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Personalize your ride: A guide to vanity license plates in Canada

Personalize your ride: A guide to vanity license plates in Canada

Vanity license plates can be a fun way to personalize your vehicle and stand out on the road. However, there are guidelines in place for what types of vehicles can have a vanity license plate and what plate ideas are likely to be rejected. 

If you’re thinking of getting a vanity license plate for your vehicle, read on to understand more about the dos and don’ts.

What are vanity license plates?

Vanity license plates, also known as personalized or custom plates, are a type of license plate you can purchase to customize the letters and numbers that appear on the plate. They’re often used to creatively display a nickname, business name or other personal message that’s special to you. You can choose whichever combination of characters you like, so long as it meets the guidelines set by your province’s issuing agency.

What vehicles can have a vanity license plate?

Most Canadian provinces allow vanity plates for:

Some provinces, such as Alberta and Ontario, have specific restrictions or ineligibility policies on vanity license plates for commercial vehicles and heavy-duty trucks. Check with your local issuing agency, such as Service Alberta or Service Ontario, to see if your vehicle is eligible before applying. 

Why do some vanity license plates get rejected?

Each province has its own guidelines for vanity plates to ensure the content displayed is appropriate and easy to read. In addition to rules on the number and types of characters allowed, there are restrictions on the topics your plate can reference. 

Some common reasons your vanity plate idea might get rejected include references to:
Here are some examples of vanity license plates that were rejected in Canada in 2022:
Review your province’s guidelines before applying to understand what’s allowed and what’s likely to be rejected.

Does having a vanity license plate impact my insurance rate? 

Having a vanity license plate won’t impact your insurance rate, so long as your plate complies with the guidelines set by your province. You can find more information about what factors are considered when calculating your auto insurance rate on our How Auto Rates Work page. 

Do I need to tell my insurer if I switch to a vanity license plate? 

It’s always best to let your insurance company know when you make changes to your vehicle, including switching to a vanity license plate. That way, you can be sure you’re always in compliance with your policy and avoid any potential issues with your coverage. 

If you’re shopping for car insurance, contact a TW broker at 1-888-338-2685 to get a free quote. Or, if you’re a current TW policyholder, call 1-888-338-2685 to review your current policy and inquire about your coverage options.