Vehicle registration plates of Italy
Present Italian car number plates have black characters on a rectangular white background, with small blue side-fields on the right and left (see European vehicle registration plates). The current numbering scheme, in use from 1994, is unrelated to the geographical provenance of the car. Italian plates are printed by the state (i.e. nation, country).
- 1 History
- 2 Special plates
- 2.1 Motorbike plates
- 2.2 Moped plates
- 2.3 Trailer plates
- 2.4 Police plates
- 2.5 Diplomatic plates
- 2.6 Military plates
- 2.7 Dealer plates
- 2.8 Red Cross plates
- 2.9 Firefighters
- 2.10 Port Authority plates
- 2.11 SMOM plates
- 2.12 Temporary plates
- 2.13 Agricultural plates
- 2.14 State Forestry Corps plates
- 2.15 Road Machinery plates
- 2.16 Civil Defense plates
- 2.17 Carabinieri plates
- 2.18 Trolleybus plates
- 3 Province Codes
- 4 Diplomatic Codes
- 5 References
- 6 External links
The very first Italian plates.They had to have the owner's name and the local comunal number that had to be visible
These early Italian number plates gave the unabbreviated name of the place of origin, followed by a number, as GENOVA 83 and PADOVA 2. These were first plates to be made of metal and had to be done by the car's owner.Today,only two plates of that time remained,GENOVA 83 and PADOVA 2,conserved in museums.
Plate was black-on-white. The registration number was a numeric code (in red), different for each province, and a progressive number on a sigle line, unique for that province (in black). E.g. 63 – 2993, where 63 is the code for Turin. Motorcycle plates had squared plates
Front plate was considered completely optional
|63 – 2993|
Plate was black with white digits. Rear plate was square 27.5 × 20 cm (since 1951), front plate was 26.2 × 5.7 cm. Note that single line rear registration plates (similar to the ones used by other European countries) were not available until 1976. The registration number was the provincial designator, which is a two-letter code (exception: Rome's code is Roma), and a progressive code, unique for that province, up to 6 characters long.Between the provincial code and the first two digits there's the Italian Republic emblem (a garland surrounding a five-pointed star with the letters "RI" in the middle of the star)
From 1927 to 1932, the progressive code was before the provincial designator on a single line. Then, the progressive code was before the provincial designator in front plates and after it in rear plates.
The progressive code for the first 999999 cars of the provinces was just a progressive number, not filled with initial zeroes; in the rear plate the last four digits are in the second row and the first ones (when present) in the first row. For cars from 1000000, it was A00000-A99999, B00000-B99999 etc. Possible letters were, in this order, A B D E F G H K L M N P R S T U V Z X Y W. After that, it was 00000A-99999A, 00000D-99999D etc. Possible letters were, in this order, A D E F G H L M N P R S T V W X Y Z; then, the letter was moved to the second position, and then to third (same range as in second position).
| LI 16
Front plate was identical as in the period 1927-1976. Rear plate , instead, was changed in three pieces. One, size 10,7 × 33 cm, black with white digits, contains the progressive number and, very small, the provincial code. The other two were black with orange letters, and contained the provincial designator. One was 10,7 × 33 cm, the other one was 10,7 × 20 cm. Only one of the latter two was used: for a long plate, the small province code piece is put left of the progressive code, for a roughly square plate, the big province code piece is put above the progressive code.This change resolved the plate positioning problem on cars of foreign production, eventually the rectangular european system was preferred over the squared plate holder of Italian designed cars.
In 1985, plates become black digits with white reflective background. Rear plate was identical as in the period 1976-1985. Front plate becomes larger (32.5 × 10.7 cm) and the progressive code on it is moved after the provincial designator, as it was already for rear plates.
The reflective background issued has an official code that appears on the background in small letters, PGS B1 or PGS A1.
