International vehicle registration code

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Example of a white oval plate or sticker; this one represents Switzerland
A 1960 Borgward Isabella showing the international vehicle code NL (Netherlands)
Estonian registration plate in EU standard format with international code EST
Indian vehicle registration plate in Indian standard format with international code IND
Brazilian vehicle registration plate in Mercosur standard format with international code BR

The country in which a motor vehicle's vehicle registration plate was issued may be indicated by an international licence plate country code, formerly known as an International Registration Letter[1] or International Circulation Mark.[2] It is referred to as the Distinguishing sign of the State of registration in the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic of 1949 and the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic of 1968.

The allocation of codes is maintained by[citation needed] the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe as the Distinguishing Signs Used on Vehicles in International Traffic[3] (sometimes abbreviated to DSIT), authorised by the UN's Geneva Convention on Road Traffic[4] and the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.[5] Many vehicle codes created since the adoption of ISO 3166 coincide with ISO two- or three-letter codes. The 2004 South-East Asian Agreement ... for the Facilitation of Cross-Border Transport of Goods and People uses a mixture of ISO and DSIT codes: Myanmar uses MYA, China CHN, and Cambodia KH (ISO codes), Thailand uses T (DSIT code), Laos LAO, and Vietnam VN (coincident ISO and DSIT codes).[6]

The Geneva Convention on Road Traffic entered into force on 26 March 1952. One of the main benefits of the convention for motorists is the obligation on signatory countries to recognize the legality of vehicles from other signatory countries. When driving in other signatory countries, the distinguishing sign of the country of registration must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle. This sign must be placed separately from the registration plate and may not be incorporated into the vehicle registration plate.


1909 Paris Convention[edit]

The display of a national distinctive mark on a white oval plate, 30 cm × 18cm with black letters was first introduced by the 1909 International Convention with respect to the Circulation of Motor Vehicles signed in Paris. The plate was required to be affixed to the rear of the vehicle, separate from the number plate displaying the vehicle's national registration mark. The 1909 convention only allowed distinctive marks to be of one or two Latin letters.[7]

1909 Paris Convention distinctive marks
State Mark
 Germany D
 Austria A
 Belgium B
 Spain E
 United States of America US
 France F
 Great Britain and Ireland GB
 Greece GR
 Hungary H
 Italy I
 Montenegro MN
 Monaco MC
 The Netherlands NL
 Portugal P
 Russia R
 Roumania RM
 Serbia SB
 Sweden S
 Switzerland CH
 Bulgaria BG

1924 Paris Convention[edit]

The term distinguishing mark was adopted by the 1924 International Convention Relative to Motor Traffic signed in Paris, which extended the maximum length of mark from two to three Latin letters, and permitted not just distinguishing marks for states, but also for non-sovereign territories which operated their own vehicle registration systems.[8]

Volkswagen Golf Mk1 with both International vehicle registration codes, the Åland Islands (AX) and Finland (SF)
1924 Paris Convention distinguishing marks
State or territory Mark Notes
 Germany D[a]
 United States of America US[a]
 Austria A[a]
 Belgium B[a]
 Brazil BR
 Great Britain and Northern Ireland GB[a]
Alderney GBA
 Gibraltar GBZ
Guernsey GBG
 Jersey GBJ
 Malta GBY
 British India BI
 Bulgaria BG[a]
 Chile RCH
 China RC
 Colombia CO
 Cuba C
 Denmark DK
 Danzig DA
 Egypt ET
 Ecuador EQ
 Spain E[a]
 Estonia EW
 Finland SF
 France, Algeria and Tunis F[a]
 French India F
 Guatemala G
 Greece GR[a]
 Haiti RH
 Hungary H[a]
 Irish Free State SE Part of the United Kingdom at the time of the 1909 convention.
 Italy I[a]
 Latvia LR
 Liechtenstein FL
 Lithuania LT
 Luxembourg L
 Morocco F
 Mexico MEX
 Monaco MC[a]
 Panama PY
 Paraguay PA
 Netherlands NL[a]
 Indies IN
 Peru PE
 Persia PR
 Poland PL
 Portugal P[a]
 Roumania R[a]
 Territory of the Saar SA League of Nations mandate
 Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes SHS
 Siam SM
 Sweden S[a]
 Switzerland CH[a]
Syria and Lebanon LSA French League of Nations mandate
 Czechoslovakia CS
 Turkey TR
 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics SU Russia had been a party to the 1909 convention.
 Uruguay U
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Originally in 1909 convention


