Vehicle registration plates of Australia
Australian vehicle number plates are issued by the states and territories, the Commonwealth government, and the armed forces of Australia. The plates are associated with a vehicle and generally last for the time the vehicle remains registered in the state, though as they become unreadable (or for other reasons) they may be recalled or replaced with newer ones. From the 1970s until the late 1990s, most Australian plates were of the form xxx·xxx (with x being either letters or numbers) – for example, aaa·nnn in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory; naa.nnn in Western Australia, where the starting number was between six and nine; and nnn.aaa in Queensland. More recently as these series have reached the limit of their capacity, different states and territories have chosen different continuations, so the commonality with respect to format is at an end. The most recent adoption of a new sequence plate is in the state of Victoria, which from 2013 issues plates in the format 1aa.naa. Nevertheless, standard issue plates have the same dimensions regardless of their state-of-issue so there remains an element of consistency between them.
- 1 Summary of current standard issue plates
- 2 Federal numbering scheme
- 3 Common features
- 4 New South Wales
- 5 Victoria
- 6 Queensland
- 7 Western Australia
- 8 South Australia
- 9 Tasmania
- 10 Australian Capital Territory
- 11 Northern Territory
- 12 Commonwealth and military
- 13 Federal Interstate Registration Scheme
- 14 Diplomatic
- 15 Registration labels abolition for light vehicles
- 16 Notes
- 17 References
- 18 External links
Summary of current standard issue plates
|State/territory||Text/background colour||Format||Current slogan||Current series||Notes|
|Australian Capital Territory||blue/white||ACT Canberra – The Nation's Capital or
ACT Canberra – Heart of the Nation
|Slogan embossed on plate|
|ACT – Celebration of a Century 2013||Slogan screenprinted on plate|
|New South Wales||black/yellow||New South Wales||No slogan|
|Northern Territory||ochre/white||NT – Outback Australia||Slogan embossed on plate|
|Queensland||maroon/white||Queensland – Sunshine State||Slogan embossed on plate|
|South Australia||black/white||South Australia||No slogan|
|Tasmania||blue/white||Tasmania · Explore the possibilities||Background screenprinting of state logo (a thylacine walking through reeds)|
|Victoria||blue/white||Victoria – The Education State||Slogan screenprinted on plate|
|Western Australia||blue/white||Western Australia||Decorative motif of desert sun and blue skyline along top of plate. Only the serials are embossed.|
|State/territory||Text/background colour||Format||Current slogan||Current series||Notes|
|Australian Capital Territory||blue/white||ACT||No slogan|
|New South Wales||black/yellow||New South Wales||NSW-TRAILER – Commenced December 2014|
|black/white||NSW||No slogan. New series commenced August 2014|
|Northern Territory||ochre/white||NT – Outback Australia||Slogan embossed on plate|
|Queensland||maroon/white||Queensland – Sunshine State||Slogan embossed on plate|
|South Australia||black/white||South Australia||No slogan|
|Tasmania||blue/white||Tasmania – Explore the possibilities||Background screen printed of state logo (a thylacine walking through reeds)|
|Victoria||blue/white||Victoria – The Education State||Both the state logo decal in top centre (Southern Cross in a blue triangle)|
|Western Australia||blue/white||Western Australia||Decorative motif of desert sun and blue skyline along top of plate. Only the serials are embossed.|
|State/territory||Text/background colour||Format||Current slogan||Current series||Notes|
|Australian Capital Territory||blue/white||ACT||No slogan|
|New South Wales||black/yellow||NSW||No slogan|
|Northern Territory||ochre/white||NT||No slogan|
|Queensland||maroon/white||Qld||No slogan. TMR confirms reissuing cancelled NA-QZ|
|South Australia||black/white||SA||No slogan|
|Western Australia||blue/white||WA||No slogan|
Federal numbering scheme
From 1951–2, Australian automobiles were to adopt a broad scheme across all states and territories for vehicle number plates. Both NSW and Victoria had previously issued plates with 2-letter, 3-digits, white on a black background. However, while implemented, this was not entirely popular as some states and territories preferred their own identity reflected on their vehicles instead. They were 'meant' to use the following proposed scheme:
- New South Wales: AAA-000 to FZZ-999 – Exited scheme July 2004 in full AAA-000 to ZLF-999
- Victoria: GAA-000 to MZZ-999 (Ixx-nnn series skipped initially, but used after the Lxx-nnn series) – Exited scheme August 2013 in full AAA-000 to ZZZ-998
- Queensland: NAA-000 to QZZ-999 (Oxx-nnn series initially skipped by Queensland) – Exited scheme July 1977 partially
- South Australia: RAA-000 to TZZ-999 – Exited scheme October 2008
- Western Australia: UAA-000 to VZZ-999 (V was not used; issued X after U ran out) – Exited scheme January 1979
- Tasmania: WAA-000 to WZZ-999 (later 2 letters and 4 digits) – Exited scheme 1970 only in W-prefix
- Northern Territory: XAA-000 to XZZ-999 (not taken up; stayed with 6 numeric digits) – Exited scheme June 2011
- Australian Capital Territory: YAA-000 to YZZ-999 – Exited scheme July 1998 only in Y-prefix
- Commonwealth Government ZAA-000 to ZZZ-999 (with first Z in red), issued Australia-wide
Western Australia deemed itself too large to fit into the proposed scheme and adhered to one of its own devising; plates in the Ixx-nnn series were to be skipped (as a capital-I was believed to be easily mistaken for a number 1). This allowed the two populous states with greater registrations of vehicles 6 letter-series each (NSW had A-F, Victoria G-H and J-M), and others with 3 letter-series (Queensland N-Q, South Australia R-T, Western Australia was allocated U-V). Tasmania was only given one, W, due to its size, and the ACT Y. Z was for federal government department use Australia-wide, the 2nd letter reflecting the commonwealth department.
Since 1936, Australian plates were to be uniform in size and embossing in standard Australian dies, beginning with NSW, FCT (now ACT) and Victoria. By 1956 the remaining states and terrorties moved into standard Australian embossing from either pressed or enamel, standardising in dimensions as 372 mm (14.6 in) × 134 mm (5.3 in).
NSW adopted yellow background and black lettering, ACT white background and blue lettering, Victoria adopted a black background with white lettering for its initial scheme allocation. Once this overflowed, Victoria began using from AAA-000 to FZZ-999 on white background and green lettering (later blue commencing at NAA-000). Queensland used a black background with white lettering, Tasmania a white background with blue lettering, SA white background and black lettering, and WA white background (later changed to yellow) and black lettering. NT kept to their white background and all-numbers in ochre that the all numerics ended in June 2011 and began using CA-00-AB onwards.
However, this system was not as popular as expected: the Northern Territory refused and continued its previous all-number system. Western Australia soon adopted the scheme, taking charge of the previously NT allocated XAA-000 to XZZ-999 (WAG-000 to WAG-999 they reserved for WA Government vehicles, then extending to XZZ-999). However many WA rural shires chose to issue their own series plates, with initial letters being Shire abbreviations followed by digits, in the WA colour scheme.
Queensland, after initially skipping the O-series (as a capital-O was often confused for a number 0), were left with too few combinations for a growing number of registrations. The Q series plates were reserved for Qld government use. In 1978, having exhausted Nxx-nnn to Pxx-nnn combinations Queensland reversed the format, starting at 000-NAA continuing through to 999-PZZ in 1987, when plates commencing at 000-AAA were issued. Colours were white reflective background and green lettering (later maroon).(There are still a number of vehicles in Queensland – growing rarer as new cars and new plates replace them – with the old white-on-black Q and six black on white digits at this time. Only one of these was issued, for display at the rear.)
All the remaining states and territories stuck to their initial allocations, until the number of registrations became too large for each state and were 'overflowed' into other series otherwise allocated to another state: NSW overflowed from FZZ-999 to GAA-000 (otherwise issued to Victoria) in 1972, Victoria (having reserved the Mxx-nnn series for State government registrations) overflowed from LZZ-999 to IAA-000 (previously skipped) in 1974, and then from IZZ-999 to AAA-000 (otherwise issued to NSW) in 1977. South Australia did similar, overflowing from SZZ-999 to UAA-000 etc. (having reserved the Txx-nnn series for trailer registrations).
Plates tend to bear the State or Territory name and perhaps a state motto or slogan at the top and/or bottom of the plate. Recent issues of plates (since the 1990s) also often use the state's colours and may include some imagery related to the state (such thing as the state's logo as the dot separating the groups of numbers).
Vehicles running on autogas or compressed natural gas must have a metal diamond with a white lettering LPG on a retro-reflective red background or metal disc with white lettering CNG on red background. The tag must be mechanically fixed (and is usually riveted) onto both of the registration plates. If multiple gas tanks are fitted to vehicle, multiple tags are required – one tag for each tank installed. Subsequently, vehicle manufacturers who manufacture cars with LPG as standard fitting, provide LPG stickers already stuck to the vehicle's registration plate areas, and some state and territory registration authorities also are producing plastic "flat" printed registration plates, and therefore need to provide LPG stickers to avoid damage to the plates if drilled for pop rivets.
