You know how, in places like Canada or the US, there’s a uniformity in the way licence plates look? Different colours for each province or state, sure, but they’re all basically the same shape and size.
In Sri Lanka, not so much. At all.
Fahim’s told me that, used to be, a person would register their vehicle and get issued a plate number, but it was then up to that person to get a license plate made. That resulted in all sorts of shapes and sizes and colours and fonts for license plates.
Sometimes, those plate numbers were instead painted directly onto the vehicle, like trishaws.
Sometimes, those plate numbers were put onto mud flaps. Unfortunately, while I saw one truck with the plate number on the mud flaps the day I took these pictures, I was too slow to get the picture before the truck and I were parted forever…
Then the government decided that plates should also reflect the province the vehicle was registered in, so abbreviations were added for that (WP for Western Province, for example).
Then another minister decided that the type of fuel the vehicle uses should also be reflected on the plate, hence some Ds (for diesel) and Ps (for petrol) showing up.
And none of the older plates are required to update to the newer standards, so now, there’s a huge hodge-podge of different types of plates being driven around all over the country…