Sunday, July 25, 2004

Government unveils next generation number plates

From the NewsGroup

The State Government today unveiled the next generation of black and yellow number plates as the current series nears the end of its run.

The Minister for Roads, Carl Scully, said the new standard issue number plates featured a combination unique to light vehicles in Australia - two letters, two numbers and two letters.

"This new series from AA 00 AA to ZZ 99 ZZ offers 31.6 million possible combinations and is expected to last beyond 2050," Mr Scully said.

"The first number plates issued to NSW motorists in 1910 featured numerals only. Special plates for trucks also featured a letter "L" to signify it was registered to a lorry.

"In 1937, number plates featuring two-letters and three-numbers were introduced.

"These were replaced in 1951 with the current series of three-letters and three-numbers.

"This series is now approaching the end of its run; we will this week enter a new era of number plates for NSW drivers."

Mr Scully said motor registry staff would begin issuing the new plates to RTA customers once their stocks of the current 3x3 series run out.

"Some customers registering new vehicles or simply replacing old plates could have a set of new standard issue number plates as early as Friday.

"These plates will also be available for heavy vehicles with a gross vehicle mass of more than 4.5 tonnes," he said.

The Roads and Traffic Authority sells around 375,000 standard issue yellow plates each year at $32 per set.

All revenue collected from the sale of number plates - including special edition plates for events such as the 2003 Rugby World Cup - is directed to road safety, road construction and maintenance.