LicensePlates.cc

Hawaii License Plates

The current base began in 1991.

I, O, or Q not issued on any plates in Hawaii. Unlike some other county-coded states, Hawaii does not appear to require new plates when one moves from one county to another. There are many plates from other counties on each island.

Commercial plates are listed on the site as Truck plates, but in reality, they can on both cars and trucks as long as they are owned by a commercial entity. On the other hand, a personal pickup would not be issued these plates.

For a period of time around the late 1990s, a different font was used on plates in Hawaii. Most Hawaii plates have a font equivalent to that of Oregon, but for those few years the characters were shorter and fatter.

In Honolulu County, they start somewhere between FTR and FTV and run through GNZ. Plates from GPA forward are on the current font.

In Kauai, they run from KRD through KRZ. Plates up to KRC and from KSA onward are on the current font.

In Maui, they run from either MZL or MZM through MAE. Also, MUB, MUE, and MUF were seen with this font. However, MUA and MUC were seen with the current font?!? Maui trailer plates are in the MU- series, so perhaps they originally skipped some early MU- plates and then issued them after reaching MZZ.

In Hawaii, they run from HWN to HWZ, then from HUA to HUV. This is how it is known that HU- was issued after HW-.

Most plates issued before the font change (approximately 1991 through 1997) are very faded with the rainbow on the plate usually indiscernible. The exception to this is the Exx plates in Honolulu County which were replaced.

The Honolulu County Exx plates are only being replaced in Honolulu County. For those Exx plates on other islands, they continue to languish in their faded state. While it was reported that a similar replacement of older plates is underway in Hawaii County, there is no direct evidence of this, although some but not all HX- through HZ- plates look newer, but all HN-HW plates are still old and worn.

Stickers

11 - black on white

12 - white on black

13 - black on white

14 - white on black

15 - black on white

16 - white on black

Standard Passenger Plates

Honolulu

TNT 137
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In Honolulu County, series started with E, then F, G, J, N, P, R, and now S. Beyond the typical omission of I, O, and Q, there are no plates are issued in Honolulu County with the letters H, K, L, or M. These are, probably not coincidentally, the same letters that start the plates in the other counties of Hawaii. These letters are also not used on Commercial, Motorcycle, or Trailer plates in Honolulu County. In addition, the letters A, E, or U are not issued in the second position. A and E were issued in the middle position for the EA-, EE-, FA-, FE-, GA-, and GE- sets, but nothing after that. The U has never been in the middle position.

JNx series skipped.

In early 2006, vehicle owners in Honolulu were told that all E series plates (the lowest on the current base) were to be discarded because the reflectorization was failing due to age. Holders of E series plates were given the option of getting new plates (at the time in the N series) or having new plates made with their existing number. All E series plates now in use should be remakes of the originals still in use by the original registrant. Although not confirmed, it is believed that the F series was being similarly replaced in 2007, but Andy reports in early 2011 that the F series plates still in use are old.

Most series through RJE have been used, but nothing has been seen between RJE and RJN.

Steve Hill - 31 May ’18

Hawaii

ZEZ 230
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In Hawaii County, plates started at HN-, then HP-, HR-, HS-, HT-, HV-, HW- then HU-, followed by HX through HZ-, then HA- through HM-. Based on the wear and tear seen on the plates of the Big Island, it is likely that the HZ- series was issued sometime later than its sequence would indicate; they looked much newer than HA-, for example. Other than HGA, no HG- plates were seen on the Big Island; not sure if they were ever issued. Unlike Kauai, both Hawaii and Maui Counties share letter series with their Motorcycle, Trailer, and Commercial plates. For example, HDP plates were issued on cars with the letters before the numbers and HDP plates were also issued on commercial vehicles with the letters after the numbers.

After reaching HZY, Hawaii Co. started over at HAA. HZZ ended up being issued in Honolulu Co. due to a shortage of plates. HBL may have been skipped. Everything through HMJ has been issued, but no HMK, HML, or HMM spotted yet. HMN and HMP are in use.

