- An old piece of home at the stern
- Further license plates are planned
- "Many citizens happy"
- Criticism from the district day
- Thuringia starts in November
- Change voluntarily
An old piece of home at the stern
Lower Saxony’s Transport Minister Jorg Bode (FDP) holds the new license plates in front of the registration office in Einbeck. In Lower Saxony, ten old letters k…combinations are reactivated
The first new old license plates are issued in Lower Saxony. The Ministry of Transport has approved 71 such requests. What makes some motorists proud, annoys critics.
Horst Bode wrote a piece of history. The 73-year-old is the first from Lower Saxony to officially receive a new old license plate for his car. The “original Einbeck”, whose hometown has been in the Northeim district since the regional reform in the 1970s, can swap the little loved NOM for EIN for Einbeck.
The pensioner is particularly pleased that his namesake helps him screw the newly minted license plate onto his convertible. Lower Saxony’s transport minister, Jorg Bode, allowed himself to be driven to the registration office in Einbeck in order to present the first number plates nationwide with old regional abbreviations in front of the cameras.
Two weeks after the regulation for the reintroduction of old car license plates came into force, the Federal Ministry of Transport has already approved 71 corresponding applications from the federal states. As the ministry announced on Wednesday in Berlin, there are also 20 other applications that have yet to be decided. 45 license plates were approved in Saxony, eleven in North Rhine-Westphalia, eight in Lower Saxony, six in Rhineland-Palatinate and one in Schleswig-Holstein. The not yet approved applications came from Thuringia.
Further license plates are planned
Further applications from other federal states are still being processed. There are currently around 550 valid license plates in Germany. Signs such as CAS for Castrop-Rauxel, BIN for Bingen am Rhein, DUD for Duderstadt, WAN for Wanne-Eickel or “BIW” for Bischofswerda will be resurrected.
It is gratifying that Lower Saxony was the first federal state to receive approval to reintroduce old license plates, said Bode. In addition to Einbeck, the former district towns of Bad Gandersheim, Norden, Bremervorde, Alfeld, Duderstadt, Hannoversch Munden, Braunlage, Clausthal-Zellerfeld and Rinteln are now allowed to return their old license plates on request.
The Minister of Transport believes that many people see the old license plates as an expression of local ties and tradition. In any case, the interest is huge. In the Northeim district alone, more than 3000 drivers have already registered who would like to exchange their “NOM” license plates for EIN or GAN. "We will make sure that this goes as quickly as possible and that the registration offices are staffed," assured District Administrator Michael Wickmann (SPD). “The old license plates were missing in Einbeck and Bad Gandersheim. Nice that you are on the road again now. "
"Many citizens happy"
Elsewhere too, such as in Hannoversch Munden or Duderstadt, hundreds of drivers applied for new old license plates long before the first issue date. Duderstadt’s mayor Wolfgang Nolte (CDU) believes that many citizens want to emphasize their ties to their homeland with the historical abbreviations. But he also expects it to have additional marketing effects for the municipalities. From the point of view of the transport authorities, assigning the old abbreviations is easy, said Minister Bode. The reactivated license plates should not cause any problems for the police either.
"In return, the historical characteristics make many citizens happy," believes Northeim District Administrator Wickmann. And the fact that the innovation does not burden the public purse makes the Minister of Transport and the Mayor of Einbeck, Ulrich Minkner, smile. The cost of around 40 euros for new old license plates is borne by the driver who wants them.
Criticism from the district day
Minkner believes that little by little all Einbecker drivers will return to the abbreviation EIN because of their ties to the city. "And since it doesn’t cost more than a tie, a new license plate with the old license plate would also be a nice Christmas present – for grandpa, for example, who is close to home.".
But there are also critical voices. The German District Association criticized the fact that the return would hinder the growing together in districts, said managing director Hans-Gunter Henneke. In Saxony, for example, abbreviations that only existed from 1991 to 1994 would be reactivated. “What that has to do with creating an identity remains a mystery.” In the old Federal Republic you have to be around 60 years old to have ever had an old license plate. At the request of some federal states, the Federal Ministry of Transport has now allowed a good 70 old abbreviations again.
Thuringia starts in November
There was also a large number of customers in the north of East Frisia. "The first driver was already waiting for the new old license plate at six o’clock," said Ingrid Evers from the registration office of the Aurich district. By ten o’clock 100 signs had already been assigned – otherwise that is the quota for a whole day in the branch in the north. For two years, the city had been promoting the old license plates from 35 years ago.
For the return of old car labels, there should be a uniform starting signal in Thuringia, probably in November. "I hope that the green light will come from Berlin in the next few days," said Transport Minister Christian Carius (CDU). Thuringia reported license plates from a total of 20 cities to the federal government.
There should be a comeback for the old number plates from Heiligenstadt, Meiningen, Rudolstadt, Ilmenau, Bad Salzungen or Zeulenroda, for example. They disappeared with the district reform in 1994. This had caused heated debates and anger in some regions.
On the initiative of Thuringia, the Federal Council cleared the way in September for the return of regional abbreviations such as ARN for Arnstadt, PN for Pobneck or NH for Neuhaus. A corresponding admission regulation has been in force since November 1st. "The license plates show a sense of the homeland, the pride in one’s own city," said Carius. They are something like "home at the stern".
In 2011, Carius advocated the liberalization of license plate allocation at the Conference of Transport Ministers. The new vehicle registration regulation now allows "more than one distinguishing mark" for an administrative district. For drivers, the alternative license plates for their region are voluntary. If you want to change your license plate, you have to pay the usual fees at the registration office.
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