Personalized License Plates | Neither Trump nor Biden on the roads of Quebec

The craze for personalized plates seems to be running out of steam in Quebec, where more than 23,000 of them were issued in 2018, compared to less than 5,000 last year. And from CAQ to PQ, via MURDERD and KXKKXXK, the SAAQ refuses more than two requests for each one it accepts.

Less enthusiasm

The personalized plate program of the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) experienced enormous enthusiasm shortly after its launch in 2018. So much so that that year, 23,356 personalized plates were issued. In subsequent years, however, interest seems to have gradually declined, reaching a low of 4,779 new plates in 2023.

More refusals than grants

According to a list drawn up by the SAAQ, obtained by The Press under a freedom of information request, some 144,000 requests have been refused since the program was established. Of the lot, most were immediately rejected by the system, which “is able to carry out an initial sorting”. However, more than 3,000 requests required further analysis. Over the same period, nearly 64,000 plates were issued – this means that approximately 7 out of 10 requests did not comply with SAAQ rules.

The rules… what rules?

With its personalized plate program, the SAAQ wants to allow motorists to “stand out by choosing a unique and original combination”. It’s not unconditional, however. First of all, you should know that only the letters of the alphabet and numbers are allowed, that spaces are not allowed and that the letter “O” will automatically become the number “0”. But that’s not all.

The SAAQ, an apolitical organization?

In an apparent desire to escape the political divide, the SAAQ refused a number of requests suggesting any allegiance.

More than thirty references to former American President Donald Trump were thus rejected, whether DJTRUMP, 45TRUMP or NOTRUMP. The name of the current president, Joe Biden, should not be found on the roads of Quebec either, since a request for BIDEN20 was declined.

On a more local level, LEGAULT, TRUDEAU and BYEPLQ will also not adorn the rear of vehicles in the province.

It’s not easy to see clearly!

Quick, can you tell the difference between KXKKXXK and XKXKXKX? No ? This is undoubtedly why the SAAQ immediately rejected these two requests. On its site, we can indeed read that “the number must be clear and easy to read”. In the same vein, the Company does not allow combinations of more than four consecutive identical characters, whether it is a pensive MMMMMMM or a tired ZZZZZZ.

No luxury vehicles at a discount

Porsches, Teslas, Ferraris and Ducatis will undoubtedly continue to roam the roads of La Belle Province, but we will not find any of these words on the personalized plates. The SAAQ prohibits any “distinctive name used as a registered trademark”. NETFLIX and MARVEL are also banned, which may displease some movie fans…

The SAAQ says no to TAXSAAQ

The chosen combination must not “falsely lead to the belief that the owner of the road vehicle is a public authority, a peace officer or a road controller, or that he works for an emergency service or a government agency”, reads- on the SAAQ website. Following this logic, PARMEDC, EMERGENCY and POMPYER arrangements are not permitted. The SAAQ was also able to reject the requests of certain motorists who attempted to snub it directly, including TAXSAAQ and SAAQV0L.

A certain expected rectitude

Not surprisingly, the SAAQ does not allow “obscene or sexual” ideas to be conveyed, any more than the plates “encourage a criminal offense”. “Abusive or derogatory language” is also prohibited. In doing so, F0KIU and IDI0T, as well as BADLADY and WANTSEX, fell under the ax. As for comments that could incite a criminal offense, these include MURDERD, RACEPLZ, 5N1PER and FRAUD.

With the collaboration of William Leclerc, The Press

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  • $280.54
    This is the cost of acquiring a personalized plate, to which must be added each year a management fee of $38.81

    Source: Quebec Automobile Insurance Company

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