The Austrian Bezirke are roughly equivalent to Landkreise in Germany or Counties of the United Kingdom and US Counties. The administrative office of a district, the Bezirkshauptmannschaft is headed by the Bezirkshauptmann ('district captain'). Officials on the district level are not elected but appointed by the state government.
The districts are in charge of the administration of all matters of federal and state administrative law and subject to orders from the higher instances, usually the Landeshauptmann (governor) in matters of federal law and the Landesregierung (state government) in state law. Thus, the district is the basic unit of general administration in Austria.
The 15 Statutarstädte are independent cities according to Austrian administrative law. These cities are not part of any district and the city council covers all matters usually a district administration would do. Usually, a statutory city is home to a district administration responsible for the surrounding area, of which it is not part of. For example, Innsbruck is an independent city surrounded by the district Innsbruck-Land with its administrative seat within in the city.
The Austrian capital Vienna, which is both a state and a statutory city, is further subdivided into districts (boroughs), used for local administration by the city government. Though these districts enjoy a certain autonomy, they are in no way comparable to politische Bezirke administrative divisions.
^Vehicle registration plates issued in the district of Leoben usually show the LN-code. However, in the city of Leoben which is nevertheless part of Leoben district registration plates showing the LE-code respectively are issued.
^Vehicle registration plates issued in the district of Liezen usually show the LI-code. However, in the area around Gröbming which is nevertheless part of Liezen district registration plates showing the GB-code respectively are issued.
^ abThe cities of Eisentadt and Rust share the E-code on their vehicle registration plates.