In America, if you wished, license plates were totally personalized and totally fun. The saying, "I am my license plate" really fit!
Folks can have their name on their license plates or their favorite fun words, or even descriptions of their job. More or less anything goes: MYCAR, MOMOF4, IDOC, BOBSWIFE, BOSSMAN, etc.
The license plate on our first joint-car when Israel and I got married was "Oh how cute!" because Israel said that I used that phrase all the time. On our second car, he put "AizehMotek."
License plates in different states have the state flower, the state bird, scenes of famous landmarks.
Yesterday my front license plate fell off my car. I had to go to the police station to file a report, and get permission to have it replaced.
I would have loved a personalized plate. I'm not sure what I'd have said, but I would have loved it. DARLING? CHESEDMOM? DO-GOOD? VOICES? STAGESTRUCK?
Well, I didn't have a choice, of course.
In Israel, license plates are more anonymous - one of the crowd. We don't really have a chance to express our individuality on our plates. Chaval.
I went to the license manufacturing place, which ended up being a tiny room in the back of DYNAMETER, and a little guy got my plate ready. There's a simple dye on which he lined up the letters, then laid down a yellow plate (you get three choices - blank long yellow rectangle, long yellow rectangle with Israeli flag, short yellow rectangle), and brought down a handle that squeezed the letters on the dyes on to my new license plate.
It took ten seconds.
Then he put black ink on a tiny ink roller (like a mini-printing press) and passed my license plate through. Done.
I stood watching - amazed. Amazed, because I did not know how simple it was to make a license plate. That didn't seem right to me.
If it's so easy to make, there must be a billion knock-offs in this country, chas v'shalom. And that's not a good thing, especially with thieves and terrorists running around.
I assume that the police are often spot-checking license plate numbers just to make sure they're for real.
And if Israel ever comes up with a more complicated and involved license plate, I hope they personalize them. I'd love a scene of Har HaBayit on mine. Maybe I'd print, "MRSKOHEN."