All hybrid electric vehicles must have a green diamond sticker with the word "Hybrid" written in white letters. This became a mandatory requirement on all hybrid vehicles registered in Victoria from 1 April 2009, and is designed to warn emergency services in the case of an accident that the vehicle contains high voltage cabling throughout the vehicle.
New South Wales
- Then it became a sub agency under a principal department from 2009 onwards:
- Roads & Traffic Authority (2009–2011)
- Transport and Infrastructure NSW (2009–2010)
- Transport New South Wales (2010–2011)
- Department of Transport (January 2011 – October 2011)
- Roads & Maritime Services (1 November 2011 – present)
- Transport for NSW (2011–2015)
- Department of Transport (2015–present)
Previous general series
- Car/Heavy Vehicles:
- 1910–1924 – (Car only) – NSW insert added from 1912
- 1910–1937 – (Lorry only)
- 1924–1937 –
- 1937–1951 –
- 1951–2004 – until 1961 it was changed from yolk yellow to lemon
- 1910–1924 – – NSW insert added from 1912
- 1924–1937 –
- 1937–1952 –
- 1952–1981 –
- 1981–2014 –
- 2014–present –
- 1910–1937 – - NSW insert added from 1912
- 1939–1950 –
- 1950–1989 – until 1961 it was changed from yolk yellow to lemon
From 1932, registration labels were introduced which corresponded to the vehicle's the registration plate, and were displayed on the windscreen or side-windows of vehicles.
The label was a wet application type soaked in cold water which was then applied to the glass, then squeegeed with a clean sponge to remove remaining gum on the label. It was time consuming.
1932 to 1953 – Non standard annual colours were used
1953 to 2012 – Annual cyclic colours of red, purple, brown, green, orange and light blue.
- 1932–1957 – Month in the middle and particular details on both sides of label and NEW SOUTH WALES with government crest at top.
- 1957–1959 – Month in the middle and particular details on bottom of label and NEW SOUTH WALES with government crest at top while VEHICLE REGISTRATION LABEL at bottom.
- 1960–1973 – Redesigned label showing month in middle, particular details on top of label and NEW SOUTH WALES at the right hand side & Date of expiry at left hand side.
- 1973–1984 – Redesigned label showing month in middle, particular details on top of label on one line only and NEW SOUTH WALES moved to the top & Date of expiry moved to right hand side.
- 1984–1987 – Redesigned label showing month & year in left hand side, particular details deleted and NEW SOUTH WALES remain at top with annual graphic designs of the Sydney Opera House, Parkes Observatory, Queen Victoria Building and Australian Bicentenary.
- 1988 – Redesigned label showing NEW SOUTH WALES, month and year in right hand side and Australian Bicentenary logo.
- 1989–1992 – Redesigned half size label showing NEW SOUTH WALES, month & year in full middle alignment.
- 1992–2012 – Adhesive sticker label with vehicle details reinstated in yellow L shaped area.
- 1 January 2013 – Registration labels abolished for light vehicles – cars, trailers, cycles and caravans.
Information on previous general series
From 1910 to 1937, registration plates were in numerals only. Prior to 1924, these were issued with black lettering on a white background, until recalled and subsequently replaced with the reverse colour format: white lettering on a black background. All contained an "NSW" insert from 1912. In 1937, letters in registration plates were first introduced, using an aa-nnn format. This ran until 1951 with the "NSW" insert on the top of the plate. It is the beginning of Page embossed dies.
From 1951, plates were 3 characters and three numbers (as per the Federal scheme): AAA-000 to FZZ-999, issued on a yellow background with black lettering, with "NSW" insert on the top of the plate. From 1968, cancelled numbers in that range were reissued, but this did not last long, so the Department of Motor Transport DMT needed to fill in unissued plates containing I and Q on the 2nd and 3rd letter characters (e.g.: AIA-123, AMQ-123).
By 1972, NSW had reached the limit imposed by the Federal scheme: a new series started at GAA-000 and ran to ZLF-999 in July 2004,having skipped the plates series from IAA-000 to IRZ-000, ITA-000 to IZZ-999 and ZLG-000 to ZZY-999
Reflective black-on-yellow plates began from October 1980 at which time the "NSW" insert was struck from the top of the plate to be replaced by a state based slogan at the bottom of the plate, except when it was briefly reinstated in 1988/89.
In 1989, combinations went straight from "P" to "R", bypassing "Q" altogether. Q-series plates were later released circa 1992 (QA-series) and continued into 1993 (until around the QI-series). Then in 1996 the Q-series recommenced and finished at QZ.
NSW plates attracted the following slogans, usually located at the bottom of the plate:
- October 1980 to November 1988: NSW – The Premier State
- November 1988 to March 1989: NSW (interim series)
- March 1989 to present: New South Wales legend at bottom of plates introduced, standardised option from October 1996
- June 1989 to September 1994: NSW – The First State
- September 1994 to September 1996: NSW – Towards 2000
By July 2004, combinations of the old 3-letter, 3-number series was exhausted therefore, a replacement series starting at AA-00-AA continuing the current reflective black-on-yellow plates and New South Wales legend.
Trailers and caravans have black-on-yellow plates, using a 1-letter, 5-number (a-nnnnn) format excluding I, O and T letters. Until August 1981, it was in black on white format aa-nnnn, starting as T, R then A, B, C series from the 1940s until it was taken off. Filled in H-00000 series for black on yellow issues after Z-99999 has concluded. As of 11 December 2014, black on yellow trailer series TA-03 -BA was released with embossed legend NSW-TRAILER. The white on black issues are now issued in the series starting with TR-00-AA with NSW top legend.
Motorcycles were numerics until 1937 when it changed to alpha numeric format as aa-nn then in 1951, changed from white-on-black to black-on-yellow aa-nnn, and by August 1989, it was taken off after exhausting in Z series by December 1985 & restarting at AA-050 until EE-999 and replaced by the new series ZZZ-99 that go in reverse.
When a black on yellow plate is judged to be in need of replacement, the Roads and Maritime Services are required to manufacture a replacement at no cost to the owner, hence it is quite common to see plates from older series in the current format. Registration plates, both personalised and standard, are able to be transferred between vehicles. A number of Sydney bus operators still recycle old plates including Forest Coach Lines and Punchbowl Bus Company.
|Year||Plate style||Year||Plate style|
|1951–1980||1980 to 1988|
Current general series
For information regarding skipped combinations please refer to Skipped Combinations section
- Car/Heavy Vehicles – 2004–present:
- Slimline light vehicle series 1991–present:
- Trailers – 2014–present: – New series commenced December 2014
- Trailers – 2014–present: – New Series commenced August 2014.
- Motorcycles – 1989–present:
- Motorcycles – 2009–present: Since 30 November 2009, black on reflective white general series has been introduced.
- Historic skipped series
- White on black - 1939-1951 - AB-123 IA-IZ and QA-QZ
- Black on yellow - 1951-2004 - ABC-123 - until 1970, I & Q were not allocated as when the AAA-EZZ was used up by 1968 the cancelled blocks were reissued. By 1970 I & Q began to be allocated i.e AAI, AIA, AAQ, AQA etc up to EQZ then moved on to GAA. FAA to FNZ was not issued after F series for trucks was discontinued in January 1980. FOA TO FOZ unused truck plates were allocated to cars during January 1980 for about 3 weeks before reverting to KOA onwards. IAA to IZZ except ISA to ISZ, WBB to WCZ, and ZLG to ZZY were skipped.
- Black on yellow – combinations skipped are AS, AX and BO.
- General issue white slimline – Combinations skipped are AFP, AFR, ASS, AVA-Z, BQB-Z, BRA, BRC-Z, BUA-Z, BXD-Z, BYA-Z, CAE-Z, CBC-Z, CCC-Z, CFN-Z, CKB-Z, CLA-Z, CUA-Z CB's are allocated to white on blue series. SG fleet plates are issued in BQA, CAA & CCB blocks and recently Summit Fleet in CFF series. A number of skipped combinations are now issued as an over the counter sale e.g. BRB in blue on white, CKA in Eurostyle.
- Trailer Series A-12345 – A,B,C,D,E,F,G,J,K & L 00001 to 19999 are not issued – Final H 00001 to 19999 was issued as an interim measure after Z-99999 concluded.
- Dealer Slimline From YBA-00A to YDZ-99Z – various dealers's names/logos are screened printed at the bottom.
- Fleet Plates Fleet managers had plates allocated and issued for SG Fleet and Summit in full standard size and Fleet manager's business name printed below. SG Fleet plates has since changed to Dealer slimline size as reported in September 2015. Summit soon changed the size too.
- Motorcycle Dealers From BNA to BNZ, and BPA to BTZ – various dealer's names are screen printed at the top between embossed NSW.
