purchases would be directed toward the sponsoring organization.

“We’ve seen the popularity of specialty plates in other jurisdictions and how British Columbians have embraced BC Parks plates,” says Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “The time is right to look at expanding the program, and I encourage all motorists to take the survey today.”

British Columbians are invited to share their thoughts by participating in the survey at The survey will remain open until Jan. 31, 2024, and the information gathered will help inform the potential expansion of B.C.’s specialty licence plate program.

Barbara Roden

About the Author: Barbara Roden

I joined Black Press in 2012 working the Circulation desk of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal and edited the paper during the summers until February 2016.
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