British Columbia Parks License Plates

Kermode Bear
Purcell Mountains
Porteau Cove
Issuing Blocs
PA000A to PA999X
PB000A to PB999X
PC000A to PC999X
PD000A to PD999X
PE000A to PE999X
PF000A to PF999X
PG000A to PG999X
PH000A to PH999X
PJ000A to PJ999X
The "Kermode Bear" design was chosen to represent the province's "vast, rugged northern region" and because the animal is recognised as a provincial symbol. As well, in 2016 the Great Bear Rainforest Act received Royal Assent.
Issuing Blocs
PK000A to PK999X
PL000A to PL999X
PM000A to PM999X
PN000A to PN999X
PP000A to PP999X
PR000A to PR999X
PS000A to PS999X
PT000A to PT999X
PV000A to PV999X
The "Purcell Mountains" design was chosen to represent the province's "interior region" with the snow capped peaks pictured on the plate being from the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Provincial Park and Protected Area.
Issuing Blocs
PW000A to PW999X
PX000A to PX999X
RA000A to RA999X
RB000A to RB999X
RC000A to RC999X
RD000A to RD999X
RE000A to RE999X
RF000A to RF999X
RG000A to RG999X
The "Porteau Cove" design was chosen to represent the province's "South Coast region" as it is one of the most popular provincial parks in British Columbia and also represents the most southerly fjord in North America.

For posterity, we have archived ICBC's Bulletin No. 16; "New number plates featuring BC Parks", which provides some basic details on these plates. To access it, Click Here!

Kermode Bear
Ron Garay Collection
Issuing Statistics
Jan 2017:
PA0-00A to PA9-99X
May 2017:
PB0-00A to PB9-99X
Nov. 2017:
PC0-00A to PC9-99X
Jan. 2019:
PD0-00A to PD9-99X
Jan. 2020:
PE0-00A to PE9-99X
Feb. 2021:
PF0-00A to PF9-99X
Jan. 2022:
PG0-00A to PG9-99X
"PF" bloc
"PG" bloc
"PH" bloc
"PJ" bloc
Purcell Moutains
Ron Garay Collection
Ron Garay Collection
"PM" bloc
Issuing Statistics
Jan 2017:
PK0-00A to PK9-99X
June 2017:
PL0-00A to PL9-99X
Jan. 2018:
PM0-00A to PM9-99X
Dec. 2018:
PN0-00A to PN9-99X
Dec. 2019:
PP0-00A to PP9-99X
Sept. 2020:
PR0-00A to PR9-99X
June 2021:
PS0-00A to PS9-99X
Jan. 2022:
PT0-00A to PT9-99X
"PP" bloc
"PT" bloc
"PV" bloc
Porteau Cove
Ron Garay Collection
Ron Garay Collection
Ron Garay Collection
Issuing Statistics
Jan. 2017:
PW0-00A to PW9-99X
Aug. 2017:
PX0-00A to PX9-99X
May 2018:
RA0-00A to RA9-99X
May 2019:
RB0-00A to RB9-99X
June 2020:
RC0-00A to RC9-99X
June 2021:
RD0-00A to RD9-99X
Feb. 2022:
RE0-00A to RE9-99X
"RC" bloc
"RD" bloc
"RE" bloc
"RF" bloc
"RG" bloc
To mark the Fifth Anniversary of the BC Parks plates, BC Parks released a "Five-Year Report" (linked through the image above) in order to provide an overview of the various projects and other initiatives funded through the sale of the plates.
Of interest, 325 projects have been funded by the $20,000,000 raised through the sale of the plates. The majority of these projects, 79 in total, occurred on Vancouver Island the Queen Charlottes. Equally of interest, the cost of the 250,000 plates for ICBC to have made is $2,707,022, which works out to about $5.41/plate - which seems expensive, broker commissions are another $2,100,109 while BC Parks administration costs are $387,570 (huh?).
Popularity by type:
Keremode Bear
Purcell Mountains
Porteau Cove
$$ Raised
February 22, 2017
2,328 (43.2%)
1,744 (32.3%)

1,320 (24.5%)

June 19, 2017
13,325 (39.5%)
10,926 (32.4%)

9,447 (28.0%)

June 28, 2017
14,600 (39.6%)
12,000 (32.5%)
10,300 (27.9%)
July 20, 2017
December 20, 2017
28,270 (37.9%)
25,319 (33.9%)
21,011 (28.2%)
June 25, 2018
36,396 (36.2%)
35,030 (34.85%)
29,102 (28.95%)
January 29, 2019
46,834 (35.3%)
46,816 (35.3%)
38,883 (29.3%)
January 29, 2020
61,868 (33.9%)
65,448 (35.9%)
55,109 (30.2%)
September 30, 2020
73,241 (33.2%)
80,467 (36.4%)
67,122 (30.4%)
May 1, 2021
81,764 (32.5%)
93,324 (37.1%)
76,672 (30.5%)
January 26, 2022
97,120 (31.6%)
115,879 (37.7%)
94,325 (30.7%)