"MyPlates" range is a product of the Plate Marketing Pty Ltd on behalf of the NSW Roads and Maritime Services. It offers personalisation of registration plates including plate colour and content. Since 2009, all non-reflective bases have been converted to reflective. As of 1 October 2010, Plate Marketing Pty Ltd (formerly part of the LicenSys group) has been appointed to manage and operate the myPlates business under a 15-year partnering arrangement.
- Format available for types of vehicles:
Light vehicles options: aa-nnn, aa-nnnn, aaa-nnn, aaa-nna, aa-nn-aa,nnn-aaa, nn-aaa, nn-aaaa,cccccc (where c can be a numeral, letter or space)
Motorcycle format options: aa-nn, aa-nnn, aaa-nn, nn-aaa, ccccc
Trailer format options: a-nnnnn, aa-nnnn, cccccc
Heavy Vehicles options: aaa-nnn, aa-nnn, aa-nnnn, cccccc
History of plates launches
- 1969 – White on black personalised introduced – Cars AB-123 & Motorcycle AB-12
- 1976 – White on black personalised extended into AB-1234 and black on yellow ABC-123 added.
- 1981 – Custom Plates introduced initially as NSW-THE PREMIER STATE in black on reflective lemon base.
- 1987 – Custom Plates replaced by current Custom yellow.
- 1987 – Bicentenary plates launched – black on reflective white with shield – ABC-123 (AAA-050 TO ABZ-999) and later added AB-123
- 1991 – Premium slimline plates were introduced commencing at AAA-11A, black on reflective white base in smaller embossed characters and NSW embossed at left hand side.
- 1994 – Premium slimline personalised plates were introduced and was offered in combinations – AB-123, AB-1234, ABC-123 & CUSTOM
- 1997 – RSL Plates in green on mid yellow – "NSW Lest We Forget"
- 1998 – Sydney Olympic Games Plates – "Share the Spirit" in black on white with blue band on bottom and the Sydney Olympic Logo – ABC-123, AB-123 & AB-1234
- 2000 – Due to popular demand, Olympic slimlines introduced – ABC-123, AB-123 & AB-1234
- 2001 – Centenary of Federation plates available for 12 months ABC-123, AB-123 & AB-1234 and CF series 1901-CF to 2001-CF were offered in reflective embossed white characters. Recent remakes are now in reflective black base.
- 2002 – White Euro plates: N aa-nnn and N aa-nna new style of plates fitting European dimensions was introduced in April 2002. In these plates, the N is compulsory prefix then spaced combinations.
- 2002 – New England plates that ran for about 4 years.
- 2003 – The colour range were introduced. See colour chart.
- 2004 – White on black personalised extended into ABC-123
- 2005 – Metallic range was introduced. See colour chart.
- 2005 – Premium slimlines Plates was replaced by Bordered slimline plates commencing at AWA-11A
- 2006 – Black Euro introduced, and an auction custom i.e. N-CSTM1 was conducted.
- 2007 – Sydney Harbour Bridge Plates – SHB Harbour Bridge shaped plates from SHB-1 to SHB-99 only sold via on-line auctions. In white on graphic background of the bridge. Standard slimline series HB-12-AC issued for 12 months those sales ceased on 27 March 2008. Black on white with bridge graphic in light grey.
- 2008 – NRL Team Plates – Plates for NRL fans team colours are introduced.
- 2008 – Centenary NRL Footy plates of all NRL teams were sold through an online auction – They comes in team colours and the number digits represents half back half eight, front rowers, back rowers,
centres and wingers. The auction has since been completed.
- 2009 – HSV, FPV and V8 Supercar plates were introduced. From 22 September 2010, slimline version were added.
- 2009 – All plates range changed to reflective bases.
- 2010 – Corporate plates with business names and logos are introduced
- 2012 – Bright lights commences on 1 May 2012 and was initially in black base only with reflective colours are Venetian green, casino sunrise, moulin rougue, gold rush, midnight jazz, hot flamingo and blue lagoon. It was extended to motorcycles during November 2012. The range has since been modified to include reflective black with the rest of reflective colour choices.
- 2012 – The first number personalised plate range begins, allowing motorists to choose alternative series as the current personalised plates capacity are near full or not available. Current range of plate options will apply to all first number combinations as shown as 123-ABC, 12-ABC & 12-ABCD.
- 2013 – Custom Traditional black introduced. Custom yellow expanded into AA-123, AA-1234, ABC-123, 123-ABC, 12-ABC & 12-ABCD combinations.
- 2013 – Art range – 7 selected designs were launched.
- 2013 – Tech Range released 4 November 2013
- 2014 – US sized plates released – comes in US style star spangles, NSW State plate and black on white plain.
- 2014 – Le Chic & Vintage range introduced on 13 July 2014
- 2014 – Bright Lights now withdrawn from sale as they are under review following customer feedback that the colours are hard to read in a normal human eye. as of Feb 2015, 9604 sets will be recalled and replaced by a larger & clearer version of bright lights. Prototype sets are being pressed and tested prior to potential re-release.
- 2014 – Art Cycle range launched 30 September
- 2014 – 2014 Premiership plates launched 6 October
- 2015 – formerly called Bright Lights now relaunched as Colour on Black available for car and light vehicles at this stage.
- 2015 – Black on coloured plates base introduced.
- 2015 – Australiana Range launched 16 November 2015.
- 2015 - AB-123 & 12-ABC blocks have been removed from NRL range following complaints of character spacing.
- Coloured Plates chart
Offered in colours are:
Colour on Black:
Black on colour:
Coloured on white:
Exclusions & choices: Motorists can choose any combined letters and numbers including solely letters (max 6 characters). Plate customisation has also been added into the coloured, premium range and recently motorcycles (7 March). Certain restrictions about combinations have been put in place to prevent people from designing plates which appear too-much like numeral-only plates which are auctioned off separately (e.g. 9I2 would not be allowed as it is too similar to 912). There are also restrictions preventing people from picking combinations that are too similar to special plates issued by the Authority (for instance, HC-nnn and HC-nnnn combinations are reserved only for accredited hire-car operators).
Special purpose vehicles
Vehicles with particular purposes in New South Wales have been introduced with numberplates specific to their type.
- Taxis have two types of plate: Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong plates have a format, while regional and country taxis use . As of October 2009, the Taxi plate design has changed to its current format following enforcement camera errors showing the zeros or eights between the character spaces. It has an embossed premium slimline at the top with sticker for LPG and CNG and TPG moved to two bottom corners. The white on blue reflective base remain the same. NSW -TAXI is the legend description.
- Tow truck plates use or , depending on the registered use of the vehicle. They have blue characters on a white background, and the top of the plate reads "TOW TRUCK", that was introduced in October 2000. The original yellow on black format with NSW The First state or Towards 2000 began in November 1990. It is now in the current NEW SOUTH WALES format and is seen to have 9906-TT as of 28 March 2008. As of September 2008 it is in 9800s series, but now it is issued in 7000 to 8999 unused blocks as the first one 7002-TT was seen at the Northern Beaches as of December 2008.
- Buses have black on yellow plates, with the prefix Metro: State Transit Buses). Commercial buses in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong districts have M/O-nnnn plates, with the M over the O; all other commercial buses use nnnn-MO. Like other vehicles, buses not used for hire or reward are registered with general-issue car plates. The M/O·1000 to M/O·3999 range was reserved for the State Transit Authority and its predecessors. When the end of the series was reached in the early 1970s the series was reissued before again being exhausted again in 2000. Some plates were reissued for a third time before the State Transit Authority adopted its own nnnn·ST series. The M/O·6nnn series was reserved for the Wollongong region, but now cancelled M/O 6000s series are re-issued to private buses in Sydney, which continues from M/O·5nnn series. , Country: (Motor Omnibus) or (
- Tourist vehicles have black on yellow plates, with the prefix . Originally issued as yellow on black plates in the 1960s, before changed to reflective black on yellow format in the early 1980s. At the time the tourist coach market was heavily regulated with a finite number of TV plates on issue, making them like taxi plates a traded commodity.
- Hire Cars HC-000 to 999 issued in Sydney but now extends beyond HC-1000 since 2008. HC-2000 to HC- 4999 blocks are issued outside Sydney. Previously until 1998, HV-nnn series were issued in the country but had to combine into a single HC series. Effective from the week of 29 July 2013, new HC plates design were released – in same white on reflective black with legend NSW-HIRE CAR starting with HC-1927.
- Police and emergency vehicles in New South Wales, such as ambulances and police vehicles, have the standard-issue black-on-yellow or slimline plates: they currently follow the aa-nn-aa/aaa-nna standard. The plates themselves have no special markings. Some police vehicles have had personalised plates fitted, for example several Highway Patrol vehicles have plates featuring the HWP series from 1975 and in recent decades the initials of officers killed on duty. New South Wales Rural Fire Service vehicles are not required to display registration plates, however some have been fitted with standard issue plates. New South Wales Fire Brigades vehicles were at one stage only fitted with brass plates featuring the letters "NSWFB". These plates were red on gold brass.