Since the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic entered into force on 21 May 1977, in signatory countries it replaces previous road traffic conventions, including the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, in accordance with its Article 48. According to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, the distinguishing sign of the country of registration must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle. The sign may either be placed separately from the registration plate as a white oval plate or sticker, or be incorporated in the vehicle registration plate. When the distinguishing sign is incorporated in the registration plate, it must also appear on the front registration plate of the vehicle.

The requirement to display a separate distinguishing sign is not necessary within the European Economic Area, for vehicles with license plates in the common EU format, which satisfy the requirements of the Vienna Convention, and so are also valid in non-EU countries signatory to that convention.[9] Separate signs are also not needed for Canada, Mexico and the United States, where the province, state or district of registration is usually embossed or surface-printed on the vehicle registration plate.[citation needed]

Current codes[edit]

Code Country From Previous
A  Austria 1911 Österreich (German)
AFG  Afghanistan 1971
AL  Albania 1934
AND  Andorra 1957
AM  Armenia 1992 SU Formerly part of the Soviet Union
AUS  Australia 1954
AZ  Azerbaijan 1993 SU Formerly part of the Soviet Union
B  Belgium 1910
BD  Bangladesh 1978 PAK Formerly East Pakistan
BDS  Barbados 1956
BF  Burkina Faso 1990 RHV / HV Until August 2003, 1984; (République de) Haute Volta (Upper Volta)
BG  Bulgaria 1910
BH  Belize 1938 Formerly British Honduras. Still officially registered as BH as of 2007. New driving licenses appear to have 'BZ' instead of 'BH' as Belize's code.[10]
BIH  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992 SHS 1919–29
Y 1929–53
YU 1953–92
Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина (Bosnian).
Formerly part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes Kraljevina Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca (Serbo-Croatian), then part of Yugoslavia.
BOL  Bolivia 1967
BR  Brazil 1930
BRN  Bahrain 1954
BRU  Brunei 1956
BS  Bahamas 1950
BUR[citation needed]  Myanmar 1956 BA, BUR Previously known as Burma.
BVI  British Virgin Islands 1910
BW[3]  Botswana 2003 BP Officially used by Botswana since 2003. Formerly RB (Republic of Botswana) until 2004; Bechuanaland Protectorate before 1966.
BY  Belarus 1992 (2004) SU Belarus; formerly part of the Soviet Union. The UN was officially notified of the change from SU to BY only in 2004.[citation needed]
CU[3]  Cuba 1930[citation needed]
CAM  Cameroon 1952 F & WAN Formerly a territory of France, plus a strip of territory from eastern Nigeria (WAN). Unofficially using CMR on their plates.
CDN  Canada 1956 CA CDN for "Canada Dominion"[citation needed]
CGO  Democratic Republic of the Congo 1997 CB, RCL, ZRE French: Congo Belge, République de Congo Léopoldville, Congo (Kinshasa), Zaïre, République Démocratique du Congo (French)
CH  Switzerland 1911 Confœderatio Helvetica (Latin)
CI  Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) 1961 F Formerly a territory of France
CL  Sri Lanka 1961 Formerly Ceylon. However, "SL" is being used on current driver licenses.
CO  Colombia 1952
CR  Costa Rica 1956
CY  Cyprus 1932
CZ  Czech Republic 1993 CS Formerly Československo (Czechoslovakia)
D  Germany 1910 Deutschland (German); also used until 1974 by  East Germany, which then used DDR until German reunification in 1990
DK  Denmark 1914
DOM  Dominican Republic 1952
DY  Benin 1910 Part of AOF
(Afrique occidentale
) − 1960
Dahomey (name until 1975). Uses RB unofficially (République du Bénin)
DZ  Algeria 1962 F − 1911 Djazayer (Algerian Arabic: جزائر); formerly part of France
E  Spain 1910 España (Spanish)
EAK  Kenya 1938 East Africa Kenya
EAT  Tanzania 1938 EAT & EAZ East Africa Tanzania; formerly East Africa Tanganyika and East Africa Zanzibar
EAU  Uganda 1938 East Africa Uganda
EAZ  Zanzibar 1964 East Africa Zanzibar
EC  Ecuador 1962 EQ
ER  Eritrea 1993 AOI Africa Orientale Italiana (Italian)
ES  El Salvador 1978
EST  Estonia 1993 EW 1919–1940 & 1991–1993
SU 1940–1991
Eesti Vabariik (Estonian; old style Eesti Wabariik)
ET  Egypt 1927
ETH  Ethiopia 1964 AOI − 1941 Africa Orientale Italiana (Italian)
F  France 1910
FIN  Finland 1993 SF Suomi / Finland (Finnish/Swedish)
FJI  Fiji 1971
FL  Liechtenstein 1923 Fürstentum Liechtenstein (German, Principality of Liechtenstein)
FO  Faroe Islands 1996 FR Føroyar
G  Gabon 1974 ALEF − 1960 Afrique Équatoriale Française. Unofficially using RG on their license plates.
GBA  Alderney 1924 GB 1923-1924 (United Kingdom of) Great Britain & Northern Ireland – Alderney
GBG  Guernsey 1924 GB 1914-1924 (United Kingdom of) Great Britain & Northern Ireland – Guernsey
GBJ  Jersey 1924 GB 1914-1924 (United Kingdom of) Great Britain & Northern Ireland – Jersey
GBM  Isle of Man 1932 (United Kingdom of) Great Britain & Northern Ireland – Isle of Man
GBZ  Gibraltar 1924 GB 1911-1924 (United Kingdom of) Great Britain & Northern Ireland – Gibraltar (Z was assigned because G was already used for Guernsey)[citation needed]
GCA  Guatemala 1956 G Guatemala, Central America
GE  Georgia 1992 SU Formerly part of the Soviet Union. Older licence plates use "GEO" instead of "GE". Also used by Equatorial-Guinea (Spanish: Guinea Ecuatorial).
GH  Ghana 1959 WAC − 1957 West Africa Gold Coast − 1957
GR  Greece 1913
GUY  Guyana 1972 BRG Formerly British Guiana − 1966
H  Hungary 1910
HKJ  Jordan 1966 JOR Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
HN  Honduras ?[citation needed] Unofficial: no other code found for Honduras
HR  Croatia 1992 SHS 1919–29
Y 1929–53
YU 1953–92
Hrvatska (Croatian). Formerly part of Yugoslavia. Immediately after Croatia's declaration of independence in 1991, it was common to see unofficial oval stickers with the letters "CRO". Despite the initial anticipation that Croatia's international vehicle registration code would be "CRO", Croatia opted for "HR" (Hrvatska) instead.

SHS was for the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Kraljevina Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca).