After HMZ 999 was issued the Z series began with ZAA 001 -- because some HNn plates still exist on the road. The lowest plate seen is HNB 172. There is no reissuing of plates as previously thought. Dates on the plates (a hologram with the last two digits of the year of issue in white on a black circle repeated down the center of the plate) correspond to chronological issuing. For example, shiny HZ plates (which were thought to be reissues) have an issue dates of "97" and "98", HX plates have "94" and HN has "91", HC has "01", etc.

ZBA, ZBB, and ZBC were issued, and then ZBP started to show up. There will probably be a lot of filling in since it appears that someone opened up the wrong box.

From Andy DeCeunynck: As of early February 2014, it appears as though all combinations up to ZBT have been issued but nothing from ZBU-ZBZ. ZCA-ZCC but no ZCD, then ZCE but no ZCF, and most recently ZCG and ZCH. Also, it looks like no plates issued with L in the third position.

Jan. 2015 update from Neal: Have seen ZRx series a number of times (3 ZRCs, ZRG, ZRJ, ZRT) and also three ZTCs but these are obviously out of order (opening wrong box) and will be filled in with normally issued plates.

Steve Hill - 1 May ’18

Kauai

KDE 081
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In Kauai County, they started with KH-, then KJ-, KK-, KP-, KR-,KS-, KT-, KV-, KW-, KY-,KZ-, then KA-, and now KB-. Kauai issued KM- for Motorcycle, KX- for Trailer, and KB- for Commercial. The letter L was used in all possible combinations through KSL, but was then discontinued. No obvious reason for why KN- was not used. Even though the Commercial, Trailer, and Motorcycle plates have the letters after the numbers, the letters sequences in these series are not usually duplicated with car plates. KB- was issued for both Passenger and Commercial. It takes about 2 years to use up each two letter sequence (for example KAA through KAZ) on Kauai.

Steve Hill - 31 May ’18

Maui

LJJ 046
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From Andy DeCeunynck:

In Maui County, plates started at MT-, proceeded through MZ-, then from MA- through MS-, and now LA- and LB- plates. Maui has an interesting way of issuing plates. Large blocks of several thousand plates are issued to rental car companies on the island and then similar large blocks are issued to residents of the county, including those on the islands of Lanai and Molokai. After a period of time -- probably about a year -- rental car series are no longer seen anywhere on the road. So the plates currently seen in Maui are only a fraction of what was originally issued. I saw a picture in a travel guide of a rental car in the MRZ series, which would only have been from a couple years back, but I didn't seen any cars on Maui between MRY and MSC the whole time I was there. On the other hand, plates between MMM and MMR, issued well prior to MRZ, are easily found because they were not given to rental cars. Currently, the newest rental cars are LBR through LBT and now LBZ. Plates for residents were issued in the LBN-LBP sets and now LBU through about 5xx-LBX. No higher LBX or LBY seen yet but they are either on other islands or will be issued in the very near future. Maui is the only county that issues its plates like this, other counties intersperse their rental and non-rental plates in much smaller blocks.

Andy thinks the LEA set may have been issued out of sequence. It is easily seen in the central valley (Kahului/Wailuku area) of Maui. Other new non-rental plates are LCL on the western side of the island and LCU in Kahului. Newest rentals are LCR-T and LCV-LCW. No LCM-LCP or LCX-LCZ yet. He highly doubts that the LD- plates will be skipped, but that remains to be seen.

Update: LDA 951 was issued after the LEA plates, so the actual high is now in the LDA series and it appears the LD- series will be issued.

Steve Hill - 31 May ’18

Non-passenger Plates

City & County of Honolulu TRAILER

C&C 1529
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"Trailer" stacked vertically on the left. C & C and three digits to the right.

Neal Evenhuis - 10 Dec ’15

City & County of Honolulu

C&C 9328
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City-County Government vehicles. No validation sticker used.

Neal Evenhuis - 5 Feb ’16

Dealer - Demo

D1075A
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"DEALER DEMO" to far left stacked vertically in two columns

Neal Evenhuis - 6 Jun ’12

Fleet Passenger

P19401FLEET
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Red on Yellow, the word FLEET is stacked vertically to left of number, HAWAII across the top of plate, ALOHA STATE across bottom. Issued in blocks by county.