- Conditional Registration Scheme Conditional Motorcycle format: Forklift, Off-Road Vehicles, etc., that need to use public roads as part of their operation can be registered conditionally. As of June 2008, it is reported that the motorcycle sized series has overflowed to 0001-C onwards after reaching 9999-C. It is reported that the motorcycle format has changed its suffix to M as the format now shows as nnnn-M since June 2009. Currently issued at 00000-C onwards as of January 2011. By January 2015 40000-D suffix Conditional Plates has started. for machinery/tractors commenced in December 2013 to balance between existing Conditional and Machinery/Tractors types.
- Rally vehicle plates: Introduced in 2014,with the slogan NSW – Rally Vehicle.
- Historic and veteran cars Cars – Cycles – From 1959 to 2002 there were colourful club plates provided by the club and was manufactured in either Vintage Car or Veteran Car legend on top. They were withdrawn from use in 2002 and the current H series is in use. For vehicles used/registered for historical interest and not used as regular transport.
- Previous trade plates style since 1910 as known as agent's plates, in the a-nnn format was standard porcelain white on black until 1937 when it changed to very large page embossed dies in an annual non standard colour until 1952.
From 1952, the annual cyclic colour scheme was introduced, red, purple, brown, green, orange and blue for all annual trade plates and stickers but the embossed style remained until 1959.
From 1959 the year was added on top of NSW as the format showed as 19 NSW 59 and runs from A-0000 to A-9999.
By 1982, the design was changed, the year moved to the left hand side in vertical, and the dies format changed to standard car size as the previous very large dies was used from 1937.
In 1991, it changed to permanent trade plates with trade word replacing the year, colour changed to white on dark green and ran until 2004 when it was replaced by the current format trade plates with year & bottom legend – NSW TRADE screenprinted & a change to the premium dies
- Light or heavy vehicles or trailers A-nnnn or nnnn-A formats.
- Cycles are in either B-nnnn or nnnn-B formats.
- Trade plates (current) - Permanent Trade plates has replaced white on orange annual trade plates effective 23 December 2015, with an embossed NSW and screened TRADE legend - NSW-TRADE This previous permanent arrangement existed from 1991 to 2003 in colour as shown : .
- CdeC Consular Plates – consular corps since 1978 in CC-2000 to CC-4999 range, initially in white on blue then changed to black on yellow by August 1983,with the same legend at top NSW CONSULAR CORPS. The legend moved to the bottom from changeover to fat dies in October 1992 and since the variations of dies and bases occurred from time to time. It was reported that Consular plates have been in the format 0000-CC with the state NSW at the top and the legend CONSULAR CORPS at the bottom but none ever has been sighted yet. In 1941 the CdeC plates series commenced and ran until 1978 showing the format as CdeC-nnn. CdeC has a shield with the letters inside and was white on blue. The replacement CC series took over. A similar format has been used in Qld, NT, & WA. Special purpose plates are used for
- Bright Lights:
- Motor Van V series began as a Motor Van plates until 1939 when it changed to large page dies then into black on reflective yellow "The Premier State" from 1983 until it was discontinued in 1985 and was recalled.
- Interstate Visitors B series were used for interstate visitors in the 1920s to register interstate visitors to NSW and vice versa in their own states registration schemes. It was discontinued after only 2 years. The B series were later adopted by motorcycles dealer plates.
- Interstate Series 1953–1987. It began in the ISA-ISZ blocks and used for trucks and trailers. In April 1982, it changed to red in reflective white in the "The Premier State" slogan. In January 1987 it was replaced by the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme.
- Country HV Hire Cars HV-nnn series were issued in the country until 1998 when it had to combine into a single HC 4000 series.
- Country MO prefix: The prefix series commenced in 1939 and was replaced in 2008 with the current suffix series nnnn-MO
- Roads and Traffic Authority vehicles use plates in and format, some plates are in coloured slimline or wallaby formats. Recently, there were no more combinations, so standard plates will be used on new vehicles. The Roads and Traffic Authority has been abolished and replaced by the Roads and Maritime Services.
- Fire and Rescue New South Wales FRNSW vehicles used to be registered in the series, but now both administrative and operational firefighting vehicles are now using AB-12-CD general issues, to reduce budget expenditure.
- Yellow "general series" Personalised Plates From the mid-1970s personalised plates into the yellow general series format began and then later into the Premier State, First State and Towards 2000 era then into New South Wales reflective yellow. It briefly stopped in 2003 and was reinstated in 2006 for 3 years until it was finally discontinued. In 2013 it was reintroduced but in black and yolk yellow base 1951–1980 style. This original NEW SOUTH WALES yellow style continues to be offered as a remake only to both personalised and general series.
- Victoria Police: originally
- Transport Regulation Board: prior to 1982
- Road Traffic Authority: 1982–1989
- VicRoads: 1989–present
Previous general series
- Vehicles: 1953–2013
- Trailers: 1963–present
- Motorcycles: 1953–2010
Registration plates have been issued in Victoria since 1910. Like other Australian plates, these are usually particular to a vehicle, changing hands with it, and are generally permanent (yearly registration is required, however). Victorian registration plates are manufactured at Hopkins Correctional Centre in Ararat, Victoria.
Initial Victorian plates, issued from 1910 to 1939, were in numerals only, from 1 to 285-000. From 1930, "Vic" inserts were added vertically down the left-hand side of the plate.
In 1939, Victoria switched to a two-letter, three-number scheme (AA-000 to ZZ-999) of which also bear "Vic" down the left-hand side. This format was later used for motorcycles. In 1972, the two-letter, three-number scheme was reintroduced as an optional, personalised plate style for cars. These had an embossed "Vic" above the plate's embossed characters in full length.
From January 1953, owing to the Federal number plate system, Victorian plates switched to the three-letter, three-number standard: GAA-000 to HZZ-999, and JAA-000 to LZZ-999, coloured white lettering on a black background, and a "Vic" insert on the top of the plate. The first three-lettered plate, GAA-000 was issued on 27 January 1953. As previously mentioned, Victoria skipped the I-series and went straight from HZZ-999 to JAA-000, as a capital I could be mistaken as a number 1. However, having reached the end of their Federal allotment of letters, Victoria in 1974 commenced from LZZ-999 to IAA-000 (ensuring the capital I had noticeable staves to tell them apart from the number 1). This was only a temporary measure, naturally, as Victoria faced the same problem having proceeded through the I-series three years later.
Having exhausted the I-series plates, in November 1977, reflective green-on-white plates were introduced, beginning at AAA-000 and running to FZZ-999, and then skipping to a brief run of RAA-000 to RBZ-999 in 1994. These bore the insert Victoria – Garden State at the bottom of the plate. In the early 1990s, it was discovered that the reflective properties of many registration plates in the range from AAA-000 to EZZ-999, and principally the C-series, were defective and this had coincided with the rapid introduction of traffic enforcement cameras in Victoria. Due to the number of plates which were unidentifiable in photographs, all defective plates were recalled and new plates issued free of charge. This caused the rapid consumption of the plate stocks especially in the late F-series and some plates (those starting with FVA-000 to FVZ-999 and FYA-000 to FYZ-999) were produced in Queensland to meet demand. These plates are identifiable by their different embossed dies and vertical diamond separator (as opposed to Victoria's horizontal diamond). It is a popular myth that the defective paint was caused by prisoners manufacturing the plates urinating in the paint mixture.
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of European settlement in Victoria, plates from late 1984 to 1985 bore the slogan Victoria – 150 Years across the bottom. These plates were issued for the CBK-000 to CDZ-999 range and were the same green colour. In 1985, some of the CGI-000 to CGZ-999 series plates bore the slogan Vic – Nuclear Free State across the bottom, also in green. For the Australian Bicentennial in 1988, plates in the DJE-000 to DRZ-999 range bore the "Vic" insert horizontally down the left-hand side and the slogan Australia 1788 – 1988 in green across the bottom. In 1992, the EWA-000 to EYF-999 plates were produced with the slogan Victoria – Drive Safely across the bottom in green.
In September 1994, in an initiative by the then Liberal Premier, Jeff Kennett, reflective blue-on-white plates were introduced, beginning at NAA-000 and ending at QDZ-999. The diamond-dot in the middle was changed to the state logo of a blue St Edward's Crown over an upside-down blue triangle with the Victorian Southern Cross in white inside. These plates bore the slogan Victoria – On the Move across the bottom. In 1996, shorter slimline plates which bear the "Vic" insert vertically down the left-hand-side, and use a different font were issued. These are usually the same width as regular plates and were offered as remakes of existing plates in either blue or green on white, all with the Victoria – On the Move slogan. Unlike slimline or premium plates used in other states, Victorian premium plates follow the same numbering as standard plates, meaning a slimline plate can be matched with a full-sized equivalent.
After the Labor Party headed by Steve Bracks was elected at the September 1999 state election, the Premier by press release on 4 January 2000 announced a public campaign to choose a new slogan that ended on 21 January. This was done because of the affiliation of the old design and slogan to previous government. The old state logo and motto were phased out in February 2000 to prepare for the introduction of a new one. Until the new design was finalised, interim plates in the QDR-000[clarification needed] to QNF-999 series reverted to the old diamond-dot with just Victoria stated across the bottom (for the regular size) and "Vic" vertically printed on the left-hand side for the slimline design.
