General Question

Christine_Jane's avatar

What are those little white bumper stickers with 2 black letters on them?

Asked by Christine_Jane (53 points ) May 28th, 2009

I always see cars with those little, oval-shaped bumper stickers with 2 black letters in them, like WT or IO or things like that. what are they??

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22 Answers

Likeradar's avatar

They’re abbreviations for where the car owner is from. right?

aprilsimnel's avatar

I believe it’s for people who take their own cars abroad. The sticker indicates they can legally drive in that country with their own car. “GB” means Great Britain, for example.

MrGV's avatar

How about a picture

Christine_Jane's avatar

@Likeradar i don’t know if that’s right. but could be! if they stand for other countries i suppose.

@aprilsimnel it could be that i suppose…

@MrGeneVan i would definitely post a picture if i could find one. but if i found that, i could find the answer to my question…

hearkat's avatar

They originated in Europe to indicate the country where the car was registered. Now they are common tourist souvenirs.

From Wikipedia (ironically includes an image of the oval for Switzerland, where my family is from):
“One variety of bumper sticker is the country tag. This is typically used for cars crossing international borders, and is overseen by the United Nations as the Distinguishing Signs of Vehicles in International Traffic, being authorized by the UN’s Geneva Convention on Road Traffic (1949) and Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (1968). Often the country code is displayed on the license plate itself.

“These have (usually in the United States) been spun off into tags indicating a country with which the driver affiliates, or more humorously to indicate things like a city (OBX), political party (GOP), etc.”

Here are the European country codes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_international_license_plate_codes

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

^word. souvenirs.

Christine_Jane's avatar

@hearkat ooo. thank you. :]

i’ve been curious for SO LONG about this. haha.

Kayak8's avatar

I think you mean the little round stickers like HH for Hilton Head and OBX for Outer Banks. They are likely places the vehicle owner enjoyed a vacation. Many tourist places now sell them (PIB for Put In Bay in Lake Erie), etc.

Response moderated
hearkat's avatar

@Christine_Jane: Always glad to help! Having been to Switzerland to visit family, I was familiar with them all my life, and we had them on our cars for years.

I got so confused by the souvenir stickers when they first came out… one of the first I saw was MV, and I kept pondering what could it stand for, Moldavia? But no, it’s for Martha’s VIneyard; and OBX is for the Outer Banks. What really messed me up is that CH is the code for Switzerland, but now they have them for a city near me: Cherry Hill, NJ. So I didn’t put a sticker on my newest car.

El_Cadejo's avatar

One of my early questions :)

hearkat's avatar

@uberbatman: Somehow I missed that one! My apologies.

Now you have the official answer :-)

El_Cadejo's avatar

ew who the hell would want a cherry hill sticker? lol

Christine_Jane's avatar

@uberbatman at least we both know we’re not alone in wonder. hahah.

AstroChuck's avatar

They are for pretentious yuppies to show off what European country they’ve visited.

janbb's avatar

I’ve also seen spinoffs of the idea for bands like DMB which is Dave Matthews Band.

casheroo's avatar

I’ve only seen them as tourist stickers, like Sea Isle and Long Beach, Stone Harbor….mainly Jersey places, probably because I’m in PA.

Clair's avatar

i think they’re tourists stickers too. for example, around here there are a bazillion HH’s, Hilton Head Island and MB- Myrtle Beach.

netspencer's avatar

I was pretty sure they were just for fun. It just represents a country by its country code.

Kylechloe's avatar

Does anyone know where I can buy one of these bumper sticker? Is there a website that sells them?

KeithX72's avatar

Yes, seems they were originally registration identifiers that spun off to be souvenirs and gags. Like my new sticker! It refers to my home town in New England and gives people a clue as to how to pronounce it… Gloucester. The stickers reads “GLOSTA” in wacky lettering. So many people mangle the name, I just love my new sticker.

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