Honolulu Fleet Cars are in the P12nnn and P13nnn range in Honolulu County (the highest seen there was P13671), P15nnn in Hawaii County, P16nnn in Maui County, and the high P16nnn and low P17nnn on Kauai.

Neal Evenhuis - 24 Aug ’15

Fleet Trailer

9930TRFLEET
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Fleet trailers are red on yellow background and separate from county trailers. They use the pattern nnnnTR after a vertically stacked FLEET. Almost all Fleet Trailer plates observed were on semis belonging to the Matson Company.

TR prefix used first, then TR suffix.

Neal Evenhuis - 29 Oct ’13

Fleet Truck

T25644FLEET
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Red on Yellow, the word FLEET is stacked vertically to left of number, HAWAII across the top of plate, ALOHA STATE across bottom. Issued in blocks by county.

Honolulu Fleet Trucks are up to T21nnn, but Hawaii County is currently using T20nnn, Maui County is using T22nnn, and Kauai County is in the T24nnn series.

Oahu-based companies like Hawaiian Telcom have trucks on all islands, but all have fleet plates in the Honolulu County allocation. UPS trucks also have Honolulu plate series throughout the State.

Neal updates in Feb. 2015 to say numerous plates with the same number prefix on different islands (shipping vehicles from one island to another is not uncommon) -- e.,g., most recently the T25- series has been seen on both the Big Island and Oahu. Therefore, the allocation we have shown here may not be absolutely correct.

Neal Evenhuis - 4 May ’15

Foreign Organization

143FOREIGN ORGANIZATION
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Issued only to representatives of Taiwan as official members of the "Coordination Council for North American Affairs"

Neal Evenhuis - 31 Jan ’15

Hawaii County Government

CofH3522
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Hawaii County Government plates have always been in the CofH pattern. Currently around CofH3100. No space between letters and numbers.

Hawaii County Government Motorcycle: CofH 21

Hawaii County Government Trailer: CofH 1321 Pattern is CofHnnnn after "Trailer' stacked vertically on left side. The former format was just CH, rather than CofH on Trailer plates.

Neal Evenhuis - 4 Jan ’15

Hawaii County Government MOTORCYCLE

CofH 21
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Neal Evenhuis - 11 Nov ’11

Hawaii County Government TRAILER

CH 2299
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"Trailer" stacked vertically on the left. CH and four digits to the right.

Neal Evenhuis - 12 Oct ’12

Hawaii Department of Water Supply

DWS 901
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Similar to the BWS plates used on Oahu by the Board of Water Supply, Hawaii County has DWS series plates for the Department of Water Supply.

Neal Evenhuis - 5 Feb ’16

Hawaii Fire Department

HFD 605
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On the island of Hawaii, the fire department vehicles (including county-owned ambulances) use HFD plates. Most are HFD 3nn and HFD 4nn but the newest are HFD 5nn.

Honolulu Fire Department also uses HFD but only for administrative vehicles (Fire Chief, Fire safety inspectors, etc.). The fire trucks use C&C plates. In Honolulu, they use one digit, two digit and three digit series for cars and trucks, but the three digits are in the 100s only and are for maintenance trucks.

In Hawaii County they use only three digits.

Neal Evenhuis - 6 Jan ’16

Hawaii MOTORCYCLE

121 HNX
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Started at HNA

Neal Evenhuis - 8 Apr ’15

Hawaii TRAILER

311 HZF
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Probably started at HYA, but nothing lower than HYB observed by Andy in Feb. 2011.

Neal Evenhuis - 4 Jan ’16

Hawaii TRUCK

341 HEN
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Seen on Oahu

Hawaii County Commercial plates started at HCA and ended at 999 HCZ. No truck plates in the HDx series were available at the time, so the TRD series was used. The TRE series is being used in Honolulu County. The HDA (and beyond) series is now being issued in Hawaii County. No HDT or HDU series Commercial plates were issued.

Neal Evenhuis - 4 Jan ’16

Honolulu Board of Water Supply

BWS 983
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Same as standard Pass. design, but with BWS prefix.