On 18 May 2000, Bracks announced the winning slogan to be Victoria – The Place to Be, as nominated by three contestants. This was controversial as it was later learned that the government had paid an advertising firm associated with the Labor Party A$87,000 to assist with the slogan and updated plate design despite it being presented as a public competition. The first plates were issued on 17 October 2000 to the three winning entrants. Starting with QNG-100, these plates dispensed the diamond-dot separator for the new state logo—an enlarged blue triangle containing the Victorian Southern Cross—the top of which merging with the upper border of the plate. The slimline version retained the previous interim design, which remains the current style.
In December 2010, the new Ted Baillieu Liberal government announced its intent to drop The Place to Be slogan from the regular sized plates. On 10 June 2013, the Victorian government announced that the current series was exhausted with the final plate ZZZ-999 already purchased. The new series utilises the format naa-naa starting from 1AA-1AA and was launched on 19 August 2013 using the slogan Vic – Stay Alert Stay Alive. The new format is estimated to last for 50 years. During the transitional period, Z-series stocks will still be available for motorists who lose or damage their plates, while the new series will be for general everyday issue. This combination with four separate sequences (number, two letters, number, two letters) is one of the most complex structure adopted for a vehicle registration plate around the world. It has also been suggested that the "1" at the front of the combination followed by two letters might be confused with "I", for example, making 1CE look like ICE. Another issue with the new series is that the letter "O" and the number "0" are the same shape in the font used on Victorian plates, so the combination ending in "4OW" for example, is more likely to be read as "40W". This mistake was less likely to be made on the older series as the letters and numbers were isolated by a separator.
Plates in the AAA-000 to AZZ-999 range that have been cancelled/expired, have been reissued to the public and dealers on a limited scale since June 2013. These plates are only available with white stamped slimline dies letters on a black slimline base. Particular combinations cannot be pre-ordered; buyers receive the next combination in stock over the counter. It has been speculated that these premium general re-issue plates will become even more common eventually, similar to the premium black on white slimline plates in NSW. As of February 2016, this numbering scheme has reached the AHI-000 combination.
As part of Labor's campaign for the November 2014 state election, the Daniel Andrews-led party announced its intention if winning office to replace the Vic – Stay Alert Stay Alive with the slogan Victoria – The Education State. After winning this election, the Andrews government honoured this pledge, with the new plates released on 16 October 2015, starting at 1GA-1AA. Trailers with this slogan starting at X12-000 were seen in January 2016.
Format options (in any colour): a, aa, aaa, aaaa, aaaaa, aaaaaa, a-n,a-nn, aa-n, aa-nn, aa-nnn, aa-nnnn, aaa-n, aaa-nn, aaaa-n, aaaa-nn, aaaaa-n, nnn-nnn, ccc–ccc, n-aaaaa, nn-aaaa, n-aaaa, nn-aaa, nnn-aaa, n-aaa, nnn-aa, nnnn-aa, nn-aa, n-aa, n-a, and the number series 300-000 to 999-999. The 100 to 285-000 range is reserved for the exclusive, handmade "Heritage" series plates. Three (100-999), four (1000-9999) and five-digit (10000-99999) combinations can only be purchased via public auction.
There are a number of custom plate options in Victoria, issued by V Plates on behalf of VicRoads. Custom or personalised plates come with the optional purchase of a contract. This contract allows the plate holder to retain the plates whether on a vehicle or not. Holding a contract on certain plates, means that when the plates are no longer registered they cannot be resold/issued to another person unless the contract holder sells the contract. VicRoads (who own V Plates) do not know the cumulative figure of the total number of custom registration plates sold since they were first launched in 1986. This is because many personalised plates are not on vehicles, or they are held on self-retention, or have been handed back to VicRoads. However, VicRoads do know that around 30,000 sets of custom registration plates are made every year, and they estimate 10 percent of registered vehicles have custom registration plates.
Sometimes car importers or dealerships reserve a range of plates to put on their cars, the contracts for which are often sold on to customers with the purchase of a car. For example, Subaru bought STI-000 to STI-999 and WRX-000 to WRX-999 for their Subaru Impreza WRX and STI models.
There are two types of plates (standard and mini) designed specifically to look like European registration plates, called Euro plates. The standard Euro plates, introduced in 2005 are 520 millimetres (20.5 in) wide and 112 millimetres (4.4 in) high and the mini ones are 372 millimetres (14.6 in) wide and 100 millimetres (3.9 in) high. Euro plates have a blue section to the left containing "Vic" vertically above a Victorian Southern Cross, and in the main section contain the letter "V", a full-coloured Victorian coat of arms, and two letters, a space and three numbers (V aa-nnn). These plates use the FE-Schrift font and look like German plates. The general series range from VAA-000 to VZZ-999 are reserved for Euro plates.
In 2006, to commemorate the 2006 Commonwealth Games being held in Melbourne, VicRoads offered a limited edition of 1,000 series of plates in the format M06-nnn. These had the slogan Melbourne 2006 and featured a red-tailed black cockatoo (the official mascot of the 2006 Commonwealth Games). The proceeds were donated to the Department of Sustainability to raise funds to preserve this bird. All official vehicles actually used in the Commonwealth Games were supplied by Toyota Australia and used general issue XAA-nnn plates. The following year, VicRoads issued a similar limited edition Penny the Penguin series in the format M07-nnn, to commemorate the 2007 FINA Swimming World Cup. In 2008, AFL Premiership plates were released. The Hawthorn Football Club won the premiership in that year and hence the registration plate format was HH-08-aa (HH for Hawthorn Hawks, and 08 designating the year they won the premiership). The customer was able to choose the last two characters. The plate was brown on reflective white and featured a watermark of the club's logo in the centre of the plate.
Recently some prestige plates have been issued, which consist of four numbers or two groups of three numbers. Plates using the format B-nnnnn has been released for vehicles registered in Bendigo (B-0001 to B-4999) and Ballarat (B-5001 to B-9999). These have a customised insert of their town, and are usually blue lettering on a reflective yellow background; slogans vary. Since 1993, those also registered to horse studs across Victoria can reserve a V-nnnn series, usually brown lettering on a yellow background and stating Victorian Thoroughbred as a slogan. Others are designed after football teams, and a limited edition Grand Prix series (GP-001 to GP-999) was authorised when Melbourne first hosted the Australian Grand Prix in 1996. Slimline editions of these plates have also been produced.
In July 2014, the old general issue Garden State and On the Move slogans have been reintroduced as a "Retro" option. The plates come in green for "Victoria – Garden State" starting from AAA-000 to FZZ-999, plus RAA-000 to RBZ-999, and Victoria – On the Move in blue on reflective white bases starting from NAA-000 to QDZ-999. These are produced in screen-printed slogans (rather than embossed when they were originally issued) and all features are only be an approximate of the original dies.
- Trucks and other heavy vehicles: are also given standard issued plates (i.e. the same as cars).
- Buses, coaches and commercially owned or run mini-buses: bear plates using a four-number, two-letter (nnnn-aa) format. Between 2001 to 2013, these suffixes were AO, AC, SO or NC, depending under which registration they fall under (accredited operator, accredited charter, school operator and non-commercial). Special issue registration plates of "Accredited Bus Service" may only be issued to buses operated by persons, who have been granted bus operator accreditation by the Director Bus Safety, Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) to operate bus services. As of December 2013, the AO series ran out at 9999-AO and as a result a replacement series was launched BS12-AB in white on green "Accredited Bus Service" at the top the "Vic" embossed vertically on the right and the number/alpha sequence in white stamped slimline dies, with the Southern Cross in yellow as the separator as Victorian taxis. AC, SO and NC plates can continue to be displayed until the bus retires from service and these suffixes will not be allowed to be reallocated to another bus. Hence, AO or BS plates are the only current bus series authorised by the Transport Safety Victoria's Safety Director. Previously, the style usually bear the usual state logo, with "Accredited Bus" across the top and the Victoria – The Place to Be across the bottom. Until 2000, buses used whatever plate was available in the general issue series. Some bus operators requested general issue registration plates with numbers that matched the fleet numbers of the buses they operated. In 2001 the entire Victorian bus fleet had their old general issue plates removed and replaced with the new accreditation plates, with some operators being allocated blocks of plates to match bus fleet numbers. Some fleets re-use plates when a bus in the fleet is replaced. On some occasions AO, AC, SO and NC plates were made in a plain Victoria in regular dies and can be described as an error manufactured plates, but allowed to be put on buses. It is noted that some AO suffixes received remakes under the current state slogan Vic – Stay Alert Stay Alive. Operators whose buses possess personalised plates have until 31 December 2015 to re-register to the accredited BSR bus plate scheme or when a bus will be accredited as part of TSV's bus accreditation transitional program.
