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Amateur Radio Licence Plates

068The amateur radio service is a non-commercial endeavour. Amateur radio operators train themselves at their own expense and typically build and obtain their own equipment at their own expense. They learn on their own time. Over a period of time they become proficient in being able to communicate with other amateur radio operators across the world.

Because of the self-reliance of amateur radio operators, in times of civil emergency, there is a cadre of persons who are adept at radio communications, fully trained, fully licensed and fully equipped. When disaster strikes they are at the ready, relying not on the existing infrastructure but on their own equipment and power supplies. When infrastructure fails, they are still fully operational.

Because of the public service aspect of the hobby and the service, most jurisdictions have conferred upon amateur radio operators the privilege of obtaining an amateur radio licence plate. This plate has on it the individual’s amateur radio callsign.

On May 1, 2013, the Government of the Northwest Territories, Department of Transportation formalized the amateur radio licence plate regime in regulation (see: Motor Vehicle Registration and Licence Plate Regulations). Amateur radio licence plates are a special category of licence plate, much like a veteran’s licence plate. It should be noted however that in the Northwest Territories, amateur radio licence plates pre-date veteran’s licence plates by between 30 and 40 years.  Of course, many amateur radio operators are veterans.

YARS welcomes this formalization by the Government of the Northwest Territories.  YARS also notes the support that it received from Northwest Territories amateur radio operators and from the Canadian amateur radio service, including Radio Amateurs of Canada.  YARS encourages all amateur radio operators in the Northwest Territories to exercise this privilege and thereby promote the amateur radio service. These licence plates are hotly sought after collectors' items in the south, just because of their rarity.