Vehicle registration plates of Malta
Maltese registration plates are the number plates used within Malta to uniquely identify motor vehicles. Since 1995, the three letter, three number system (ZZZ 999) has been in use in Malta for vehicle registration. The characters are always printed in black on a white background, and to the left one can find a blue box with the European Union flag and the letter M (for Malta) underneath it in white. The typeface used on Maltese registration plates is FE-Schrift which is also the typeface used on German vehicle registration plates.
Special number plate series
- Rental cars: all end with a K Or QZ (e.g., XXK 001)
- Cars which are being leased: all end with a QZ (e.g., XQZ 001)
- Taxis/buses/minibuses/coaches: all end with a Y (e.g., XXY 001)
- Malta buses (now replaced by Arriva) were formerly registered with DBY, EBY or FBY (e.g., DBY 001, EBY 001 or FBY 001)
- Arriva buses are registered with BUS as their letters (e.g., BUS 001)
- Tax free cars: all begin with a TF (e.g., TFX 001)
- Government owned cars: all begin with a GV (e.g., GVX 001)
- Diplomatic/embassy vehicles use CD as their first 2 letters(e.g.,CDX 001)
- Chauffeur driven vehicles used by Members of Parliament use the format GM 99 (the letters GM followed by two numbers; e.g., GM 01)
- The President and Archbishop are exempt from number plates and affix their respective emblems instead
Privately owned vehicles
All privately owned vehicles are allocated randomly chosen marks, except that the first letter shows in which month the vehicle's annual tax disc is due for renewal.
The following is a table of letters by month:
These plates may be also personalised in 2 ways:
Either in the XXX999 format (€200)
Or any combination from 1–8 characters. In this case, one would place a bid for the requested combination against a deposit of €1,500. If after 30 days no one challenges the bid, the plates can be claimed.
1952 - 1979
From 1952 to 1979, all number-plates in Malta used the format 99999 (5 numbers). Until 1959, plates with red circle permitted to drive in Valletta. Unlike the post-1979 system, they have 7 characters. Special plates:
- Rental cars: Had a yellow background.
- Taxis/buses/coaches: all started with a TAXI (e.g. TAXI 001) and had a red background. While numbers all already used,then TAXI followed by a letter and two numbers (e.g. TAXI A01).
- Privately owned cars, scooters and motorbikes: Numbers only and had a black background.
- Diplomatic and tax exempt cars: all started with a CD (e.g. CD 1) and had a black background.
1979 - 1995
From 1979 to 1995, all number-plates in Malta used the format Z-9999 (a letter and 4 numbers, with a hyphen between the letter and the first number). Towards the right there was the letter M (for Malta) in a circle. Although all characters were printed in black, the background colour varied according to the vehicle's use:
- Rental cars: all started with an X (e.g. X-0001) and had a yellow background.
- Taxis/buses/minibuses/coaches: all started with a Y (e.g. Y-0001) and had a red background.
- Privately owned cars: characters were randomly chosen (i.e. all except for M,Z,X,P and Q) had a white background.
- Diplomatic and tax exempt cars: all started with a Z (e.g. Z-0001) and had a white background.
- Privately owned Scooters and Motorbikes: all started with a P or Q (e.g. P-0001) and had a white background. Unlike the current system, these had licence plates attached to both the front and rear.