Language issues be damned, Quebec has finally lifted its inexplicable ban on personalized license plates in the province.

Quebec first instituted normal license plates in 1906, so indeed 112 years was totally reasonable as just enough time to approve the last safe vestige of self-expression people have left today. Registration opened just over two weeks ago on July 27th, and the first plates have started arriving by mail to eager Quebecers who shelled out the $249.50 fee for the privilege.

One of the lucky few to actually get a plate made before the SAAQ government website crashed (an hour after it opened, surprise surprise) was Montreal resident Mark Julien.

“I knew exactly what I wanted and was worried it would be taken by someone else. It actually came to me in a dream” Mark said when reached for comment on his accomplishment. Mark was the 7th person in the province to get his plate ordered, per the 0000000007 reference number on his receipt. Moosepaper recently found out the very first plate issued was simply the word “HI”. Some politicians must surely be upset that Bonjour wasn’t first…

A self-professed Simpsons-aholic, Mr. Julien, the 30-something [his words – Ed.] year old knew what he had to do.

“There’s a famous episode where Bart wants to buy a personalized license plate from Itchy and Scratchy land. He reads down the list of names and eventually ends on the name Bort. Bort?! He says to himself disappointed. In a classic Simpsons twist, it turns out two other people in the shop are also named Bort. Bart leaves angry”

Since the BORT plate has been on Mark’s car, he’s been stopped by other envious drivers, honked at numerous times and been in countless pictures on Montreal roads. He’s even discussed the episode at length with a taxi driver at a red light.

“The Simpsons really brings us all together and I think I have the best plate in the province” Mark says. We agree.

Mr. Julien also sent us a picture of all the old license plates his family has never thrown out.

Feeling inspired? Personalized plates can be attained by accessing the SAAQ website.