It is possible to place an amateur callsign on other plate styles offered by Arizona MVD. Please look at that web site for more information. Arizona permits up to 7 characters on a normal license plate, and when entering an order for a personalized plate with an amateur callsign please note in the appropriate field that this is your amateur callsign. Some plate designs are limited to 6 characters, due to the graphics and/or other information on those plates.
In Arizona, two plates are made for any personalized-plate order, but only one plate (the rear plate) must be on the vehicle. The other plate can be put on the vehicle, or kept as a souvenir - but cannot be displayed on any other vehicle. With this in mind, I have kept one of my Arizona WD9EWK and VA7EWK plates on the wall above my radio gear at home. Those 2 plates never went on my car. I also have the second Arizona WD9EWK plate on the wall at home, as I was not required to turn it in before receiving my Arizona VA7EWK plates in June 2002.
In June 2002, when I used the web site to order my Arizona VA7EWK plates, it took only 5 days from when I placed the order to receive the plates. I did not have to go to an MVD office and exchange license plates, as I had to in 1996 when I put the Arizona WD9EWK plate on my car. Very quick, and (other than paying the $25/year fee) not a bad deal. As a comparison, it took over 5 months in 1996 - when I applied to the FCC to get my WD9EWK callsign again - to get the Arizona WD9EWK plates.
In 2007, MVD finally released a ham-specific personalized plate:
Souvenir automobile plates can have up to 7 characters, and souvenir motorcycle plates can have up to 5 characters. Other than the limitations on where these plates can be sent to, the prices are not unreasonable. I have not ordered any Arizona souvenir plates, but this is also an option if I wanted something else on a license plate - and not change the plate on my car.
I am not a resident of Nevada, nor have I ever been a resident of that state, so I cannot add these amateur radio plates to my collection - unless I move to Las Vegas or some other place up there.
Please note that the letters and numbers stamped onto the Nevada souvenir plates are in red, where the letters and numbers on Nevada plates used for vehicles are blue. Unlike with vehicle plates, the souvenir plates are only available in the normal Nevada "sunset" design, and will not have "RADIO AMATEUR" stamped on them. Nevada DMV also places a warning label on the back of each plate, warning that the plate is not to be used on a vehicle and citing the Nevada Revised Statutes section regarding the souvenir plates.
I initially applied for a souvenir Nevada plate with WD9EWK on it in March 2003, just to see how long the process would take - and if I could actually get a state-issued Nevada license plate with my callsign on it. It took between 3 and 4 weeks to receive my Nevada WD9EWK plate. After receiving the Nevada WD9EWK plate, I applied for a Nevada VA7EWK plate, and that also took between 3 and 4 weeks to arrive at home. Each plate came with a sticker on the back, warning about not putting these plates on vehicles along with the Nevada Revised Statutes (state criminal code) section regarding souvenir license plates. I removed those warning stickers, and placed these plates on the wall next to my Arizona WD9EWK and VA7EWK plates.
Normal plates are white, have the country name and national seal on the top edge, a black center section with white letters and numbers, and the government does not allow for personalized plates on vehicles. Except for some taxis and buses, all vehicles in Argentina use the same plates and numbering scheme for those plates.
The plates I have look similar to the normal Argentine plates, with my two callsigns WD9EWK and VA7EWK on them, but with two differences:
I had the Arizona WD9EWK plate on my car for 6 years, and wanted to get a real Arizona VA7EWK plate in my collection. Since I was already paying the $25/year fee for the WD9EWK plate on my car, it would only cost me the $25 to make the Arizona VA7EWK plates plus having to put one of them on my car. As I mentioned above, with the web site it only took a few days to get the plates at home - one on the car (image above), the other on the wall (image at the top of this page). At this time, I was not aware of the prison store which makes souvenir Arizona license plates, so the only option I knew of was to change the plate on my car from WD9EWK to VA7EWK.
At the time I applied for the VA7EWK plates, I searched for any Arizona license plates starting with the 4 normal Canadian callsign prefixes (VA, VE, VO, VY) and a digit following the prefix - to see if anyone else had done what I wanted to do. It appeared there were possibly 3 or 4 other vehicles in Arizona with what could be Canadian callsigns. I may not be alone in doing this in Arizona, as far as I can tell. Judging from the occasional e-mails and comments when other amateurs see the plate, it is a mild surprise for some to see a plate with something other than a USA callsign.
In early 2008, I decided to put the VA7EWK plate back on my vehicle. Once I filed the paperwork, it took 6 weeks to get the new pair of plates in the mail. Unlike with the past plates, Arizona no longer embosses the letters and numbers into the aluminum. The plate is now completely flat.