23 Awesome  (Or Not So Awesome) Vanity Plates

23 Awesome (Or Not So Awesome) Vanity Plates

Published June 8, 2012

Among his claims to fame, MP Árni Johnsen successfully lobbied for legalising vanity plates on vehicles in Iceland and became the first proud owner of one when he snagged “ÍSLAND” in 1996. Today there are 5.295 vehicles with such plates, which is about two percent of all vehicles in Iceland.

Much like there are rules governing the naming of people in Iceland, there are rules governing the “naming” of vehicles, which reflects the ease at which Icelanders (and citizens of other Nordic countries) give up their personal freedoms for the greater good of society.

In the case of the vanity plates, both English and Icelandic words are permitted, but if an Icelandic word is used, the law states that it must follow correct spelling and grammar rules.

Furthermore, the law states that vanity plates should not anger or make people feel uncomfortable. However, much like the condition that people’s names may not cause their bearer embarrassment, this is a rather subjective rule and it’s up to a committee to make the call.

Since 1996, the committee has rejected thirty or so plates. The plates “POLICE” and “KILLER” were amongst the first to be rejected because they could “make people feel uncomfortable.” Additionally, the plate “KILLR” was rejected three years later because it was too similar to “KILLER.” The plates “STUNT,” “STUNTS,” “DEVIL,” “SATAN,” “Ó GUД (“OH GOD”), and every variation of “FÍKNÓ” (NARCO) have also been rejected for this reason. “We try to follow ethics and be sure that plates are not hurtful or insulting,” Vehicle Inspection Director Karl Ragnars told a newspaper reporter in 1996.

Perhaps it’s the freedom of not being required to use the English language correctly or the fact that many Icelandic words are just too long, but a perusal of registered vanity plates reveals that a great number of them are indeed in English.

So we decided to make a short list of vehicles to perhaps follow and get to know better and others to avoid at all costs if possible. Interestingly, suggesting that you’re an alcoholic or just plain insane does not give the Committee reason to believe that some people might feel uncomfortable.

 



Mag
Articles
The Sheer Number Of Tourists

The Sheer Number Of Tourists

by

Last month, I visited Keflavík International Airport for the first time since their recent renovation. It’s nice that there are

Mag
Articles
How The Pirates Are Taking Over Icelandic Politics

How The Pirates Are Taking Over Icelandic Politics

by

If you’ve been online in the past seven years, you most likely know that the world has a minor fascination

Mag
Articles
A Note On Listening To Stand-Up In A Different Language With Advice From Eddie Izzard

A Note On Listening To Stand-Up In A Different Language With Advice From Eddie Izzard

by

If you are reading this, and you don’t speak Icelandic, you probably don’t believe that it could be enjoyable to

Mag
Articles
Bankers Behind Bars: Is Iceland Living Up To That Meme

Bankers Behind Bars: Is Iceland Living Up To That Meme

by

One frequently encounters foreigners who believe that Iceland offers a unique model of how to deal with a financial crash.

Mag
Articles
So What’s This Jailing Of Bankers I Keep Hearing About?

So What’s This Jailing Of Bankers I Keep Hearing About?

by

For several years, the internet has been teeming with stories of how Iceland sent their bankers to jail. They are,

Mag
Articles
Lemúrinn: Do Sheep Care About Solar Eclipses?

Lemúrinn: Do Sheep Care About Solar Eclipses?

by

Many Icelanders will, weather conditions permitting, get to witness a solar eclipse on March 20. The last total eclipse of

Show Me More!