Honolulu Board of Water Supply Trailer: TRAILER stacked vertically on left side with BWS and three digits to the right. High: BWS 323

Neal Evenhuis - 26 Apr ’13

Honolulu MOTORCYCLE

251 XNY
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Lowest seen in the XF- series, but could have started earlier. XG-, XJ-, and XN- also seen. XK-, XL-, and XM- skipped on Oahu although they are not used on any other island

Andy DeCeunynck - 31 Dec ’15

Honolulu Police Department

HPD1838
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In Honolulu and Maui, police departments have their own plates. Honolulu originally ran up through HPD 999 and now are 7 digit plates from HPD1000 up to somewhere around HPD1350. These are the only 7-digit plates in Hawaii and nearly all police cars on Oahu are 7 digits.

On Maui, the MPD letters are used for police cars.

On Kauai and Hawaii, police cars use regular county plates.

NEW! Honolulu Police Trailer: Black on white rainbow graphic, HAWAII across top, ALOHA STATE across bottom, TRAILER stacked vertically to left of "HPD". HPD in smaller size (about 2/3) than numbers in order to fit 7 digits on plate. These are used primarily for the LED radar-based speed notices on roads that say "You are going xx MPH". HPD1181 is the high on this type.

It seems that all the HPD numbers are unique but they issue as cars, trailers, or motorcycles with the different plates schemes for each but do not issue numbers separately for each.

Neal Evenhuis - 26 Feb ’15

Honolulu TRAILER

429 WFA
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Black on white, rainbow graphic, HAWAII across top, ALOHA STATE across bottom, TRAILER stacked vertically to left of number.

Possibly started at WAA, but unconfirmed. WD- and WE- plates up to WEH have been reported by Andy. WFP reported, but no details are available about that plate.

Neal Evenhuis - 10 Dec ’15

Honolulu Transit System

BUS 992
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Same as standard Pass. design, but with BUS prefix. Numbers observed ranging from the 001 block through the 900 block.

Neal Evenhuis - 26 Apr ’13

Honolulu TRUCK

909 TWJ
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Honolulu plates started at TGA, ran through TGZ, then TJ-, TN-, TP-, TR-, TS-, and now TT-. Again, no H, K, L, or M, plates in Honolulu County. Different font on TPY through TRC. Most plates in the TG- series are replacements (similar to those car plates beginning with E.) No Commercial (or any other non-pass types) plates with different font have been seen outside Honolulu County.

Upon reaching the end of the TPZ series, the issue advanced to the TRE series. Also, the TRD series was alloted to Hawaii County around the same time after they had reached the end of their HCZ series for trucks. It appears that no truck plates in the HDA series had been made yet, but they are now being issued in Hawaii County. Not all of the TRD series plates were issued in Hawaii County. At some point in the issuance of the TRD series in Hawaii County, they received and began issuing the HDA series, so later TRD series plates not issued by Hawaii County were issued by Honolulu County. Meanwhile, back in Honolulu County, it appears that they filled in from the TRA - TRC series, but the TRE series appeared first. Now the issue is back on track in the TT- series. No TTR or TTS series have been reported.

Steve Hill - 12 May ’18

Honorary Consul

121
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Issued to officials of consular offices in Hawaii.

Neal Evenhuis - 7 May ’13

Horseless Carriage

170
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Red letters on yellow background; "Permanent" stacked vertically down the left side: "Horseless Carriage" on two separate lines to the left of the numbers.

Neal Evenhuis - 25 Feb ’11

Kauai County Government

CofK2206
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Kauai County plates started with CK nnnn up to CK 2099, then CofK2100 and up. The 'of' in CofK is very small and takes on up only one space on the plates. There was a space between the letters and numbers up to CK 2099; no space above CofK2100.

Andy DeCeunynck - 20 Apr ’13

Kauai MOTORCYCLE

215 KMM
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Lowest seen was KMG, but could have started at KMA.

Neal Evenhuis - 17 Jul ’12

Kauai TRAILER

345KXX
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Probably started at KXA, but nothing under KXM observed by Andy in Feb. 2011.

