Vehicle registration plates of Austria

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Example of a license plate in Austria ("K" for Klagenfurt)

Austrian car number plates are mandatory vehicle registration plates displaying the registration mark (German: Kennzeichen) of motor vehicles in Austria. They are used to verify street legality, proof of a valid liability insurance and to identify and recognise the vehicle.

Appearance[edit]

Moped plate

The license plates are made of metal; the imprinted text is in black letters and digits on a white background. Since November 1, 2002 the common design comprises a blue section on the left with the EU circle of stars and the country code ('A') like other vehicle registration plates of the European Union. On the top and bottom, there are red-white-red tribands, the national colors of Austria. Two plates have to be present on each car (front and rear). Dealer plates show white letters on a green background, temporary plates show white letters on a cyan background, and foreign trailers show white letters on a red background. For motorbikes and cars with smaller areas for plates, smaller license plates are available with two lines of text. Moped plates are in different appearance and shape, they show white letters on a red background.

Lettering system[edit]

License plate issued in Vienna ("W" for Wien)
A FF plate from Fürstenfeld district, with the lowest digits 10.

The alphanumeric format for registration plates is "XX ∇=provincial emblem number&letter(s)" or "XX ∇=provincial emblem personalised letters&number";

  • XX - one or two letters which indicate the local registration office (district where the registered possessor resides). As a general rule, State capitals have one letter; other districts have two letters.
  • heraldic emblem of the federal state the district belongs to (here shown as "∇"); diplomatic vehicles have a dash (–) instead, federal official vehicles wear the Austrian Federal Eagle.
  • A three to six-letter/number sequence which uniquely distinguishes each of the vehicles displaying the same initial area code. The letter Q is excluded from all sequences.

There are several lettering schemes:

  • The letter/number sequence must contain at least three characters (at least one digit and one letter). In countryside districts, the maximum is five characters. Regular plates start with a digit and end with a letter. Personalized plates, which can be obtained by paying an extra fee, are ordered vice versa. (exceptions: see below)
  • The letter/number sequence of state capitals contains up to six characters (at least one digit one letter with a minimum of four characters) (e.g. W ∇ 12345 A).
  • Until the year 2000 the plates were issued by the district administrations, who used a variety of lettering schemes, e.g. one digit and three letters (e.g. FK ∇ 1 ABC in the Feldkirch district), two digits and two letters (e.g. WL ∇ 12 AB in the Wels-Land district) or three digits and one letter.
  • Since 2000 the vehicle registration have been carried out by car insurance companies on behalf of the government. The branch offices of these companies issue the plates, which show three digits and two letters (e.g. XX ∇ 123 AB) in each district or four digits and two letters in state capitals respectively.
  • There are standardized abbreviations for special types of cars. But most of them are in use in Vienna only:
    • BB Bundesbahnen (Federal Railways), only with Index "W", e.g. W ∇ 1234 BB
    • BE Bestattung (funeral services)
    • EW E-Werk (electric power company)
    • FF Freiwillige Feuerwehr (volunteer firemen)
    • FW Feuerwehr (firemen)
    • GW Gaswerk (gas power company)
    • GT Gütertransport (vehicles transporting goods)
    • KT Kleintransport (private vehicles transporting parcels)
    • LO Linienomnibus (public service buses)
    • LR Landesregierung (Local government of Niederösterreich)
    • LV Landesregierung (Local government of Tyrol)
    • MA Magistrat Wien (Community service in Vienna)
    • MW Mietwagen (rental car or bus service [with driver])
    • RD Rettungsdienst (ambulance vehicles)
    • RK Rotes Kreuz (Red Cross)
    • TX Taxi (taxis)
  • Army, diplomats, police etc. have a number up to five digits only (starting with 1, incrementing)

History[edit]

Austria old plate.JPG
Steiermark Fuerstenfeld.jpg

From 1906 until 1919, the plates always composed one letter followed by Roman numerals and three numbers (e.g. "BXV 639"). Temporary admission plates always followed by prefix. The prefixes are G= Bosnia and Herzegovina, U= Hungary, Z= All other countries.

From 1919 until 1930, the plates format is the same as before but became authority supplied.

From 1930 until 1939, the plates comprised one letters followed by five digits. (e.g. B 12345) The thousands of digits encoded the districts.

From 1939 until 1945, the plates comprised two letters followed by a hypen and seven digits. (e.g. W-1234567) This was followed by the Nazi Germany system.

From 1945 until 1946, the plates comprised by a state coat of arms followed by maximal six numbers. They are only issued in the USSR-occupied zone.

