Having personalized number plates made for your car is a way of showing your individuality, rather than being subjected to the generic alphanumeric characters on the numberplates of most South African vehicles.
Whether it induces groans or giggles, a personalized number plate is a sure-fire way to make you stand out amongst the traffic. Although it will cost you a little more than a regular number plate, getting a more personal one for your vehicle is relatively simple.
Here’s how it’s done:
Choose your number plate text.
As long as the number plate lettering is not deemed offensive (and as long as no one else has chosen the same digits – not as original as you hoped!), you can choose any names, words, or numbers. However, remember that your lettering must be aligned with normal number plate requirements.
For example, your number plate still has to show your province’s logo and your chosen digits must be displayed in the same way as the other number plates on the road.
Visit your local traffic registry office.
Here you will fill out the relevant form to apply for the personalized number plate (the application form SLN1).
You will need to have with you:
- An official ID document (such as an ID book or passport) and a certified copy of it
- The vehicle registration document for the lucky (?!) vehicle that will be displaying the personalized plate
- Cash for the required fee (contact your local traffic registration office for these rates and tariffs)
The application is processed by the traffic department on the same day.
Once your application has been approved and your payment has been processed, you will receive:
- An order letter for the manufacturer of the licence plate giving them permission to make the requested personalized number
- A licensing letter
- A SLN2 form for you to complete
- A PLN2 certificate stating that you are able to get your desired number plate
Use the PLN2 certificate and licensing letter to register your car at a local motor vehicle registering office. These forms allow you to license your vehicle using your chosen number.
Choose an official manufacturer to create and fit your new number plate. This is usually done on the spot so you can be driving away with your unique numberplate in no time!
Helpful hints and tips
As a generalization, dealing with the traffic department can be a relatively slow process so be sure to give yourself enough time when applying.
The lines are often long and you may have to wait longer than expected before walking out the proud new owner of your new plate. Don’t just slip out on your lunch break or you may only be back in time to see your colleagues leaving the office at 5pm!
If you are applying for a personalized number plate as a business, different rules do apply. In addition to your ID and Traffic Register Number Certificate, you will also need to bring a Business Registration Certificate.
If you don’t want to go to the traffic department in person, you may also fax or post application forms to the Licence numbers department in Cape Town.
The fax number is 021 483 2027 or 021 483 7332; and the postal address is: P.O Box 2603, Cape Town, 8000.
If you would like to transfer or keep your personalized number plate when you get a new car to show it off, you can send an application form, South African ID, and your Traffic Register Number Certificate to the licence number department for them to process.
If you fax your application, you can expect a response within 24 hours. If your application has been approved, you will then be issued with a letter stating your approval as well as a letter requesting payment for the number plate change, outlining the methods of payment.
You can then go ahead with the payment and submit proof thereof, and will then be provided with the documentation outlined in Step #4.
If you think your number plate is funny, witty, or clever…please run it by a few objective friends before you commit to getting it! There are far too many groan-worthy number plates out there making the traffic even more unbearable!