One of our very own Epicurean guides, Ankie Nieuwenhoven, published an article on a fun and unique tradition here in St. Maarten. Who knew license plates could be so hilarious? Read on to find out!

“Our plates are designed and changed annually on St. Maarten. In the Daily Herald, one of our two local newspapers, you will find an advertisement for companies to bid on the design for the year. This is when you realize IT has started again.


When the paper announces, “The new license plates have arrived!” the stampede begins. A few facts about our license plates:

  • They are an awesome and unique part of living in paradise.
  • Every year features a new vibrant color. This year was green (my favorite), last year yellow, before that orange, then there was purple.
  • The license plate numbers are also unique. Mine is: M5163. The lower the number on your plate, the longer you have been on island. If you pay your road tax on time, you get to keep your number.
  • It really ups your island coolness factor to be one of the first cars with the new plates.
  • Our license plates are divided into the following categories: G is for governor; then you have M1, M2, etc., which are reserved for the ministers (never quite figured out how many of them there are); L is for law enforcement; V is for vendors, vans, and pick-up trucks; Z is for Zwaar, probably one of the only Dutch words surviving in the government language which means heavy and is used for large trucks; B for bus; T for taxi; and an M or a P before a number is reserved for us regular folk.
  • Every number is unique which means if you are a regular at Bada Bing, El Capitan, or Casa Blanca (our island’s adult night clubs), you might want to deliberately not pay your road tax on time so you can get a new (read: unrecognizable) number…”

Brush up on your SXM fun facts and read the rest of the article HERE.