Fullsize Manitoba Commercial, PSV, Apportioned and SEMI trailer plates


Commercial Trailer

Original 1997-series numbering format for current Commercial Trailer (CT-TL) plates was first letter C, third letter L and middle letter variable . Plates in the initial range CAL-CNL (including CLL and CML) were produced by Waldale of Amherst, Nova Scotia. These started running out in the mid-2000s.
Hi-Signs of Alberta won the manufacturing contract in 2002-03 when they produced just under 3000 CT-TL plates in the CPL, CRL and CSL series.
Hi-Signs CT-TL plates first hit the road in the mid-2000s and new issues occasionally appear, suggesting slow-moving old stock in some issuing offices. Fun fact: Unique to this odd batch is dark printing on bottom embossed "TL" legend is part of reflective sheeting artwork and not ink-rolled like all other raised characters.
Manufacturing returned to Waldale which produced CTL-CZL series plates in the mid-2000s. These ran out quickly with end of CZL series reached in 2008.
A new numbering format was needed, so L was moved from third to second position starting at CLA. Series CLL was skipped since it had been made years earlier & end of series CLP was reached in 2015.
Starting at CLR the bison was updated from original blue "outline" to solid black version. During 2018 the end of CLZ was reached along with exhaustion of available 'floating L' combinations. A new, less-restrictive series started at CMA and sticker boxes & original reflective sheeting ended at CME or CMF.

High Definition (HD) reflective sheeting appeared at CMG 001 in 2018. CML and CNL series had been produced and issued in mid-2000s so were not part of this range. With present annual average nearing 60,000 registrations, CT-TL plates move quickly and some issuer inventories reached CNZ in spring 2024. Regular CT plates were recently issued CPx and CRx, so the next trailer series should be interesting!

Public Service trailer

Original 1997-series numbering format for Public Service Vehicle trailer (PSV-TL, class P2) plates was first letter P, third letter L and middle letter variable. The initial 999 plates, all with PAL prefix were produced by Waldale. These plates moved very slowly -- ten years later in 2007 Manitoba had still only reached high of PAL 222. Number ranges varied (PSV-TL plates used to be issued only at claim centers) but PAL 355 was the Winnipeg-issued observed high in 2014 and PAL 552 was the high elsewhere from 2009-18.

Class P2 was eliminated by provincial legislation in 2019, perhaps not surprising since the five-year average registration figure had stagnated at just 103 trailers annually! Once PAL plates are exhausted from local stock, subsequent registrations receive CT-TL plates. Previously-issued plates remain valid and continue to be renewed until lost, worn out or replaced.

Contrary to the established numbering format noted above, PCL and PDL series were accidentally produced and issued as regular PSV pairs in 2011-12 and 2016-17. This meant PDL-series single PSV-TL plates that were previously made could not be issued and were unfortunately scrapped.

Apportioned trailer

These CT and PSV "Apportioned"-stickered trailer plates were spotted in 2009 but seem to be unicorns; they are the only two I've ever seen.

SEMI trailer

These painted black on yellow Semi-Trailer ("S-TL") plates were made by Waldale using prefix letters SA-SF. They were issued between 1998 and 2003 but are no longer a valid base.
This all-new unique style reflective white "SEMI" trailer plate was made by Hi-Signs using SG-SL prefixes and replaced the previous yellow base in early-2003. SEMI trailer plates are used primarily for vehicle identification as Manitoba follows the trend of most jurisdictions to pro-rate fees on power unit (not trailer) mileage per the International Registration Plan (IRP) agreement of 2001. All SEMI trailer bases issued since 2003 remain valid to the present day.
Waldale-made SEMI trailer plates appeared around 2005 but the only prefixes used were SM, SR, SX, SY, SZ and observed as high as TA-17-95 in 2013-14.
Other prefixes such as SN, SP, ST, SU and SV could not be issued in the white series. They were previously used on long-expired "FEB 98" S-TL plates but the old numbers remain in the current Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) database for some reason.
MPI in 2014 decided to standardize our SEMI trailer plates. They now appear very similar to most other plates except for the unique numbering format and embossed "SEMI" caption at bottom. The actual starting point was plate TA-18-41, low observation in 2014 was TA-18-78 and plates were produced to TC-99-99.
Un-necessary sticker boxes were finally dropped from SEMI trailer plates starting at TD-10-01 in 2017. HD reflective sheeting started at TD-60-01 in 2018, giving us this latest style.


This page was prepared by Manny Jacob with numerous data courtesy Andrew Osborne.


© updated 6-14-24

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