(PGS means "Provviderato Generale dello Stato" and A or B is the city where the reflective was made and 1-2 means white or yellow reflective)
This new system made provinces with less than 6 digits had to have 0 in place of the missing digits (LC 004239)
|VR VR A58322|
An entirely new numeration system was introduced which omitted any explicit reference to the place of origin. A simple alpha-numeric serial code takes the form AA 999 AA. Here ‘A’ can be any letter of the Latin alphabet except I, O, Q, U and is treated as a base-22 digit; ‘9’ can be any decimal digit. e.g. AK 514 RH, AX 848 LK, BA 924 NS, etc. The three-digit number changes first, then the letters from right to left. So, first plate is AA 000 AA, followed by AA 001 AA...AA 999 AA, then AA 000 AB to AA 999 AZ, then AA 000 BA to AA 999 ZZ, then AB 000 AA to AZ 999 ZZ, then BA 000 AA to ZZ 999 ZZ.
Rear plates are no more in two pieces. Instead, a square plate can be chosen instead of the ordinary long one for vehicles with a squared plate holder. If the rear plate is square, the numbering scheme starts from ZA 000 AA.
In 1999, the plates were redesigned, starting from the serial number BB 000 HH. The digits are thicker. The last decimal digit is now very close to the third letter. The standard European blue band has been added on the left side, with the European flag motif (12 yellow stars) and the country code I. Another blue band was added, on the right side, bearing a yellow circle with the year of registration (optional).
The two-letter provincial code is optionally present on the right band in capital letters (90% of circulating vehicles bear such code). For the capital city of Rome, the word Roma replaces the two-digit provincial code. Provincial codes are in capital letters except for three cases, where the second letter is expressed in small caps for the provincial codes of the autonomous provinces of Bolzano/Bozen (Bz) and Trento (Tn) and the autonomous region Aosta Valley (Ao), that are surmounted by the local coat of arms.
The reintroduction of the provincial code (although no longer as a compulsory element of the plate) was implemented because the 1994 suppression of the two-letter provincial codes proved extremely unpopular. Unlike before, the provincial code is not part of the registration number, which is the same for the whole nation.
Since 2003 the PGS B1 or PGS A1 code has been replaced by the code MEF B1 or MEF A1
|Current registration plate from Bolzano.|
|Square registration plate from Milan.|
Motorbikes have plates formed by two letters and five digits, starting from AA 00000. For these vehicles the provinces' codes are not used to avoid confusion (for example, the plate after AF 99999 is AH 00000, because AG means Agrigento). Plates size is 177 mm × 177 mm (7 in × 7 in).
Registration plates of small mopeds where introduced in 1994 (before that date Italian moped had no plate at all) they were trapeze-shaped and have a registration system based on a five letter-and-digit combination (treated as a 31-base numeric system), with the first two placed on top and the following three below (such as 47 A23 or K3 561 or 8X 4RF whereby whole sets of series are assigned locally). In 2006 new moped plates are introduced; new plates have a square shape measuring 12 by 14 cm. The registration shows six characters: the first is always "X" ("Y" for Local Police plates), the other five follows the same scheme of the old system; but the digit 1 and 0 and the letters A, E, I, O, Q and U are not used. Since 2012 old moped plates are no longer valid and have to be replaced by new ones.
Car's and truck's trailers had two plates: the trailer's own one was quite small and bore the word "RIMORCHIO" (trailer) and a two letters-five digits code, the other had the same size of vehicles' rear plates and bore the same registration of the prime mover written with black stickers on a retroflective yellow base. From February 2013 new trailer plates have been introduced: they use the same pattern of standard vehicle plates, the numeric scheme is XL 000 LL where "L" is a generic letter, "0" is a digit and "X" is the reserved letter. Mover repetition plates are no longer needed on trailers registered with new plates; but they are still compulsory for old trailers with small plates and small unregistered "appendix trailers".
Until 1959 trailer plates were the same of the car plates (white digits on a black background),only to have the word "RIMORCHIO" under the numbers,written in italic.