I  Italy 1910
IL  Israel 1952 "Israel" is also written on the plate in Hebrew (ישראל) and Arabic (إسرائيل)
IND  India 1947 BI
IR  Iran 1936 PR
IRL  Ireland 1992 GB − 1910-24
SE − 1924-38
EIR − 1938-62
EIR/IRL − 1962-92
Formerly a part of the United Kingdom, Saorstát Éireann, Éire.
IRQ  Iraq 1930
IS  Iceland 1936 Ísland (Icelandic)
J  Japan 1964
JA  Jamaica 1932
K[citation needed]  Cambodia 1956 Known as Kampuchea 1976–89. Formerly a territory of France. KH currently being used (Khmer) on driving licenses.
KG  Kyrgyzstan 1992 SU − 1991 Formerly part of the Soviet Union. The Kyrgyz government notified the change from "KS" to "KG", which featured on the new car registration plates from March 2016, in August that year to the UN Secretary-General.[11] Additionally, most vehicles use "KGZ" oval stickers instead of "KS".
KSA  Saudi Arabia 1973 SA Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
KWT  Kuwait 1954
KZ  Kazakhstan 1992 SU − 1991 Formerly part of the Soviet Union
L  Luxembourg 1911
LAO  Laos 1959 F – 1949 Formerly a territory of France (French Indochina)
LAR  Libya 1972 I − 1949, LT Libyan Arab Republic
LB  Liberia 1967
LS  Lesotho 1967 BL Basutoland − 1966
LT  Lithuania 1992 SU 1940–1991
LV  Latvia 1992 LR 1927–1940
SU 1940–1991
Latvijas Republika (Latvian)
M  Malta 1966 GBY 1924–66
MA  Morocco 1924 Maroc (French)
MAL  Malaysia 1967 PRK – 1957
FM 1954–57
PTM 1957–67
Formerly Perak, then Federated Malay States, then Persekutuan Tanah Melayu (Malay)
MC  Monaco 1910
MD  Moldova 1992 SU − 1991 Formerly part of the Soviet Union
MEX  Mexico 1952
MNE  Montenegro 2006 MN 1913–1919
SHS 1919–29
Y 1929–53
YU 1953–2003
SCG 2003–2006
Independent nation until 1918. After that, part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Kraljevina Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca – Serbo-Croatian), then part of Yugoslavia and then Serbia and Montenegro (Srbija i Crna Gora – Serbian). Independence restored in 2006.
MGL  Mongolia 2002 MNG displayed on current plates. Nevertheless, the new format includes MGL once again.[12]
MOC  Mozambique 1975 MOC: 1932–56
P: 1957–75
Formerly part of Portugal. Moçambique (Portuguese)
MS  Mauritius 1938
MV  Maldives 1965
MW  Malawi 1965 EA 1932–38
NP – 1938–70
RNY option 1960–65
Formerly the Nyasaland Protectorate
N  Norway 1922
NAM  Namibia 1990 SWA Formerly South West Africa
NAU  Nauru 1968
NEP    Nepal 1970
NIC  Nicaragua 1952
NL  Netherlands 1910
NMK  North Macedonia 2019 YU − 1992
MK 1992–2019
Formerly part of Yugoslavia. Known as Republic of Macedonia until 2019. Mix of English North and Macedonian Makedonija
NZ  New Zealand 1958
OM  Oman ?[citation needed]
P  Portugal 1910 Unofficially used by Palestine as well[13]
PA  Panama 1952
