You could soon personalize your car's license plate with custom emoji

License plate with emoji
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Fancy livening up your license plate? Drivers in the US may soon be able to add some personality to their cars by adding an emoji to a vanity plate alongside a combination of letters and numbers.

As CNET explains, motorists with some spare cash will be able to take their pick from a set of six emoji (which will presumably be carefully curated to eliminate the possibility of dirty-minded drivers creating anything rude).

A draft bill before the Virginia House of Delegates would make Vermont the first US state to introduce smileys to its plates.

Some other US states already allow some punctuation on license plates, so emoji would be a natural move. There's no way of knowing which ones Vermont's drivers would be able to choose from, but the state flag would seem like an obvious starting point.

Face value

It might sound like an early April Fool's prank, but there is already a precedent for personalizing plates with smiley faces. In Queensland, Australia, emoji number plates were introduced in February 2019, to a combination of delight, confusion and disdain.

Australian drivers can only pick from a limited pool of icons, all of which are 'positive' (think smiles, sunglasses, and hearts for eyes), and adding one costs a hefty AU$475 (about $320, £250).

"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. And using an emoji is no different," said Rebecca Michael, a spokesperson for the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland.

Unfortunately for drivers in the UK, rules on license plate typography in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are particularly strict, so we doubt you'll be able to liven up your plate with a 💂 or a ☕ any time soon.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)