After 1959 to 1985,the trailer plates are like the front vehicles number plates (black background with white digits), with the digits before the provincial code, with the word "RIMORCHIO" above the digits followed by the provincial code
From 1985 until 1994 the trailer plates were enlarged,had black digits on a white reflective background with the provincial code before the digits and the word "RIMORCHIO" assumed red coloration.Until 1993 they had to be displayed on the right of the trailer
Schematic representation (2013):
|XA 123 AA MI|
Local police forces have the word "POLIZIA LOCALE" (local police) in blue. They have the same pattern as trailer and civilian plates, the scheme is YL 000 LL where "L" is a letter, "0" is a digit and the "Y" is the reserved letter (for motorcycles YL 00000, mopeds Y00 000). Unlike civilian plates they don't show up the code. National police plates have "POLIZIA" in red followed by letter, then numbers (formerly numbers only). Customs police plates start with prefix "GdiF" in red. The serial letters and three serial numbers are in black.
From 1948 to 1976 the diplomatic plates were the same of the civilian plates (white digits on a black background), with the "CD" prefix instead of the province followed by a max of 5 digits, the first two digits was he country's code
ex: CD 22843
From 1976 to 1985 the diplomatic plates are on a single line, black background with white digits, with the letters "CD" vertically aligned, followed by 5 digits,the first two represented the country, the other three a progressive number.
In 1985 to 1995 the diplomatic plates have white reflective background with black digits,with blue letters and change to a
CD 000 AA system, with the letters representing the country. The Italian Republic emblem appears on top of the first two letters of the plate and on the top right the international white oval with a black letter representing Italy's international code (I)
Diplomatic plates have blue letters since 1985 and have 4 numbers to avoid confusion with the new civilian plates issued since 1994. These have the "CC" (Corpo Consolare), "CD" (Corpo Diplomatico) and four numbers, while "UN" (Nazioni Unite (Permanent)), "UNP" (Nazioni Unite (Specialists)), and "UNT" (Nazioni Unite (Transit)) plates have three. Scheme is CC 0000 AA or UNP 000 AA. The "AA" is a country code (blue) while "0" is a digit. Front and rear plates are identical and both measure 34 by 11 cm.
|Diplomatic corps plate of Vatican City.|
|United Nations plate for specialists.|
Military plates have the prefixes EI (Esercito Italiano, Army), AM (Aeronautica Militare, Air Force) and MM (Marina Militare, Navy), all of them red, the trailers have the indication "RIMORCHIO". There is a code same as mentioned before, but it is small and it is black. The scheme is EI LL 000. While "EI" is the prefix, "LL" is a letter and "0" is a digit. Between the letter and number there is a green dot. In 1980 Army plates adopted the 11 by 34 cm size for both front and rear plates, but more recent plates use the 1994-99 civilian plate standard for rear plates. Starting from 2004, historical military vehicles does not use original plate, instead the scheme is EI VS 000, "VS" is colored green.
|Esercito Italiano plate.|
|Marina Militare plate.|
|Historical Esercito Italiano plate|
Italian dealer plates have a square (16.5 by 16.5 cm) size and follows the format XXpX/XXXX (where "X" could be a letter or a digit) arranged in two lines. They are the only kind of Italian plates whose code could be chosen by the owner.
Red Cross plates
Have the prefix "CRI" (Croce Rossa Italiana) in red, the style is CRI 000LL (pre-2007 was CRI L000L, motorcycles CRI 0000), while "L" is a letter, and "0" is a number on a white reflective background. Between "CRI" and the other characters there is the Red Cross sign. They use the same style of pre-1999 plates; the final code of two-line plates always starts with the letter "Z".
Trailer plates have the word "RIMORCHIO" above the digits using a CRI 0000 system.
Before 1985 Red Cross plates had a dot after every number and had the same format of civilian plates (smaller front plate)
Until 1995 Red Cross plates were numbers only, after 1995 ambulances had to have the L000L format, while service cars continued to have numbers only until 2002 where all new Red Cross vehicles had to have the L000L system.
|CRI 23454||Pre-1995 plates|
|CRI R 1343|
Before 1938 Firefighters vehicles used civilian plates
Since 1938 have the prefix "VF" (Vigili del Fuoco) in red . They have the same style and dimension of Port Authority plates, but they don't have text in the bottom section. Firefighters of autonomous regions use special Firefighters plates issued locally. Their schemes were VF 0L0 AA (formerly VF L00 AA), where "AA" at the end can be TN or BZ. Trailers have small red "R" between prefix and numbers.
|National firefighters plate (except for autonomous provinces below)|
|Firefighter plate from Trento.|
Port Authority plates
Have the prefix "CP" (Capitaneria di Porto) in red. They have the text "GUARDIA COSTIERA" at the bottom. Those plates are considerably shorter than a standard one (circa 35 by 52mm), front and rear plates have the same size and square rear plates are not available.
