In case you were wondering who manufactured the 1917 license plates for British Columbia (passenger & motorcycle), this picture of the back of the No. 1330 plate above gives a fairly good clue - the MacDonald Manufacturing Company Limited of Toronto.
A known prototype, it is thought that this particular plate (at left) is displaying a possible colour combination that might have been considered for use with the introduction of the "N" prefix in 1976.
1974 base is notorious for using mismatched die types on
the same plate. The image presented at left is but one example,
with the number "1" being the most easily identifiable.
It is not known why this occurred.
It would seem that when the 10,000 sets that had been produced for issuance in 1978 ran out (i.e. "N50-001" to "N60-000"), the province ordered an additional set (of possibly 2,000 plates) to make it through to the new base plate scheduled for release in 1979.
As can be seen in to the two images shown above, instead of using the design that had been employed throughout the series, the plates were issued on the new 1979 base (but with the 1974 colours).
The Astrographics series commenced with a "J" prefix and progressed through "H", "N", "C", "M" and "E".
When Waldale commenced production of motorcycle plates, the series was still in the "E" prefix and has since progressed through "K", "L" and "S" (as of June 2010). This leaves only the "W", "Y" and the remainder of the "V" (above V3-0000) prefixes.
In 2004, the Motorcycle plate was made available on the optional Veteran base. The prefix used on the plate is '"V" (for obvious reasons) and, following the release of the Olympic Motorcycle plate in 2007, it is thought that numbers V0-0000 through to V1-9999 have been reserved for use on this base. As of June 2010, this highest number spotted was V0-2263.
Olympic Motorcycle Plate
In 2007, the Motorcycle plate was one of the lucky six plate types along with passenger, truck, farm truck, trailer and utility trailer to be made available on the optional 2010 Olympic Winter Games base.
The prefix used on the plate was "V" - this being the same prefix that appeared on the Veteran Motorcycle plate in 2004 - with the series starting at V2-0000, and it is thought that a bloc of only 10,000 plates has been set aside for use on this base (as the highest plate spotted as of June 2010 was V2-6797).
On May 30, 2011, ICBC announced changes to the design of the motorcycle license plate that would see the size of the font used increased in size by 3/8" in order "to provide better visibility of the plate number." In addition, the graphic logo was shifted from the centre of the plate to the bottom right-hand corner with the "Flag" replaced by the "BC Mark", while the dual decal box was also introduced. The changeover occurred at the S59-000 mark. The old style of plate will continue to be valid, with Autoplan Agents instructed to issue the previous base from their inventories before issuing the new plates.