PE  Peru 1937
PK  Pakistan 1947
PL  Poland 1921
PNG  Papua New Guinea 1978
PY  Paraguay 1952
Q  Qatar 1972
RA  Argentina 1927 República Argentina (Spanish)
RC  Republic of China (Taiwan) 1932 Unofficially also used by car license plates in the Republic of Congo (République du Congo).
RCA  Central African Republic 1962 République Centrafricaine (French)
RCB  Republic of the Congo 1962 République du Congo Brazzaville (French). Unofficially using RC on current plates.
RCH  Chile 1930 República de Chile (Spanish)
RG  Guinea 1972 République de Guinée (French). Also used unofficially by Gabon.
RH  Haiti 1952 République d'Haïti (French)
RI  Indonesia 1955 Republik Indonesia (Indonesian)
RIM  Mauritania 1964 République islamique de Mauritanie (French)
RKS Flag of Kosovo.svg Kosovo 2010 SHS 1919–29
Y 1929–53
YU 1953–92
SCG 2003–2006
SRB 2006–2010
Republic of Kosovo
RL  Lebanon 1952 République Libanaise (French)
RM  Madagascar 1962 République de Madagascar (French)
RMM  Mali 1962 AOF − 1960 République du Mali (French). Formerly part of French West Africa (Afrique Occidentale Française)
RN  Niger 1977 AOF − 1960 République du Niger (French). Formerly part of French West Africa (Afrique Occidentale Française)
RO  Romania 1981 R - 1981
ROK  South Korea 1971 Republic of Korea. Unofficially using KOR on their plates.
RP  Philippines 1975 Republika ng Pilipinas (Republic of the Philippines)
RSM  San Marino 1932 Repubblica di San Marino (Italian)
RU  Burundi 1962? Belgian territory of Ruanda-Urundi. Unofficially using BU on their plates.
RUS  Russia 1992 Formerly part of the Soviet Union
RWA  Rwanda 1964 RU − 1962 Formerly part of Ruanda-Urundi − 1962
S  Sweden 1911
SD  Eswatini 1935 Formerly Swaziland
SGP  Singapore 1952
SK  Slovakia 1993 CS 1919–39,1945–92
SQ 1939–45
Formerly Československo (Czechoslovakia)
SLO[14]  Slovenia 1992 SHS 1919–29
Y 1929–53
YU 1953–92
Formerly part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes Kraljevina Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca (Serbo-Croatian), then part of Yugoslavia
SME  Suriname 1936
SN  Senegal 1962
SO  Somalia 1974 SP Formerly Somaliland Protectorate
SRB  Serbia 2006 SB – 1919
SHS 1919–29
Y 1929–53
YU 1953–2003
SCG 2003–2006
Formerly part of the Kingdom of Serbia.
Then part of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Kraljevina Srba, Hrvata i SlovenacaSerbo-Croatian).
Then part of Yugoslavia.
Then Serbia and Montenegro (Srbija i Crna GoraSerbian)
SUD  Sudan 1963
SY  Seychelles 1938
SYR  Syria 1952
T  Thailand 1955 SM
TCH  Chad 1973 Tchad (French)
TG  Togo 1973 RT Formerly République Togolaise
TJ  Tajikistan 1992 SU − 1991 Formerly part of the Soviet Union, used code "PT" for Республика Таджикистан