Uses prefix "SMOM" (Sovrano militare ordine di Malta) in red, followed by two numbers (previously red). They have the text "SMOM" at the bottom. These plates used only by Sovereign Military Order of Malta members (only plate that was circulating on along with its diplomatic plate (code XA), being SMOM is a subject of international law.), and these plates were issued by Ministry of Defence.
They have the same style of Diplomatic plates, but they start with "EE" (black) instead of "CD". The upper part of the plate has a small space for accommodating expiry date stickers.
|EE 053 AM|
Agricultural machines have motorcycle-sized plates following the AA-0/00A scheme written in black on yellow. Agricultural trailers have the text "RIM AGR." in red on the upper part. The style is same as the old trailer plates but background is yellow and the serial is AA-000A. Agricultural trailers have to show both their own plates and a prime mover repetition one.
State Forestry Corps plates
These plates have the prefix "CFS" (Corpo Forestale dello Stato) in red. The format is CFS 000 LL, "CFS" is a prefix, then three numbers and then "LL" suffix. Forestry Corps of autonomous regions use special dedicated plates, showing the province (or region) of registration. These plates have scheme CF AA L00 AA, where "CF" is red, "AA" is where the region is registered to ("FD" (means Forst Dienst) for Bolzano, "VA" (means Vigilanza Ambientale) for Sardinia), then followed by a letter and two numbers, and then suffix.
|National Corpo Forestale dello Stato plate (except for autonomous provinces below)|
|Corpo Forestale dello Stato plate from Bolzano.|
Road Machinery plates
The style of these plates is LL LL000. They are red on yellow background.
Civil Defense plates
These plates only exist in autonomous regions, they have the prefix "PC" (Protezione Civile) in red and an alfanumeric serial chosen by local authorities (PC ZS0LL in Bolzano (ZS means Zivilschutz), PC L00TN in Trento). Cars of national Civil Defense department have special plates bearing the "DPC" (Dipartimento della Protezione Civile) code followed by an alphanumeric serial (DPC L 0000), while operative vehicles usually use civil plates. Emergency plates have the text at top:"DIPARTIMENTO PROTEZIONE CIVILE RICOVERO DI EMERGENZA", then a provincial designator and four numbers.
These plates have the prefix "CC" in red. The style is CC LL 000 where "CC" is a prefix, "LL" is a letter, and "0" is a digit.
|CC DF 948|
These plates format is serial number, then logo and then the operator's number (normally 3 digits). Blue-on-white, plates size is 320 x 115 mm. Until 1950's they were circulated along with normal car plates.
Province Codes 1927 to present day
|AG||Agrigento||AL||Alessandria||AN||Ancona||AO||Aosta / Aoste||AP||Ascoli Piceno|
|BR||Brindisi||BS||Brescia||BT||Barletta-Andria-Trani||BZ||Bolzano / Bozen||CA||Cagliari|
|LI||Leghorn (Livorno)||LO||Lodi||LT||Latina||LU||Lucca||MB||Monza and Brianza|
|MC||Macerata||ME||Messina||MI||Milan (Milano)||MN||Mantua (Mantova)||MO||Modena|
|RC||Reggio Calabria||RE||Reggio Emilia||RG||Ragusa||RI||Rieti||RN||Rimini|
|RO||Rovigo||Roma||Rome (Roma)||SA||Salerno||SD||South Sardinia||SI||Siena|
|SO||Sondrio||SP||La Spezia||SR||Syracuse (Siracusa)||SS||Sassari||SV||Savona|
|TA||Taranto||TE||Teramo||TN||Trent (Trento)||TO||Turin (Torino)||TP||Trapani|
These abbreviations for the names of provinces are extensively used in contexts other than vehicle registration. For example, "Trino (VC)", to indicate a place called Trino in the province of Vercelli, could appear on letterheaded paper or in a postal address or in a guide book and very often on business cards and trade signs. The abbreviations even count as valid words in crosswords and in Scarabeo, the Italian version of the board game Scrabble. Sometimes, the code RM is used instead of Roma for the province of Rome, in postal addresses or documents.
