St. Maarten Government ends an E-ra

POSTED: 01/5/12 1:14 PM

St. Maarten / By Donellis Browne – The period where people will see number plates that start with E on government cars will end this year with the introduction of a new scheme for number plates that was published by Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto late last year. The Receiver’s Office is busy unpacking the plates now as they get ready to hand them to the public.

Even though St. Maarten became a country on October 10, 2010, the government continued to use E-plates in 2011 next to L plates. The E stands for Eilandgebied – Island Territory – and the L stands for Land – Country – and was representative of cars owned by the Government of the Netherlands Antilles. With this latest order the government has phased out the letter, choosing instead to 180 plates with the letter L for the cars used by civil servants.

The only other real change to the license plates is the addition of PAR – 1. This vehicle will serve as the official car of the President of Parliament. This will stand next to SXM – 1 – the license plate on the official vehicle of the Governor and MR – 1 to MR – 7 – the license plates used on the vehicles assigned to the minister’s. SXM – 1 and MR – to MR – 7 was first introduced in 2012.

The resolution from the minister also reveals that the government has ordered 28, 252 license plates. Some 27, 452 of these plates are for vehicles and the other 800 is for motorbikes. This means a potential revenue of $349, 150 (628, 470 guilders) just from the sale of license plates.

The actual breakdown by category is 225 plates for busses, 320 for taxis, 19, 998 plates for personal cars, 3, 000 plates for rental cars, 60 for tour busses, 60 for uncategorized vehicles, 3, 300 for transport vehicles, 800 for motorbikes, 300 for heavy equipment and 189 for the government plates.

In terms of design this year’s plates have a yellow background, an image of Fort Amsterdam on the left side, black letters and numbers, The Friendly Island in the top center, the words Sint Maarten on the bottom center, the Coat of Arms between the numbers and letters, the outline of the island in the background on the left side and 2012 in black letters in the background.

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