on plates from 1993 to 2003

TM  Turkmenistan 1992 SU − 1991 Formerly part of the Soviet Union
TN  Tunisia 1957 F − 1956 Formerly a territory of France
TO  Tonga 1995
TR  Turkey 1923
TT  Trinidad and Tobago 1964
UA  Ukraine 1992 SU Formerly part of the Soviet Union
UAE  United Arab Emirates 1971
UK  United Kingdom 2021 GB (1910–2021) Before 1922, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Until 2021, "GB" was used, but from 28 September 2021 the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland changed its international vehicle registration code from "GB" to "UK". (This does not affect territories for which the United Kingdom controls international relations outside Great Britain and Northern Ireland.)[15][16]
USA  United States 1952 US
UY[citation needed]  Uruguay 2012 ROU
UZ  Uzbekistan 1992 SU Formerly part of the Soviet Union
V   Vatican City 1931 CV (Italian: Città del Vaticano) is used as a prefix on the licence plate number itself. The prefix used on official and government vehicles is SCV (Italian: Status Civitatis Vaticanae)
VN  Vietnam 1953
WAG  Gambia 1932 West Africa Gambia
WAL  Sierra Leone 1937 West Africa Sierra Leone; on local licence plates SLE is used
WAN  Nigeria 1937 West Africa Nigeria
WD  Dominica 1954 Windward Islands Dominica
WG  Grenada 1932 Windward Islands Grenada
WL  Saint Lucia 1932 Windward Islands Saint Lucia
WS  Samoa 1962 Formerly Western Samoa
WV  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1932 Windward Islands Saint Vincent
YAR  Yemen 1960 North Yemen formerly known as the Yemen Arab Republic
YV  Venezuela 1955
Z  Zambia 1964[citation needed] RNR Formerly Northern Rhodesia. However, "ZM" is used on current driving licences.
ZA  South Africa 1936 Zuid-Afrika (from Dutch; in Afrikaans it is Suid-Afrika)
ZW  Zimbabwe 1980 SR, RSR Formerly Southern Rhodesia until 1965, Rhodesia unrecognised until 1980