Province Codes 1905 to 1927
|25||Florence (Firenze)||26||Foggia||27||Forlì||28||Genoa (Genova)|
|33||Lucca||34||Macerata||35||Mantua (Mantova)||36||Massa and Carrara|
|37||Messina||38||Milan (Milano)||39||Modena||40||Naples (Napoli)|
|53||Reggio di Calabria||54||Reggio nell'Emilia||55||Rome (Roma)||56||Rovigo|
Province Codes which have been abandoned (post-1927)
|AU||Apuania||Province renamed back to Massa-Carrara (MS).||1939-1949|
|CG||Castrogiovanni||City renamed to Enna.||1927-1928|
|CU||Cuneo||Code changed to CN.||1927-1928|
|FO||Forlì||Province renamed to Forlì-Cesena (FC).||1927-1994|
|FU||Fiume||Code changed to FM.||1927-1930|
|FM||Fiume||City no longer in Italy.||1930-1945|
|GI||Girgenti||City renamed to Agrigento.||1927-1928|
|LB||Lubiana||City no longer in Italy.||1941-1945|
|PL||Pola||City no longer in Italy.||1927-1945|
|PU||Perugia||Code changed to PG.||1927-1933|
|PS||Pesaro||Province renamed to Pesaro and Urbino (PU).||1927-1994|
|VS||Medio Campidano||Province abolished.||2001-2016|
|ZA||Zara||City no longer in Italy.||1927-1945|
|AV||West Germany||BA||East Germany||BC||United Kingdom||BF||Slovenia||BG||Greece|
|BM||Ireland||BN||Italy (Holy See)||BP||Serbia||BQ||Croatia||BR||Luxembourg|
|CN||Sweden||CQ||Switzerland||CR||Turkey||CX||Hungary||DA||Russia (formerly Soviet Union)|
|DC||Ukraine||DD||Uzbekistan||DE||Vatican City (Apostolic Nunciature)||DF||Slovenia||DG||Macedonia|
|DH||Bosnia and Herzegovina||DL||Slovakia||DM||Armenia||DN||Georgia||DP||Kazakhstan|
|EN||Eritrea||EP||Mali||ER||Belize||ES||Equatorial Guinea (c/o FAO)||ET||Kosovo|
|GF||China||GK||Philippines||GL||North Korea||GM||South Korea||GP||United Arab Emirates|
|NG||Central African Republic||NH||Republic of the Congo||NL||Ivory Coast||NM||Egypt||NR||Ethiopia|
|PS||Senegal||PT||Sierra Leone||PV||Mozambique||PX||Somalia||QA||South Africa|
|QC||Sudan||QE||Tanzania||QG||Tunisia||QL||Democratic Republic of the Congo||QN||Zambia|
|QP||Niger||SA||Canada||SD||Mexico||SF SH SL SN SQ||United States||TA||Costa Rica|
|VF||Brazil||VL||Colombia||VS||Uruguay||XA||S.M.O.M and Palestine||XC XD XE XF XH||FAO, United Nations, International organizations, and European Union|
|XG||Vatican City||ZA||Australia||ZC||New Zealand|
- The use of alphabetical codes for number plates started in Italy on 28 February 1927, as prescribed by the Communication n. 3361 from Minister of Public Works (from R.D.I. n.314 13.3.1927 and the law n.2730 29.12.1927) which inaugurated a new highway code.
- Italy's page on Worldlicenseplates.com
- "CD and CC registration plates". Retrieved 24 April 2016.
- "Diplomatic codes after 1984". Retrieved 24 April 2016.
- Plates in Rome provides detailed coverage of Italian number plates from 1903 onwards.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to License plates of Italy.|