In July of 2022 Finance Minister Ardwell Irion released a statement confirming that a St. Maarten License plate design was chosen by more than 1000 persons on Face Book who knew of the competition, to be the permanent License plate for St. Maarten to be used going forward.
If this decision is not put in law, an incoming government will revert to the old way of having a number plate issued every year and the same procedure will continue.
Irion’s Statement which reads, “This piece of art will remain as the design used for the foreseeable future”, which suggest that the Minister is giving an ear to the long awaited request of citizens to do away with the annual import of number plates and to use some form of sticker to confirm payment of road tax.
It was mentioned that the design and the designer would be among those persons recognized as creators of national symbols like the St. Maarten flag and the St. Maarten Song which has never been ratified as an Anthem for the country.
The Finance Minister staged a show when announcing the winner of the competition Ms. Shadani Fleming and paid her a mere NAF 1000.00 which is a pittance of what such a production should cost if it is to be used indefinitely.
Ms Fleming’s artwork featured a clean design with a red white and blue gradient background along with featured elements of the local symbols. The accompanied description which is a requirement to complete the project was provided by the winner. It reads, “Along with great food, music, beaches and people, our infamously loved airport is one of the top ‘attractions’ that draws thousands of tourists to The Friendly Island year after year. Feeling the jet blast, attempting to ‘touch’ the bottom of a plane as it flies overhead, but also enjoying the beautiful sunset as the day ends are just some of the highlights tourists enjoy the most on St. Maarten. I wanted to capture that essence and transform it into a minimalistic yet bold icon that represents St. Maarten and her longevity.”
It is now left to see whether this government will make the necessary changes to the law to end the continued importing of number plates and introduce some form of confirmation of annual road tax and proper registration of automobiles.