Codes no longer in use[edit]

Code Country Used until Replaced by Notes
ADN Aden Colony Aden 1980 Y From 1938, also known as South Yemen, People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (1967)
BA Myanmar Burma 1956 BUR From 1937
BP Bechuanaland Protectorate Bechuanaland Protectorate 1966 Now Botswana
CA  Canada 1956 CDN
CS Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia 1992 CZ / SK Split into Czech Republic and Slovakia.
DA  Danzig, Free City of 1939 D (1939–1945)
PL (since 1945)
Danzig (German for Gdańsk)
DDR East Germany German Democratic Republic 1990 D From 1974 (used D until 1974), Deutsche Demokratische Republik
EIR Republic of Ireland Éire 1992 IRL Now  Ireland
EW  Estonia 1993 EST Eesti Vabariik (Estonian)
FR Faroe Islands Faroe Islands 1996 FO Føroyar (Faroese)
GB United Kingdom United Kingdom 2021 UK Changed to UK to be inclusive of Northern Ireland (which is not part of Great Britain), though the previous GB did also apply to Northern Ireland
GBY  Malta 1966 M Changed after independence from UK
GRO Greenland Greenland 1910 KN Grønland (Danish language) / Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenlandic language). Unofficial. The official code is DK.
HV Republic of Upper Volta Upper Volta (French: Haute-Volta), now Burkina Faso 1984 BF Upper Volta
KS  Kyrgyzstan 1992–2016 KG Ratified by the United Nations as KG in March 2016.
LR  Latvia 1927–1940 SU, LV Latvijas Republika (Latvian)
MK North Macedonia Republic of Macedonia 1992–2019 NMK Became North Macedonia in 2019
NA  Netherlands Antilles 1957 The Netherlands Antilles were dissolved in 2010.
PANG Portugal Angola 1956 P (1957-1975) From 1932. Formerly part of Portugal
R Romania Romania 1981 RO
RB  Botswana 2003 BP Republic of Botswana. Formerly Bechuanaland Protectorate
RNY Flag of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1953–1963).svg Rhodesia-Nyasaland Fed. 1953–1963 NP, NR, SR Now Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe
ROU  Uruguay 1979–2012 UY[citation needed] República Oriental del Uruguay (Spanish)
RSR Flag of Rhodesia (1964–1968).svg Southern Rhodesia 1965–1979 SR Now Zimbabwe
RT  Togo 1973 TG République togolaise (French). Formerly French Togoland − 1960
SA Saar Territory (League of Nations mandate) 1926–1935 D SA is again Germany's Saarland
SA  Saar Protectorate 1947–1956 D SA is again Germany's Saarland
SA  Saudi Arabia Un­known KSA The date of the change is unknown.
SB Kingdom of Serbia Serbia 1919 SHS Serbia became part of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
SCG Serbia and Montenegro Serbia and Montenegro 2006 MNE, SRB From Serbian name "Srbija i Crna Gora". Now Montenegro, Serbia
SE Republic of Ireland Saorstát Éireann 1938 EIR (IRL from 1962) Under GB until 1924. Name changed to Éire, now  Ireland
SF  Finland 1993 FIN SF from "Suomi – Finland" (the names of the country in its official languages, Finnish and Swedish)
SHS Kingdom of Yugoslavia Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes 1929 Y Kraljevina Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca – Serbo-Croatian. Kingdom changed its name to Yugoslavia
SU Soviet Union Soviet Union 1991 EST, LT, LV, BY, MD, UA, TJ, TM, GE, KZ, UZ, KS, AZ, AM, RUS
SWA South West Africa South West Africa 1990 Now Namibia
TS Free Territory of Trieste Free Territory of Trieste 1947–1954 Territory Zone A (controlled by the United Kingdom and United States from 1947 to 1954 before given to Italy). Now in Italy, Croatia and Slovenia.
Y Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia 1953 YU Yemen started using Y afterwards
YU Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia / Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia 1992 BIH, HR, NMK, MNE, RKS, SRB, SLO Now Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia, and Slovenia. MK for Macedonia was in use from 1993 until 2019
ZRE Zaire Zaire 1997 CGO Now the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Unofficial codes[edit]

