Vehicle registration plates of Brazil

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Colour schemes used in Brazilian license plates

Brazilian license plates use colour schemes to show their type, and front and rear plates use the same colours: Brazilian vehicle number plates are issued by the states. Each state has a Departamento de Trânsito (DETRAN) that is charged with vehicle registration and car tax collection, but plates are standardized across the country and form a national vehicle registration database.

The current system was created in 1990 and was named Registro Nacional de Veículos Automotores (RENAVAM). It uses the form "LLL·NNNN", where LLL is a three-letter combination followed by a four-digit number with a dot between the letters and numbers. A combination given to one vehicle stays with it "for life" - it cannot be changed or transferred to another vehicle. Vanity plates are allowed as long as they abide to the same standard as non-vanity plates.

Above the combination is a metallic band with the State abbreviation (SP = São Paulo, RJ = Rio de Janeiro, PR = Paraná, AM = Amazonas etc.) and the name of the municipality in which the vehicle is currently registered. This band has to be changed when a vehicle needs to be registered in a different municipality. Rear number plates are bound to the vehicle by a plastic seal. Broken seals invalidate the number plate, which has to be re-sealed by the authorities. Seals need to be broken in order to change State/Municipality tags.

The size of the Brazilian license plates has been standardized to 400 x 130 mm (15" x 5" approx.) in 2008. That standardization also determines a unique typeface known as "Mandatory", which is identical to the typeface used on British plates introduced there in 2001. Plates in Japanese or European size can no longer be used as of January 1, 2008.

Privately owned license plate in Mandatory font, compulsory since 2012.
  • black on grey: privately owned vehicles
  • white on red: any kind of paid transportation (buses, taxis etc.)
  • red on white: driving school (autoescola in Portuguese)
  • black on white: official use (government-owned cars: police departments, fire departments, federal, state or city public services)
  • gray on black: collector's items (vehicles older than 30 years in excellent state of conservation and in original state - with more than 80% of its original components).
  • white on green: manufacturer plates for vehicles under testing, dealer-testing, or in some cases test-drive (in most cases test-drive cars are registered to the dealership and thus use black on grey plates; privately owned cars being tested after repairs usually carry dealer-fitted green plates over their black on grey plates)
  • white on blue: diplomatic use (in this case in the format CD 1234 or CC 1234) or newer licenses like EMB 1234)

The letters on the license plate can describe the state where a vehicle was originally registered. Vehicles relocated from one state to another will show the new state/municipality on the replaceable tag, but it is always possible to determine the place of original registration for a used vehicle by observing the license plate range for each Brazilian State:

