In Brief

Emoji number plates launching in Australia

Drivers in Queensland can choose between five symbols

Drivers in the Australian state of Queensland are being offered the chance to buy licence plates personalised with their favourite emojis.

Motorists will get a choice of five symbols - laugh out loud, wink, sunglasses, heart and smile - under a trial scheme being rolled out by state government-owned company Personalised Plates Queensland (PPQ) from 1 March. The new emoji plates will cost between AU$160 (£88) to AU$500 (£274), reports the Daily Mail.

PPQ said the emojis would be part of the so-called “background” of the plate, and would not be part of the vehicle’s official registration.

“For quite some time we’ve seen that you can support your favourite team or your favourite town with a symbol on your number plate,” Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) spokesperson Rebecca Michael told Australian TV network 7 News. “And using an emoji is no different.” 

But Bill Potts, president of the Queensland Law Society, fears the emoji plates could cause confusion, reports regional news site Brisbane Times.

“Clearly the government is trying to sex up number plates, with a view to making more money, and I can understand that,” Potts said. “But the purpose of number plates is for the police to be able to identify vehicles.

“How do you write down the emoji in your number plate after an accident?”

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