2010 OlympicWinter Games License Plate

As of the release of the Olympic plate, ICBC announced that there was no intention to make sample plates available to the public and, while there has been some informal discussion about the possible availability of souvenir plates (i.e. similar in type to the “BC-0000” Flag Graphic base that was issued throughout the 1990s, and is still sometimes mistaken for a genuine Sample), this has not been finalised.
Despite the avowal by ICBC to not make sample plates available, so called "samples", such as those shown above, have been turning up. However, it is this writer's opinion that "000-AAA" is not a genuine sample plate but is, in fact, a manufacturers specimen probably created to facilitate in selecting the ultimate design of the plate.
Coming to this conclusion was rather easy as "000-AAA" was previously issued in June of 2001 on the Flag Graphic base when the series was flipped following the exhaustion of the AAA-000 series. Furthermore, ICBC adopted a policy a couple of years ago to stamp sample plates with, surprisingly, the word "SAMPLE". This way, there could be no confusing sample or souvenir plates with the genuine article (a concern for ICBC in other jurisdictions). It was this decision that lead to the phasing out of the old souvenir plates stamped "BC-0000" in 2003. Finally (and this is a dead give away), in May 2007 the web site for the German parent company of Waldale Manufacturing Ltd (UTSCH AG) chose to promote its participation in the Olympics by showcasing the work it was doing on the plates - using a couple of plates stamped with the "000-AAA" serial.

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It is also known that ICBC had a number of souvenir Olympic base plates down up with personalised slogans, including names of staff at the Corporation who helped on the implementation of the plate.  Below is an example of one of these plates - with a 7-digit slogan! - that was made for the BC Sports Hall of Fame:

© Copyright Christopher John Garrish. All rights reserved.