A choice of customised plates will be on offer for around eight times the normal price
Czechs have taken a step towards joining large parts of the rest of the world in regarding car license plates as status symbols for purchase.
The coalition government on Wednesday cleared new proposed law making it possible for citizens to buy license plates of their choice at an extra cost compared with taking what’s on offer from a random lucky dip of the numbers and letters available.
The price for being allowed to select your license plate will be Kč 10,000 compared with the current normal costs of Kč 1,400. “This change has come as a result of increased demand from the public, and at the same time with this change we are promising to limit the potential for corrupt practice during the allocation of registration plates,” the ministry said in a statement.
There are suspicions that choice number plates can already be covertly obtained at a price. “I would not say that this is a big problem. We do know of cases where this happens, and it simply is not the right way of going about things,” Ministry of Transport spokesman Martin Novák told Czech Position.
The shift to special or “vanity” plates will be accompanied by a general shake-up of the registration system bring in a unified system combining the technical, police records, and ownership details in one database.
‘We do know of cases where this happens and it simply is not the right way of going about things.’
It’s still not clear when precisely the new system will take effect. “We are working on the assumption that it will be six months after the proposal is given final legislative clearance,” Novák added. That means it is likely to take effect some time in mid-2013 at the earliest.
At the moment the most visible signs of special license plates in the Czech Republic is the array of special combinations given to ministers, top officials, and the head of state.
Vanity plates are already big business and money spinners round the world with the process taken to the most extreme limit in the US where special commemorative plates can be bought along the same lines as stamps or coins in various states.