- Primary producers vehicles: are eligible for a discounted registration fee, such vehicles is issued using format nnnnn-F plates, with Victorian Farmer across the top.
- Tow trucks: used TOW-nnn for the first 1,000 registrations from 1981–1996 using the green Garden State plates. When the 1,001st tow truck was registered in 1996, the format swapped to the blue On the Move plates using nnnn-TT, the TT standing for "tow truck". This allowed for another 10,000 to be registered. In 2000, the interim style was adopted as per the general issue plates. With the release of The Place to Be plates, tow trucks now use general issue plates.
- Tow trucks: TOW-000 to TOW-999
- Tow trucks: 0000-TT to 9999-TT
- Heavy tow trucks: 000-HTT to 999-HTT. A batch of plates was produced in error with the letters reading HHT (rather than HTT) and the On the Move slogan; these were unused and sold to collectors.
- Motorcycles: have smaller plates compared to cars and trucks. The colouring and format of motorcycle plates has changed with the standard car-issued plates, except for the emblem inserts or other symbols that may take more space to represent. They used white-on-black plates until 1978, after which moving to green-on-white; blue-on-white has been used since 1994 or 1995. A replacement series, 1A-2BC, has been implemented as of 24 October 2010, replacing the previous two-letter, three-number format (aa-nnn) ending at JC-999.
- Recreational: Vic – Recreation (red on yellow) 0000-A to 9999-G then starts again at 0000-I to 9999-U. The 0000-H series is used for historic motorcycles.
- Farm: Vic – Farm Bike (brown on white), 0000-V to 9999-Z, commenced 1 January 2011.
- Trailers: requiring their own registration follow the one-letter, five-number format (A00-000). Trailers that requiring their own registration if: over 3 metres (10 ft) in length, business-owned, 200 kilograms (441 lb) or heavier, can carry 750 kilograms (1,653 lb) or more, wider than the towing vehicle or used for hauling boats. Larger, heavier semi-trailers use the nnnnn-S format exclusively. Trailers otherwise use the towing vehicle's plate for identification. The first format for trailers was G01-000 to M99-999, with black text on a white background. In 1977, the series was restarted at A01-000, going up to 1995, when in the middle of the E56-000 series, it was changed to the On the Move slogan, which continued until F88–999 in 2000 and then started The Place to Be with the series starting at F89-000. In 2000, it was decided to restart the trailer series at N00-000, to continue from the old series and currently in the X00-000 series. The Vic – Stay Alert Stay Alive slogan commenced in November 2013 for trailers.
- Bike rack plates: fitted onto the rear of vehicles (naturally having bicycles obstructing the registration plate) can have smaller numerical plates (black-on-white design) with Victoria – Bike Rack as the insert, fixed on the end of the rack and clearly visible. The bike rack plates has been updated as of December 2013 with screen printed bottom legend Vic – Stay Alert Stay Alive and Bike Rack legend at top and the ink was changed from black to blue.
- Taxis: had plates with a design similar to the Garden State plates, with the numbers and legend being green and a diamond as separator (except with the legend saying Victoria – Taxicab). They were redesigned in November 2008 with a green background, the legend Accredited Taxi Service at the top the Vic embossed vertically on the right and the number/alpha sequence in white stamped slimline dies, with the Southern Cross in yellow as the separator. In Victoria, taxis have the following plates:
- M-nnnn: Melbourne suburban taxis
- ST-nnnn, nnnn-PS: taxis designated for use during peak periods only
- C-nnnn: country taxis
- U-nnnn: urban taxis
- R-nnnn: regional taxi
- Motor hire cars: were originally issued with the plates VHA-000 to VHA-999, with VHA standing for "Vehicle Hire Australia". Hire cars continued with VHB after the first 1,000 were issued, and then moved onto the VHC series. The company is no longer VHA, but VHA Corporate Cabs. This company runs a luxury car hire service. A large number of black Holden Caprice and similar limousines are seen with VH combinations, particularly in and around Melbourne's CBD.
- Motor hire cars: VHA-000 to VHA-999
- Motor hire cars: VHB-000 to VHB-999
- Motor hire cars: VHC-000 to VHC-999
- Motor hire cycles S-000 to S-999
- Consular Corps: CC-000 to CC-999. These plates used to appear identical to regular standard issue plates, except Victoria – Garden State or Victoria – On the Move was replaced with Vic – Consular Corps. In 2000, they were redesigned—the plate has the same dimensions as regular plates, but has the rego number in the font used for slimline plates. The legend "Consular Corps" appears at the top, while the legend "Victoria" appears at the bottom.
- State government: including police cars, fire engines, and other state government cars usually use a combination in the Maa-nnn series of plates for registration. These plates exclusively use the Maa-nnn combinations and their design has always mirrored that of general issue plates. The government plate series started at MZA-000 to MZZ-999, MYA-000 to MYZ-999, MXA-000 to MXZ-999, MWA-000 to MWZ-999 and MVA-000 to MVU-999. The original state government plates were identical in design to the general issue equivalents. With the release of the Victoria – Garden State plates in 1977, the green text on white background was replaced with red text on white for government applications. This colour scheme has remained ever since, even with the adoption of newer plate designs and slogans. In 1992, plates in the MVE-000 to MVU-999 series sported a Victoria – Drive Safely slogan as per the general issue plates of this time. With the switch in 1994 to the slogan, Victoria – On the Move, the plates started at MAA-000 having skipped from MVV-000 to MVZ-999. The design and slogan changed in 2000 to the Victoria – The Place to Be type starting at around MBF-000. Sometime between August 2013 and April 2015, the series continued from MCV-000 under the new slogan Vic – Stay Alert Stay Alive, and as of and now is up to MDA-000 series as of December 2015.
- Federal government: cars owned by the Australian Government but registered in Victoria use plates in the ZED-nnn series, with the letter Z being red. This is a carryover from the Federal Registration Scheme of the 1950s, when the Zaa-nnn series was allocated to the Australian Government. Trailers owned by the Federal Government use the combinations ZOO-nnn.
Main Roads Department – 1950s to 1990
Queensland Transport – 1990 to 2009
Department of Transport and Main Roads – 2009 to Current
Large Trailers (over 1.02t ATM):
Small Trailers (up to 1.02t ATM):
- Prior to 1921, There were regional plates that were letter coded for example P-nnn is for Hughenden.
- From 1921 to 1924 the initial Q-123-456 were all white on black base.
- From 1924 until 1955, the plates were "Q-123-456". The "Q" area was painted black on a white background, while the numbers were painted white on a black background.
- From 1955 to 1977, plates were in the format "NAB·123" and were white on black base. Block used was NAA·000 to PZZ·999.
- Queensland registration plates have had an unusual format since 1977, as the numbers come before the letters. The current format is nnn·aaa. Motorists have two choices of slogan: Queensland – Sunshine State in conjunction with Queensland – The Smart State. Former State Premier Peter Beattie had (up until 2007) been promoting the use the of slogan "Smart State" to describe the State Government's efforts to promote education, research and development within Queensland and in the early 2000s introduced the slogan to licence plates. However, after public ridicule (and several interstate jibes) the State Government agreed to allow vehicle owners the choice between the new slogan and the old Sunshine State slogan."Sunshine State" remains popular; few people choose "The Smart State". Queensland registration plates have maroon text on a white background. Maroon is the official state colour of Queensland and is also used by the state's sporting teams. On 22 April 2012, the recently elected coalition government announced that it would stop manufacturing the "Smart State" registration plates as a cost cutting measure.
- In late May 2010, after the 999·MZZ series of plates was used up, the series skipped to 000·RAA, due to standard-issue plates in the 000-NAA, 000-OAA, 000-PAA and 000-QAA series remaining in circulation. As of December 2015, the "Sunshine State" series has reached the 000-WDA series, having apparently skipped the -UAA series above 092-UAG(although one 000-UAA registration plate has been spotted) and the 000-MFN to 000-MPZ series as well.
- Starting on 19 August 2013, QUEENSLANDER ! – 8 IN A ROW slogan plates starts at 000-UAA to celebrate the recent State of Origin win.
- Block series: In 1977 in green on reflective white base, beginning at through to . In late 1987, Queensland switched to the current format of green on white plates beginning at 000·AAA. The green ink was changed to maroon at 000·GKL in October 2001. As mentioned above, two slogans are currently available in the maroon on reflective-white colour scheme: QUEENSLAND – THE SMART STATE with plates 000·HAA to 999·HFU, 000·HOY to 999·HQQ, 000·JAA to 999·JDZ and 000·JKA to 999·JKT, 000·KAA to 999·KAZ, 000·KFA to 999·KGK, 000·KOA to 999·KPD, 000·KWS to 999·KXG, 000·LFA to 999·LFU, 000·LOA to 999·LOZ, 000·LZI to 999·LZZ, 000·MAA to 999·MFM . All others have SUNSHINE STATE slogans.