From 1947 until 1989, the plates comprised one or two letters to indicate the state or federal code followed by up to six digits (e.g. W 123.456), the first number block was reserved for vehicles, the second one was the serial, when they run out of serials they began to issue XX 999.A99. The background is black with white characters for private vehicles (unknown for all other vehicles). One or two letters are the prefixes set by state and federals, they are:

Personalised plates[edit]

Austria licenseplate EU.JPG

In Austria, it is possible to obtain a customized registration plate by payment of 245 (=227+18) Euros. The alphanumeric format is XX ∇ ABC 1, which makes them easily distinguishable from standard plates (e.g. I ∇ TOMMY 1)

Prefixes[edit]

Federal president's plate.
Italian ambassador from Vienna
Code City, District and official vehicles Notes
A Federal officials
AM Amstetten
B Bregenz, Burgenland official
BA Bad Aussee sub-district Suspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with LI.
BB Bundesbahnen (Federal Railways) Obsolete, ÖBB vehicles have now use W ∇ XXX BB plates
BD Kraftfahrlinien Bundesbus (Bus Service) Now for ÖBB Postbus coaches
BG Bundesgendarmerie (federal police) Obsolete since 2005 when Gendarmerie and police merged, but still valid on Gendarmerie/police cars registered before 2005
BH Bundesheer (Federal Army)
BL Bruck an der Leitha
BM Bruck an der Mur Until 2012, Bruck-Mürzzuschlag from 2013
BN Baden
BP Bundespolizei (federal police) Since 2005 the only prefix for all newly registered police cars
BR Braunau am Inn
BZ Bludenz
DL Deutschlandsberg
DO Dornbirn
E Eisenstadt Also for the city of Rust, Burgenland.
EF Eferding
EU Eisenstadt-Umgebung Eisenstadt surrounding area
FB Feldbach Suspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with HF.
FE Feldkirchen
FF Fürstenfeld Suspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with SO.
FK Feldkirch
FR Freistadt
FV Finanzverwaltung (Financial Administration)
G Graz
GB Gröbming sub-district
GD Gmünd
GF Gänserndorf
GK Consular corps in Styria
GM Gmunden
GR Grieskirchen
GS Güssing
GU Graz-Umgebung Graz surrounding area.
HA Hallein
HB Hartberg Suspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with HF.
HF Hartberg-Fürstenfeld Since July 1, 2013.
HL Hollabrunn
HO Horn
I Innsbruck
IL Innsbruck-Land Innsbruck countryside area.
IM Imst
JE Jennersdorf
JO St. Johann im Pongau
JU Judenburg Suspended on July 1, 2012; replaced with MT.
JW Justizwache (Justice police)
K Klagenfurt
KB Kitzbühel
KI Kirchdorf an der Krems
KF Knittelfeld Suspended on July 1, 2012; replaced with MT.
KK Consular corps in Carinthia
KL Klagenfurt-Land
KO Korneuburg
KR Krems-Land Krems countryside area.
KS Krems City
KU Kufstein
L Linz
LA Landeck
LB Leibnitz
LE Leoben City
LF Lilienfeld
LI Liezen
LL Linz-Land Linz countryside area.
LN Leoben (district) Leoben countryside area.
LZ Lienz
MA Mattersburg
MD Mödling
ME Melk
MI Mistelbach
MT Murtal |Since July 1, 2012.
MU Murau
MZ Mürzzuschlag Suspended on July 1, 2012; replaced with BM.
N Lower Austria official
ND Neusiedl am See
NK Neunkirchen
O Upper Austria official
OP Oberpullendorf
OW Oberwart
P St. Pölten
PE Perg
PL St. Pölten-Land St. Pölten countryside area.
PT Post & Telekom Austria (national mail and phone company} Now only for postal cars.
RA Bad Radkersburg Suspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with SO
RE Reutte
RI Ried im Innkreis
RO Rohrbach
S Salzburg City and official
SD Schärding, Diplomatic corps in Salzburg
SE Steyr-Land Steyr countryside area.
SK Consular corps in Salzburg
SL Salzburg-Umgebung Salzburg countryside area.
SP Spittal an der Drau
SO Südoststeiermark Since July 1, 2013.
SR Steyr City
ST Styria official
SV St. Veit an der Glan
SW Schwechat City
SZ Schwaz
T Tirol official
TA Tamsweg
TD Diplomatic corps in Tirol
TK Consular corps in Tirol
TU Tulln
UU Urfahr-Umgebung
V Vorarlberg official
VB Vöcklabruck
VD Diplomatic corps in Vorarlberg
VI Villach City
VK Völkermarkt, Consular corps in Vorarlberg
VL Villach-Land (Villach countryside area)
VO Voitsberg
W Vienna (Wien)
WB Wiener Neustadt-Land Wiener Neustadt countryside area)
WD Diplomatic corps in Vienna
WK Consular corps in Vienna
WE Wels City
WL Wels-Land Wels countryside area
WN Wiener Neustadt City
WO Wolfsberg
WT Waidhofen an der Thaya
WU Wien-Umgebung Vienna surrounding area
WY Waidhofen an der Ybbs
WZ Weiz
ZE Zell am See
ZT Zwettl
ZW Zollwache (Customs officials) Obsolete since 2005 when Zollwache merged with federal police

External links[edit]

Media related to License plates of Austria at Wikimedia Commons