LOY NAS: Cambodia Considers Adopting Vanity Car Plates

If driving a souped-up Rolls-Royce Phantom doesn’t do quite enough to convey a VIP’s wealth and prestige, they may soon have the opportunity to add some additional pizzazz.

There’s a plan afoot to give Cambodia’s staid “by the numbers” license plate a makeover, introducing letters and opening up endless possibilities: BONGTHOM. OKHNA#1. KHQUEEN.

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is working with a technical team to consider the details of introducing personalized license plates, examining pricing, distribution and workflow, said Vasim Sorya, a director-general at the ministry.

Personalized plates, also known as vanity plates, “will be able to change from one car to another for a whole lifetime,” he said. “Anyone can make this plate as long as you have the money to register for it.”

“This has been applied in some other countries, and we would like to apply this in Cambodia as well,” Mr. Sorya said.

More work needs to be done to understand whether the proposal is practical, and whether such plates would impede efforts to enforce traffic laws, he said.

In Cambodia, drivers already can choose special numbers—but not letters—to put on their license plates, as a way to show social status, or to bring luck to the owner. These can cost from a few hundred to thousands of dollars.

Ro Shuy, a sales executive at 669 MMH Autoshop on Street 61, which sells luxury vehicles, said many customers wanted special plates. Since the new initiative would let owners keep their plates even when they sell their cars, it would likely prove popular, he said.

“In the future, they can just change cars, and keep the license plate with their name to install in the new car. They would love that,” he said.

Motorist Ear Uy said he would welcome the chance to express a little personality through his license plate and put some money in state coffers in the meantime.

“I think it would be interesting and kind of fun to be able to have our license plate in text instead,” Mr. Uy said.

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