The unofficial code for Brittany, Bzh

There are unofficial codes in common use, such as "AS" for Asturias, "CAT" for Catalonia, "SCO" for Scotland, "CYM" for Wales (Welsh Cymru), "BZH" for Brittany (Breizh), "VL" for Flanders (Vlaams), "V" for Vojvodina/Vajdaság, "TS" for Transylvania, "P" for Palestine, "PR" for Puerto Rico, "CSB" for Kashubia (Cassubia) and "SIC" for Székely Land (from Latin Terra Siculorum). Some of these, such as "VL" which is used by Flemish separatists, are used despite being specifically illegal under local laws.

In addition, in some areas, vehicle-style stickers have been used to denote and promote other entities, such as towns, islands, businesses, and even associations. These irregular stickers almost always bear an explanation of the code in small print near the edge of the sticker, as the codes used may be unfamiliar.


The political status of Kosovo is disputed. Having unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, Kosovo is formally recognised as an independent state by 101 out of 193 (52.3%) UN member states (with another 13 recognising it at some point but then withdrawing their recognition), while Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own territory.

Diplomatic licence plate codes[edit]

A separate system is used for vehicles belonging to the diplomats of foreign countries with license plate from the host country. That system is host country-specific and varies largely from country to country. For example, TR on a diplomatic car in the USA indicates Italian, not Turkish. Such markings in other countries (e.g. Norway) are indicated with numbers only, again different from international standards (e.g. 90 means Slovakia in Norway).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Georgano, G. N.; Andersen, Thorkil Ry (1982). The New encyclopedia of motorcars, 1885 to the present. p. 18. ISBN 0525932542.
  2. ^ Harding, Anthony; Bird, Anthony (1980). Guinness Book of Car Facts and Feats: A Record of Everyday Motoring and Automotive Achievements. p. 243. ISBN 0851122078.
  3. ^ a b c "Distinguishing Signs used on Vehicles in International Traffic" (PDF). United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
  4. ^ "Convention of Road Traffic signed at Geneva September, 19 1949 - Annex 4. Distinguishing Sign of Vehicles in International Traffic". Auto Driver Club. NYS ZONE INC. Retrieved 2016-11-24.
  5. ^ "Convention on Road Traffic on 8 November 1968 - Index Page". Auto Driver Club. NYS ZONE INC. Retrieved 2016-11-24.
  6. ^ "Annex 2: Registration of Vehicles in International Traffic" (PDF). Agreement between and among the Governments of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the People's Republic of China, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Union of Myanmar, the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for the Facilitation of Cross-Border Transport of Goods and People. 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2012.
  7. ^ "1909 Paris Convention for the International Circulation of Motor Vehicles" (PDF).
  8. ^ "International Convention Relative to Motor Traffic, Paris, 1924".
  9. ^ "Council Regulation (EC) No 2411/98". Council of the European Union. 3 November 1998.
  10. ^ "Driver's license will have a new look". Love FM. 2019-07-22. Retrieved 2021-12-20.
  11. ^ "Convention sur la circulation routière, signée à Vienne, le 8 novembre 1968 - Notification en vertu du paragraphe 4 de l'article 45 par le Kirghizistan. - Legilux". Retrieved 2021-10-28.
  12. ^ "Discussions of Mongolian license plates / Дискуссии по монгольским номерам".
  13. ^ "License Plates of Palestine".
  14. ^ "Car: International car registration letters Word Lists | Collins English Word Lists".
  15. ^ Griffiths, Hugo (5 July 2021). "GB stickers no longer valid for driving abroad". Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  16. ^ "Convention on Road Traffic Vienna, 8 November 1968: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Notification under Article 45 (4)" (PDF).

Further reading[edit]

  • "RPW": Neil Parker and John Weeks, Registration Plates of the World, Europlate; 4th edition (2004)

External links[edit]