- Motorcycle: 1955 to 1975 NA·000 to QZ·999 in white on black base then reissued from 1973 to 1975. In 1975 it changed to 000·NA and completed the run at 999·QZ in December 1980. It changed back to aa-nnn beginning at AA-000 in green on reflective white. From January 2002, it changed to Maroon on white at UK·000 then the run was completed in October 2006. Since 2006 it is in 000-Aa format commencing at 000·AA and in September 2015, Transport & Main Roads has confirmed that 000·NA to 999·QZ cancelled white on blacks are being reissued in maroon on white before it can move to 000-Ra range
- Trailer: Up to 1955 the trailer has a Q/Tnnn-nnn format in white on black base (with QT in reverse B&W). From 1955, the format was from NTA·000 to NTZ·999. In 1963 the blocks were recalled and replaced by two type formats the smaller trailer format from QZ-9999 to OA-0000 in white on black base, changing from 1988 to white on reflective green base from OK onwards. in 1993 the format began at AA-0000 and the 2002 changeover to Maroon on reflective white occurred in the BI-0000 series and now is in the E series. The standard size format for larger trailers in white on black runs from QVA-000 to QZZ-999 running from 1963 to 1988. In 1988 it switched to green on reflective white starting at 000-QAA then the 2002 change to maroon in the QHR-000 series and now in 000-QZZ range. As of 20 May 2015, 000-UBA was allocated onwards for new issues.
- QG Prefix State Government
State Government-owned vehicles' plates have the format QGa·nnn from 1955 to 1980 in white on black base then in an interim arrangement in 1979 allocated QHA until the Bjelke-Petersen government made a clear decision, to issue newer plates from May 1980 using nnn-QGa.
1955–1980 – QGA·000
1980–1989 – 000·QGA
1989–1993 – QGA·000
1993–1999 – 000·QGA
1993–2002 – QGA·000
2002–2007 – 000·QGA
2007–Current – QG·AA00
Previously, State Government vehicles bear the "Smart State" slogan ("QG", of course, standing for "Queensland Government"). As of October 2012 QG plates have moved to the Sunshine State slogan starting from QG-KA01. Government trailer format in both reverse formats are QZA-QZZ and smaller trailer as QG. They are no longer issued. Queensland Fire and Rescue fire appliances have plates in the series nnnn-QF, QF being an abbreviation of Queensland Fire and nnnn being the appliance's fleet number, padded to 4 digits where necessary.
Between 1955 and 1991 ambulance vehicles in Queensland were registered with plates in the series QAV·000 to QAY·999.
There are many special blocks of plates allocated to different vehicles with specific uses:
- for taxis- Previously in white on green base both non reflective and reflective until from 1961 to 2002. In current maroon on reflective white.
- for limited-use vehicles (mainly roadworks equipment and golf buggies)
- for limousines – QUEENSLAND LIMOUSINE embossed legend
- for Special Purpose limousines – QUEENSLAND LIMOUSINE embossed legend
- or for farm vehicles
- for special interest or historical vehicles (registered concessionally if they are not to be used as regular transport)
- for consular staff vehicles. CONSULAR CORPS screened legend, which has since been amended to show QLD-CONSULAR CORPS.
- QLD-DEALER TRADE It is a new Dealer Trade plate in a bike rack size introduced in October 2015 replacing the two lined square QLD - Limited Use that has a top label space, introduced in January 2000 starting in green then later in maroon. From 1976 to 1999 the format was in annual colours as D92 1000 being the year after the D prefix. Between 1962 to 1976 dealers were in D1-234 and E1-234 blocks. 1958 to 1962 was in N-123 and P-123 on a square base with large QLD embossing at top. Prior to 1958 it has QD-1234 blocks.
PPQ – Personalised Plates Queensland is a personalised plate product of the Queensland Transport and Main Roads Department and they have a dedicated website in use.
Queensland motorists have a choice of nearly 100 different types of personalised plates. Personalised plates are very popular amongst Queenslanders and often sell for a premium via classifieds or various online portals such as eBay.
In addition, PPQ offers customers 'retro' plates, which are essentially general-issue plates that may be retained if customers change vehicles. As vintage general issue 'Q' plates, white-on-black plates and green-on-white plates will eventually attract a relatively high price among classic car collectors and restorers, PPQ has made retro plates essentially non-transferable; that is, they may be attached to many different vehicles, but the listed owner(s) must stay the same with each registration and can only be transferred to direct relations.
Formats comes in: nn-aaa, aaa-nn, nnn-aaa or aaa-nnn, Qaa-nnZ and Qaa-nnY (for Euro combinations) and custom combinations as cccccc. 7-letter combinations are auctioned off from time to time and for limited periods between 2007 and 2009, PPQ made 7-letter combinations available for sale online.
Queensland plates are manufactured by LicenSys in Brisbane.
September 2010 – PPQ released 7 letter/number combinations that were not already issued for a limited period of 7 days at the fixed price of $2995 but by 2012 it is now permanent.
November 2010 – PPQ launched the Q Signature Series plates:
March 2011: PPQ launched the NRL footy plates range covering all of these NRL teams and incorporates Qld based NRL teams.
October 2012 – PPQ launched the A Plate Series:retailed from $2,500.00
Licence plates are issued either as a general plate or as non-metropolitan local government area (LGA) specific plate. LGA specific plates can only be requested when the owner of the vehicle is resident within that LGA. In addition to plates for on-road use Western Australia also has a plate series for vehicles designated for off-road use only.
- Department for Planning and Infrastructure: early 2000s to 2009
- Department of Transport: 2009–present
- The current series is of the form  (e.g.: 1ABC-123) introduced in July 1997
- The previous series (between 1978 and 1997) is of the form , where the first "n" ranged from 6 to 9 (e.g.: 9BC-456). This series ended at 9MZ-999 and the trailer series ended at 9RZ-999
- Prior to 1978, the series was of the form Xaa-nnn (e.g.: XLA-789).
- Earlier still, the series was in the form Uaa-nnn (e.g.: UGH-675). The X-series and U-series plates are now available again by request, as 'retro' plates in either black on white, or white on black.
- UQB-nnn was reserved for Transperth (formerly MTT) buses with 3-digit registration numbers usually corresponding to the bus fleet numbers. Buses introduced after 1989 use the TP-nnnn reserved range. Other Government vehicles also used 'Q' as the second character until the new series in 1997.
- Privately owned buses or designated school buses use the current series.
- Commercially operated buses and coaches require TC-nnnn (touring coach) plates.
- TAXI-nnnn plates are used for taxicabs.
- Limousines carry the plate SCV-nnn, SCV-nnnn and also use 1SCV-nnn
- Motorbikes have the plate 1aa-nnn (e.g.: 1AB-123)
- Stock Carrying Trucks have 'ST' as the second & third letters of the prefix – e.g. 6ST-123, 9ST-123, 1STA-123
- Trailers, caravans etc. have 1Taa-nnn (e.g.: 1TAB-123). Earlier series used 'R', 'S', 'T', 'U' 'W' as the second character for trailers (e.g. 9RA-123, 8UA-123,7WA-123, 6TA-123, XUA-123, UUU-123). Country Shire/Town trailer plates follow the normal shire prefix system, but only one plate is issued, some shires have a block of numbers for trailers, others issue the next available number.
Outside metropolitan Perth
- There are 143 registration districts (mostly shire or town councils) which each issue licence plates using the form "loc·n" (for shires) and "loc n" (for towns or cities) – for example, "A nnnn" would be a plate issued by the City of Albany, while "AU·nnnn" would be issued by the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River. A full list has been published near the back of the government-produced Metropolitan Street Directory/Streetsmart each year since 1985. Special licence plate versions for shires, cities and towns have been made available to purchase. They are in the format "nnn*loc" with the shire-, city- or town-crest between the numbers and letters.
- There had been a change in the WA licensing system where, for a period of time, all registration plates in the state reverted to the equivalent of metropolitan plates, and then back to separate districts and plates again.
- In recent years towns within shires have been allocated licence plates. Examples include "FR·nnn" for Frankland in Shire of Cranbrook and "KND·nnn" for Kendenup in the Shire of Plantagenet.
- A full list can also be obtained from http://www.regionalwa.com.au/WAinfo/TT_CountryCars.htm
Western Australia also offers the largest number of characters in a personalised registration plate, offering up to nine characters. Western Australian government plates are the same pattern as standard issue, however the colours are inverted, as depicted in the image.
Slogans on Western Australian registration plates changed a number of times in the 1980s, and included "State of Excitement", "Home of the America's Cup" and "The Golden State". However, slogans were abandoned at the beginning of the 1990s.
Vehicles and trailers:
In South Australia, until October 2008, standard registration plates followed the 3-letter, 3-number (xxx-nnn) standard used by New South Wales and Victoria: their series, introduced in 1966 started with RAA-000 an finished at XUN-299.
Since October 2008, South Australian general issue plates follow the format Snnn-aaa, the S signifying South Australia. No slogan is printed on these plates, rather they contain the words 'South Australia'.