Andy DeCeunynck - 20 Apr ’13

Kauai TRUCK

690 KBP
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Kauai Commercial plates started at KBA. No KBL or KBM seen (L not used in Kauai.)

Andy reports in April 2013 that less than 700 of these plates have been issued over the past two years.

Andy DeCeunynck - 20 Apr ’13

Maui County Government

CofM2525
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Maui County plates have always been in the CofM pattern. Currently around CofM2400. No space between letters and numbers.

Andy DeCeunynck - 22 Mar ’12

Maui Fire Department

MFD 205
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Andy DeCeunynck - 31 Mar ’12

Maui MOTORCYCLE

597 MVP
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Lowest seen was MVH, but could have started at MVA.

Neal Evenhuis - 2 Jul ’13

Maui Police Department

MPD 675
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In Honolulu and Maui, police departments have their own plates.

On Maui, the MPD letters are used for police cars. Currently, most are MPD 5nn and MPD 6nn.

On Kauai and Hawaii, police cars use regular county plates.

Maui Police Department motorcycles also use the combination MPDnnn, but on the smaller size motorcycle plates.

Andy DeCeunynck - 23 Mar ’12

Maui TRAILER

822MUP
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Probably started at MUA, but nothing lower than MUB observed by Andy in Feb. 2011.

Andy DeCeunynck - 5 Feb ’11

Maui TRUCK

223 MDS
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Maui Commercial plates started at MCA.

Neal Evenhuis - 3 Jan ’14

Motorcycle - Handicapped

$ 6
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Handicapped symbol on left, number on right.

Neal Evenhuis - 25 Dec ’10

State Government

F983
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Black on white, rainbow, HAWAII across top, ALOHA STATE across botton, STATE to left of number stacked diagonally from top left.

Neal Evenhuis - 6 Jan ’16

State Government - Trailer

752
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STATE to left of number stacked diagonally; TRAILER to the far left stacked vertically.

Neal Evenhuis - 6 Jun ’12

Specialty Plates

Combat Veteran

9415
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Combat Veteran screened on separate lines before numbers.

Neal Evenhuis - 1 Mar ’15

Electric Vehicle

9931
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Steve Hill - 31 May ’18

Former Prisoner Of War

31
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Neal Evenhuis - 7 Sep ’12

Gold Star Family

GS025
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Gold Star Family plates have been issued Oct. 10, 2011 and GS001 and GS002 have been put on cars belonging to families of fallen soldiers. Purple and gold emblem on the left with GOLD STAR printed above and FAMILY below the emblem - GS and three digits to the right of the gold star emblem.

Neal Evenhuis - 26 Mar ’12

Handicapped

$ 8167
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Handicapped logo embossed before numbers. Handicapped plates are issued only in Hawaii County - none of the other islands; although the vehicles are seen on other islands

Neal Evenhuis - 28 May ’15

Korean Veteran

436
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Chris Brown - 28 Nov ’15

Pearl Harbor Survivor

121
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Pearl Harbor Survivor written out in separate lines to the left of the numbers.

Neal Evenhuis - 8 Jun ’13

Persian Gulf Veteran

1968
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Persian Gulf Veteran screened on separate lines before numbers.

Neal Evenhuis - 8 Apr ’15

Purple Heart

3179
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Combat Wounded, Purple Heart

Jim Sadler - 27 Apr ’13

Specials

EF744
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Stickers supporting various causes are placed at left of the AA000-format serial. This series was created to give non-profit organizations part of the proceeds from the registration of these plates.

The reason Specials jumped from DJ to DN so quickly: The DK series is restricted to Kauai; the DL and DM series are restricted to Maui county; and the DH series is restricted to Hawaii county. There were no DI series printed nor will there be DO.

Steve Hill - 31 May ’18

Veteran

208D
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"VETERAN" is below the flag. Upon reaching 9999, the series continued with A101 to Z999, then 101A.

Andy DeCeunynck - 13 Feb ’14

Veteran Motorcycle

V 628
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Neal Evenhuis - 12 Apr ’08

Vietnam Veteran

5188
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Neal Evenhuis - 5 Jun ’15

World War II Veteran

2422
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Neal Evenhuis - 26 Feb ’15