Vehicle registration plates of Saudi Arabia
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Vehicle registration plates of Saudi Arabia are manufactured by a German company, Erich Utsch AG, which also manufactures registration plates for other Arab countries such as Egypt. According to the manufacturer, the plates are forgery-proof, and the letters and numbers are covered by a security film that is practically impossible to tamper with. Saudi Arabia has taken action to ensure that all people residing within its borders register their vehicles in Saudi Arabia and display a rear as well as a front license plate.
The plates consist of three letters and up to four numbers in Arabic. Both letters and numbers are also translated into the Latin alphabet and into the Western Arabic numerals, respectively. On the rightmost side, the plate contain the Saudi Arabia coat of arms and the "KSA" letters written vertically. The lower sticker is the official seal. The standard plates always have 4 numbers and if necessary they are padded by zeroes. Personalised plates or earlier registrations may contain one, two or three numbers with or without zero padding. The letter translation into the Latin alphabet is done from left to right, although Arabic letters are read from right to left. Furthermore, the translation is not always correct. There are only 17 Arabic letters used on the registration plates.
The following Arabic letters are used on Saudi registration plates.
|ى||V||ā / ỳ|
All plates have a white background, but several vehicle types may have a different background on the right side which contains the coat of arms, the country name abbreviation and official seal. That side has blue background for trucks, yellow for public transport and taxis, and green for diplomatic vehicles. The diplomatic plates have also another row containing the C.D. and .هـ.د abbreviations, above the registration number. This renders the rows containing the registration number and its translation smaller, having a little smaller font height for letters and numbers. The letter combinations for diplomatic plates always have D as the rightmost letter. The other letters denote the country, either from left to right, or from right to left. For example, United States diplomatic plates have the USD letters, which in Arabic reads DSU from right to left. The diplomatic plates for Romania have the ZRD letters, which in Arabic reads DRM (M is translated as Z in Latin alphabet). The Saudi Police uses standard registration plates.
Some letter combinations are banned, either for their Arabic or Latin translation. Among them are " 'S' 'E' 'X' ", " 'A' 'S' 'S' ", but also " 'U' 'S' 'A' " and others. The KSA combination is however allowed.
Former registration plates
The current plates were introduced in 2003. The former registration plates from 1996 used only 3 numbers and 3 letters with no translation. Above them was written Al-Saudia, in Arabic only. Numbers were sometimes padded by zeroes. Plates for trucks, public transport or diplomatic vehicles had blue, yellow, or green background, respectively. The colours have been preserved on the current system, except that on the older system the entire plate had such a background.
- Saudi registration plates at olavsplates.com
- Saudi registration plates at worldlicenseplates.com
- Souce Code of Arabic Licence Plate Recognition