British Columbia Veteran License Plates

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On June 2, 2004, the Premier of British Columbia, Gordon Campbell, and Solicitor General Rich Coleman announced a new series of special BC license plates for veterans that honours the men and women who served Canada "by defending freedom and preserving peace." The release of the plates was timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Europe by Allied troops during World War 2, and were to be made available to motorists beginning on 6 June 2004 through ICBC's Autoplan network.

British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell (right) with Lt.-Col. Archie Steacy (left), president of the BC Veterans Commemorative Association, on the front steps of the Legislature in Victoria launching the new series of licence plates honouring veterans in BC for their service to Canada.

Plate Types & Background Information
The Veteran's plate employs a single design that has been applied to passenger, commercial truck and motorcycle plates. To read more, including an interesting bit on the creation of the design, just Click Here!


As a "restricted" optional specialty license plate, Veteran plates are only available to certain motorists and their purpose is to recognise past service to the country and not to raise funds. Consequently, the success of the plates is not determined by "sales". Despite this, the provincial government has organised a number of milestone events over the years, generally around Remembrance Day:

The Best License Plate Design of 2004?
Every year the Automobile License Plate Collector's Association (ALPCA) holds a survey amongst its membership to determine the most highly regarded design (amongst collectors) issued during that calendar year. In 2004, the Veteran base was nominated for this award. To see how the voting played out, Click here!
Identity Crisis?
When the Veteran plate was released in 2004, ICBC defined a "veteran" as being someone who served during wartime; in a post-war capacity; or during a NATO or UN operation (including members of the RCMP and Municipal Police who served in such NATO or UN missions). This definition was tweaked in 2012 when the province expanded the definition of "veteran" to include currently serving members of the Canadian Forces. In 2018, at the behest of the Royal Canadian Legion (BC), the province proposed expanding the definition of "veteran" to include RCMP and municipal police officers - which was vociferously opposed by some veterans. To read more about this brou-ha-ha, Click here!

Sample Plates
Despite ICBC not formally making sample plates available to the public, some interesting specimens have shown up over the years. To see some of these, Click here!

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© Copyright Christopher John Garrish. All rights reserved.