Rear plate from Pernambuco
Front license plate of a truck from Pernambuco
Alphanumeric combination State
AAA 0001 to BEZ 9999  Paraná (PR)
BFA 0001 to GKI 9999
SAV 0001 to SAV 1000
 São Paulo (SP)
GKJ 0001 to HOK 9999
NXX 0001 to NYG 9999
OLO 0001 to OMH 9999
OOV 0001 to ORC 9999
OWH 0001 to OXK 9999
PUA 0001 to PZZ 9999
 Minas Gerais (MG)
HOL 0001 to HQE 9999
NHA 0001 to NHT 9999
NMP 0001 to NNI 9999
NWS 0001 to NXQ 9999
OIR 0001 to OJQ 9999
OXQ 0001 to OXZ 9999
PSA 0001 to PTZ 9999
 Maranhão (MA)
HQF 0001 to HTW 9999
NRF 0001 to NSD 9999
OOG 0001 to OOU 9999
QAA 0001 to QAZ 9999
 Mato Grosso do Sul (MS)
HTX 0001 to HZA 9999
NQL 0001 to NRE 9999
NUM 0001 to NVF 9999
OCB 0001 to OCU 9999
OHX 0001 to OIQ 9999
ORN 0001 to OSV 9999
OZA 0001 to OZA 9999
PMA 0001 to POZ 9999
 Ceará (CE)
HZB 0001 to IAP 9999
NVG 0001 to NVN 9999
OEJ 0001 to OES 9999
OZB 0001 to OZB 9999
QKN 0001 to QKZ 9999
 Sergipe (SE)
IAQ 0001 to JDO 9999  Rio Grande do Sul (RS)
JDP 0001 to JKR 9999
OVM 0001 to OVV 9999
OZW 0001 to PBZ 9999
 Distrito Federal (DF)
JKS 0001 to JSZ 9999
NTD 0001 to NTW 9999
NYH 0001 to NZZ 9999
OKI 0001 to OLG 9999
OUF 0001 to OVD 9999
OZC 0001 to OZV 9999
PJA 0001 to PLZ 9999
 Bahia (BA)
JTA 0001 to JWE 9999
NSE 0001 to NTC 9999
OBT 0001 to OCA 9999
OFI 0001 to OFW 9999
OSW 0001 to OTZ 9999
QDA 0001 to QEZ 9999
 Pará (PA)
JWF 0001 to JXY 9999
NOI 0001 to NPB 9999
OAA 0001 to OAO 9999
OXM 0001 to OXM 9999
PHA 0001 to PHZ 9999
 Amazonas (AM)
JXZ 0001 to KAU 9999
NIY 0001 to NJW 9999
NPC 0001 to NPQ 9999
NTX 0001 to NUG 9999
OAP 0001 to OBS 9999
QBA 0001 to QCZ 9999
 Mato Grosso (MT)
KAV 0001 to KFC 9999
NFC 0001 to NGZ 9999
NJX 0001 to NLU 9999
NVO 0001 to NWR 9999
OGH 0001 to OHA 9999
OMI 0001 to OOF 9999
PQA 0001 to PRZ 9999
 Goiás (GO)
KFD 0001 to KME 9999
NXU 0001 to NXW 9999
OYL 0001 to OYZ 9999
PCA 0001 to PGZ 9999
 Pernambuco (PE)
KMF 0001 to LVE 9999
RIO 0001 to RKW 9999
 Rio de Janeiro (RJ)
LVF 0001 to LWQ 9999
NHU 0001 to NIX 9999
ODU 0001 to OEI 9999
OUA 0001 to OUE 9999
OVW 0001 to OVY 9999
PIA 0001 to PIZ 9999
 Piauí (PI)
LWR 0001 to MMM 9999
OKD 0001 to OKH 9999
QHA 0001 to QJZ 9999
 Santa Catarina (SC)
MMN 0001 to MOW 9999
NPR 0001 to NQK 9999
OET 0001 to OFH 9999
OFX 0001 to OGG 9999
OXO 0001 to OXO 9999
QFA 0001 to QFZ 9999
 Paraíba (PB)
MOX 0001 to MTZ 9999
OCV 0001 to ODT 9999
OVE 0001 to OVF 9999
OVH 0001 to OVL 9999
OYD 0001 to OYH 9999
PPA 0001 to PPZ 9999
 Espírito Santo (ES)
MUA 0001 to MVK 9999
NLV 0001 to NMO 9999
OHB 0001 to OHK 9999
ORD 0001 to ORM 9999
OXN 0001 to OXN 9999
QLA 0001 to QLM 9999
 Alagoas (AL)
MVL 0001 to MXG 9999
OLH 0001 to OLN 9999
OYA 0001 to OYC 9999
QKA 0001 to QKM 9999
 Tocantins (TO)
MXH 0001 to MZM 9999
NNJ 0001 to NOH 9999
OJR 0001 to OKC 9999
OVZ 0001 to OWG 9999
QGA 0001 to QGZ 9999
 Rio Grande do Norte (RN)
MZN 0001 to NAG 9999
NXR 0001 to NXT 9999
OVG 0001 to OVG 9999
OXP 0001 to OXP 9999
QLU 0001 to QLZ 9999
 Acre (AC)
NAH 0001 to NBA 9999
NUH 0001 to NUL 9999
 Roraima (RR)
NBB 0001 to NEH 9999
OHL 0001 to OHW 9999
OXL 0001 to OXL 9999
 Rondônia (RO)
NEI 0001 to NFB 9999
QLN 0001 to QLT 9999
 Amapá (AP)