Off Road Vehicle (ORV) plates 1988-present

With an increasing number of unregulated recreational off road vehicles in the 1980s, the government implemented mandatory registration and insurance beginning in October 1988. As a result, snowmobiles (which had their own pairs of 6x12" 3-year "SM" plates since 1970), ORVs and their dealers started registering with new black on yellow ORV plates to replace all previous issues. Plates featured a debossed "91" expiry date in the lower left corner, renewed with a 3-year "91-94" sticker, a distinctive 1-year sticker in 1995 and finally regular date stickers from 1996-2016, dated as late as 2021 in some cases. Ordering data below supplied by Andrew Osborne.

  • The initial batch of ORV plates was made by Western Tools in 1987 in the 1A1 to 999K9 range. No letters were omitted; even the letter I was used. Stocks of these plates were finally depleted in 2002.
  • The second batch of plates was made in 1988 by Hi-Signs in the ranges 1L1 to 999L9, 1N1 to 999N9 and 1P1 to 999P7. These did not start appearing in use until 1998.
  • The third and several subsequent batches were made by Waldale in 1997, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006; the first ones appeared in use in 2000. These plates can be found in the ranges 1M1 to 999M9, 1R1 to 999R9, 1S1 to 999S9, 1T1 to 999T9, 1U1 to 999U9, 1V1 to 999V9, 1W1 to 999W9, 1X1 to 999X8.
  • The next batches of plates were the first to be reflective, were manufactured in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and first appeared in use in 2008. They were made in ranges 1X9 to 999X9, 1Y1 to 999Y9, 1Z1 to 999Z9 and 1A001 to 6C999; the latter first appeared in use in 2011.
  • These yellow ORV plates had been issued as high as 1H001 when the Snoman series debuted in 2015.
  • Issuance rate of yellow ORV plates is noticeably slower since the start of Snoman plates, with yellow plates taking until 2022 just to reach the P series.
  • I first observed a yellow ORV plate (4K510) with the smaller Snoman dies in April 2018. Further examples include 1K341 (Aug 2020), 3K844 (Mar 2024), 6W778 (May 2022) and 6N100 in June 2022. Yellow ORV plate 6W778 shown above appears to use same series and dies as the orange Snoman series.
  • Snow Vehicle plates used on the classic round-body heavy Bombardiers (shown elsewhere on this site) ceased issuance on 3-1-19 and were replaced with ORV plates.
  • Embossed plate outline and sticker boxes were dropped and sheeting changed to HD type in 2021. This variation also reverted to the larger dies used previously on ORV plates but with screened province name and without embossed border and sticker boxes.
Snoman pre-2015
Snoman 2015+
Snoman 2021+

Manitoba snowmobilers gain access to the Snoman trail system upon payment of an annual fee. A small annual trailpass sticker used to be issued by Snoman and applied to the yellow ORV license plate. That changed with the creation of the new black on orange Snoman plate which replaced trailpass stickers effective December 1, 2015. Date stickers were eliminated for all Manitoba licence plate types very shortly afterwards in March 2016. Snoman plates started with 1S001 and have advanced quickly, reaching the U series by the end of the first sled season in March 2016. The U and V series, with empty sticker boxes were issued in the years that followed. Embossed plate outline and sticker boxes were dropped and sheeting changed to HD type starting with the 9V series in 2021.

Snowmobile dealers had their own plate series (SD prefix) from 1970-88. They changed to new ORV dealer plates in 1988 and continued until stocks with the legacy SD prefix were exhausted in the late-1990s. Both snowmobile and ORV dealers continued to share the plate series, moving to OR and DL prefixes plus D suffix until 2015. At that time, snowmobile dealers switched out of the ORV dealer series and back into their own special Snoman series. High observation for that new orange dealer plate was DS068 in 2019 courtesy Andrew Osborne. I'll update this website as soon as I track down a photo -- reader submission most welcome.

ORV dealer #1
ORV dealer #2
ORV dealer #3
ORV dealer #4
ORV dealer #5
ORV dealer #6
ORV dealer #7

The following ORV dealer plate ordering information and the above photo of plate SD465 were graciously provided by Andrew Osborne.

  • The first ORV dealer plates were made by Western Tools in 1987. These plates were unreflective black on yellow and produced in the SD101 to SD600 range. Supplies of this 600-plate order lasted until the last ones were issued in the mid-1990s.
  • The second batch was black on white and made by Hi-Signs in 1993 and first appeared in 1994. These poorly-made plates went from SD601-999 for an order of 399 plates. They started to be exhausted in 1996.
  • The third 500-plate batch was again black on white, made by Hi-Signs in 1995 and numbered OR101 through OR500.
  • Batch #4 reverted to the black on yellow ORV colour scheme. Waldale made 499 of these in 1997 in the OR501 to OR999 range.
  • The fifth batch of 999 ORV dealer plates was made by Waldale in 2000. These plates continued the black on yellow ORV scheme but were the last ones to use the unreflective background. The number range of these was DL001 through DL999.
  • The first reflective ORV dealer plates were produced in the 1001D to 2000D range in 2009. The high observation as of 2019 was 1207D.
  • Large dies and no sticker boxes ORV dealer plate 2017D above was photographed by me in March 2024.
  • ALL ORV dealer bases issued since 1988 remain valid to this day.


© updated 3-21-24

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