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
Iceland’s New Gold Rush

Iceland’s New Gold Rush

by

An Icelandic company, with financing from a Canadian company, hopes to mine for gold all over Iceland. One elected official

Mag
Articles
Time Capsule: Mokka Kaffi

Time Capsule: Mokka Kaffi

by

Visiting the Art Deco-infused Mokka Kaffi is like stepping back into the 1950s. In fact, this cozy little place was

Mag
Articles
Word Of The Issue: Legkaka

Word Of The Issue: Legkaka

by

The word of the issue this issue is legkaka. Normally, this space is reserved for Icelandic words that have no

Mag
Articles
Icelandic Facebook Groups: Gefins, allt gefins!

Icelandic Facebook Groups: Gefins, allt gefins!

by

So, you’re a poor Icelandic millennial working tirelessly on your new post-bluegrass-electronic EP. Luckily, your rich grandma just bought you

Mag
Articles
Lemúrinn: That Time an Icelandic Linguist (Almost) Rescued a British Stockbroker Stuck on the Greenland Ice Cap

Lemúrinn: That Time an Icelandic Linguist (Almost) Rescued a British Stockbroker Stuck on the Greenland Ice Cap

by

The past was a simpler time, back when any young Briton could embark on daring expeditions to far-flung locales in

Mag
Articles
Anna Ásthildur’s Perfect Day In Reykjavík

Anna Ásthildur’s Perfect Day In Reykjavík

by

Anna Ásthildur is a music professional, currently based in Berlin. “I work at Iceland Music Export marketing Icelandic music abroad,

Show Me More!