Initial Distribution - January 29, 2017
The following is an unofficial attempt to record the initial distribution of the BC Parks plates in an attempt to create a historical record but also to provide a more immediate benefit to motorists seeking a particular combination of letters and numbers. The information has been compiled by contacting Autoplan Agents and utilising the power of social media.
Issuing Stats
For the hard-core collector and those aspiring to be hard-core, the ultimate quest for the BC Parks plate is obtaining all three bases with the equivalent number (such as the plates shown below - all of which are the 33rd issued for each design!). We hope the list above aids you in your quest, should you choose to accept it. For the uber hard-core player, try getting the same repeating number on your bases!

The design of the Parks plates stays consistent with the house-style established by ICBC with the Veterans plate in 2004, and which generally involves the use of a photo-realistic background in which the main element is situated to the left side of the plate (think the War Memorial on the Veteran's base or the location of the Silver Cross on the Memorial Cross base) with a continuous registration number (i.e. no separation between the first and last three characters) shifted to the right-side
Unlike the recent Memorial Cross plate (which displays Waldale's "Mississippi Dies"), the die type on the Parks plate is the standard one found on regular issue passenger plates. While the plates do not appear to incorporate the holographic security thread found on regular passenger plates, they are utilising a "high-definition retro-reflective background sheeting" that is supposed to improve the readability of the plates at night.
It is probably also safe to assume that the one-time requirement that all new license plate types incorporate the BC Mark (as opposed to the "Spirit Flag") is officially dead as none of the Parks plate designs display this rising-sun symbol (at right). In another interesting twist, the Corporation is allowing Commercial Trucks (i.e. pick-up trucks & motor-homes) to be issued Parks plates, despite usually being required to display AA-0000 format plates.

The Photographers
The photographer credited with the Kermode Bear and Purcell Mountain bases is John E. Marriott of Wildlife and Nature Photography.

The photographer credited with the Porteau Cove base is Gregory Simpson (shown below at right) who maintains the web-site Of interest, Simpson describes taking the photo in the summer of 2008 as follows:

It was late in the evening, and I could tell the sun would eventually set behind a nearby hillside. I knew, if I was lucky, that the sun’s rays would reflect off the sea mist and flare across the lens, rendering a “painterly” effect.

In spite of this, I nearly packed it in early. If I left before sunset, I’d be home by 10:30pm — a “short” 16 hour day. If I waited to take the sunset and twilight shots, I wouldn’t make it home until after midnight.

“Who really needs to see another hackneyed sunset photo?” I asked myself.

Nine times out of ten, I would probably have answered “no one,” packed up my gear, hiked back to the car and left for home. But today was different — I had a wicked, horrible migraine. I was actually in too much pain to drive; much less traipse a mile back to the car. If I waited and left after sunset, the soothing blanket of darkness would give me a tiny chance to better endure the drive. So, coiled in a fetal position around my tripod, remote shutter release in my hand, I decided I might as well go ahead and take that blasted photo.

And that blasted photo is now a license plate. I can’t really claim that I’m proud of this fact, but I’m certainly amused.

Following an incident where a sample of the Olympic base mades its way onto eBay, ICBC cracked down on its inventory controls about a decade ago to ensure that no samples or other prototypes intended for internal use made their way out into the wild. Which is why the posting of a prototype of the BC Parks plate that showed up on eBay in 2018 was such a surprise:
There is not much that distinguishes this design from the one that was ultimately used other than the choice of slogans. Specifically, the reference to "Explore" at the bottom-left corner of the plate (instead of "Discover") and the absence of a reference to "Beautiful" along the top of the plate - which appears to have allowed Waldale to make the image of the keremode bear larger on this version. Of interest, the date on the plate was August 25, 2016, which is about 5 months prior to the official announcement of their release.

First Plate(s) in the Series
This is a bit tricky as there are technically three "first" plates in the BC Parks series; one for each of the different designs. Thanks to social media, however, we know that Minister Todd Stone was able to nab the lowest of the low, being the first plate (i.e. "PA001A") on the Kermode base.
Minister Polak appears to have been less concerned with the number appearing on her plate as she has the 5,000th (approx.) plate on the Porteau Cove based affixed to her vehicle. As for who has the first plate on the Porteau base (i.e. "PW001A") and the Purcell base (i.e. PK001A"), they remain to be discovered!

Minister Todd Stone and plate No. PA001A (Kermode).

Minister Mary Polak and plate No. PW005F (Porteau).


At left is a short video put together by the folks at the CBC's Radio-Canada office in Vancouver (hence the French captions) on the day of the plates release!


© Copyright Christopher John Garrish. All rights reserved.