Up until 1966 South Australian plates were all numerical, and were subject to re-issue, in either nn-nnn or nnn-nnn format, white on black background. These plates are available for re-issue at a fee. Post 1966 motorcycles were initially issued with RA-000 to SZ-999 then TAA-000 to TIZ-999. Trailers were issued TJA-000 to TZZ-999. When the Txx-nnn issues were exhausted, motorcycles were issued with high end YYA-000 to YZZ-999,then started at YKA-000 to YKA-799, and trailers issued YAA-000 to YIL-999. Since 2008, newly issued plates are in the form S000-AAA and motorcycles as S00-AAA, while trailers start at S000-TAA.
EzyPlates is administrated by the Department of Transport Infrastructure and Energy SA.
- Premium Plates
Since 1995, "Premium" registration plates can be purchased which are much more compact in size, in the format xx-nnnx: the letter is usually repeated (e.g.: AA-nnnx, BB-nnnx, current series DD-nnnx). These seem to follow the New South Wales Premium format, using black lettering on a white background on a noticeably slimmer plate. South Australian "Premium" registration plates feature black characters on a white base, and the letters "SA" down the side, in the same format as NSW "Premium" registration plates. As of 28 September 2009, there is a new addition to the premium range – white on black base, from XX-000A onwards.
- Personalised Plates
Introduced in 1979, in green on yellow original format with South Australia legend at the top. It started as aa-nnnn, aaa-nnn and aaaa-nn. Available for general vehicles, trailers and motorcycles
in 1996, the range was revamped, to the premium style dies and later with more recent dies, and has additional colour range on top of the original green on reflective yellow.
- Custom Plates
Introduced in the 1990s and revised to the current range of colours. Can order up to 7 characters and is also available for Trailers and Motorcycles
Special purpose plates
Government and police vehicles has SA Government plates in blue text on white background as(or previously XQA-000), with a Q as the second letter signifying "Queen" or representative of the government. Older systems were allocated SAA-000 to SZZ-999 to government services as well. The legend is embossed as SA Government.
Ambulances belonging to SA Ambulance Service have plates in the form AMB-nnn, however some vehicles now have standard SA Government plates due to leasing agreements with the State Government (Fleet SA).
Metropolitan taxis have plates with the word TAXI in a smaller size followed by three or four numbers, separated by the current tourism logo for South Australia – SA, A Brilliant Blend. More recently a new country taxi plate has been introduced in black on reflective yellow replacing general issue plates on SA country taxis. Other chauffeured vehicles have a different style plate with a blue outline.
Since September 2007, The heavy vehicle series commenced and the format used iswith the legend SA – HEAVY VEHICLE,the Trailers start at SY 00 AA
No general issue SA registration plates (other than Government) are issued with the letter Q anywhere in the combination. The only exception is the series VPQ-nnn and WSQ-nnn – both of which were the first set issued by a new manufacturer.
Between 1981 and October 2008, all general issue SA plates contained the slogan "SA – The Festival State", for the Adelaide Festival of Arts. Between 1997 and October 2008, other slogans were available for an additional fee, including: South Australia – Gateway to the Outback; South Australia – The Defence State; South Australia – The Wine State; South Australia – the Creative State; South Australia – The Rose State; and South Australia – The Electronics State. All slogan plates are discontinued, as at October 2008.
It is also possible to obtain a wide variety of personalised registration plates that feature full-colour illustrations and customised logos or slogans.
- Tasmanian Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resource: 1998–2014
- Department of State Growth – Transport: 2014–present
On 24 February 2008 the Tasmanian Government issued a new registration plate design. After the first letter appears the Tasmanian state logo with the slogan 'Tasmania – Explore the Possibilities'. Tasmanian plates are manufactured by LicenSys in Brisbane, Australia.
Prior to 1970, 3 letters and 3 numbers (WAA-000 to WZZ-999) were used (from 1954 until 1970).
From 1970 to 2008, Tasmanian registration plates had the format AA-0000, with blue lettering on a white background. From 1970 to 1976 these had the slogan "TAS" and from 1976 to 1998 "Tasmania – Holiday Isle".
From 1998 to 2008, this format continued with the slogan "Tasmania – Your Natural State", with a coloured decal of the Tasmanian state logo in the background (a stylised thylacine prowling through reeds on a riverbank). The final plates in this series began with "FT-9999".
In the illustration of older Tasmanian registration plates, the three plates on the left side from top to bottom are EN-1113 (1998–2008 issue), CO-7984 (1971–1998 issue), WYG-734 (1954 to 1970 issue, non-reflective). The plates on the right side are domestic or semi trailer as indicated by the T, the red plate is a Tasmanian Interstate plate, issued before the birth of the Federal Interstate scheme.
Since 2007, personalised plates are offered only through the TasPlates scheme. A wider range of coloured, prestige and themed plates is available for a once-off fee.
Prior to 2007, personalised plates were offered directly through the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources in previous slogan formats and colour options.
Government Plates: With the introduction of the new standard design in 2008, the format G-00-AA is used. The lettering and numbering on the plates is green instead of the standard blue. Since 1970 it was in GT-nnnn or GV-nnnn format but in the 1990s it was replaced by the G-nnnnn format. Both of these designs featured red lettering with blue or green numbers.
Trailer Plates: The current format is. The previous format since 1970 was AT-nnnn to ZT-nnnn, then it went back to issue IT-nnnn & QT-nnnn before the current format.
Tasmania Fire Service vehicles use red lettering on a white background plates with the TFS logo in the centre, TFS-000.
Members of the Consular Corps Tasmania use plates with the letters CC followed by a colour depiction of the flag of the country they represent, followed by two numbers.
Staff of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources enjoy certain diplomatic status and are issued with plates with the letters IC, followed by one or two numbers.
The Governor of Tasmania's official cars are registered and insured, but in keeping with Vice-Regal tradition, they display the Crown of St Edward, rather than registration plates. If the Governor is being conveyed, his or her personal flag will also be flown on the car.
Vintage and classic cars may carry "special interest" plates, which are black letters on white, of the format. Registered owners pay a lesser amount, on condition that the cars are not used as regular transport.
Metro Tasmania buses have the prefix "MET" on their registration plates, with the number thereafter being the fleet number of the bus. A typical registration plate for Metro bus number 43 would be .
Australian Capital Territory
Previous general series
Up to 1968, ACT Plates were issued in numerics from 1 to 99-935 (the last one issued) in white on navy blue. From September 1968 the Yaa-nnn series commenced (in blue on reflective white) at YAB. YAA was set aside for recalls of numericals, but public pressure led to a backflip and the authorities allowed motorists to retain their existing numbers as long as they converted them into blue on reflective white, for a fee.
ACT plates were the first of any region in Australia to be reflective, this commenced at YAA-nnn.
By November 1979, It changed with the new slogan added to "ACT- Canberra The National Capital" starting at YMA-000 as the previous block stopped at YJZ-999.
In 1983, following the change of Federal Government, blocks of YKA to YKK's in the previous style were allocated to the public as it was found in storage.
To celebrate the Bicentennial celebrations in 1988, new vehicle registrations received plates from YRS-000 to YSP-999 that had a black outline of the new Parliament House in the middle, flanked by 1788 on the left and 1988 on the right. As these special plates become evermore rarer, they are sought after and particularly valuable. Remakes have been done in current embossing style.
In early 1996, as YZZ-999 was reached, it went back to YKL to continue filling the unused allocation in the ACT- Canberra The National Capital slogan, and filled unused YAI, YBI, YCI, YDI, YEI, YFI and YAQ, YBQ, YCQ, YDQ, YEQ, YFQ before ending as YLZ-999.
Current general series
In 1998 when the previous series was exhausted, the series changed to Yaa-nna. The previous Feel the Power Slogan was replaced by the original "ACT – Canberra The Nation's Capital" and an optional slogan was offered "ACT – Canberra Heart of the Nation".
In 1999, manufacturer changes lead to the adoption of NSW Premium embossed dies on ACT plates and continues today.
Since 2007 a special series bearing the slogan "ACT-Celebration of a Century 2013" is being issued in commemoration of Canberra's centenary year in 2013. These plates were issued starting with YGA-00A, then at end of YGZ-99Z it skipped over to YIA-00A.
On 8 July 2015, a new slogan is being offered – CANBERRA – AN AGE FRIENDLY CITY in addition to the existing slogans and is an option. YKQ-00A – YKQ-99Z has been allocated for this new slogan, but it wasn't popular.
Canberra - The Nation's Capital series has also been updated as the alpha numerics has been embossed closer rather than the wider and the ink colour changed to a slightly darker blue tone.
- It has been the all numeric series since the beginning of the FCT/ACT registration, starting at 1 and continues beyond 94-999 in its current colour format – blue on reflective white, which was initially non reflective white until 1968.
- The previous series T-n(nnnn as required) was used, initially in black on yellow base, later blue on reflective white base. When the number sequence reached T-99-999, plates were issued commencing at T 0000 A onwards since 2002.
Personalised plates -
In January 1984, ACT began offering personalised plates in that range from AA-000 to ZZ-999 in blue on reflective white base with the usual slogans as the general series.
Plastic flat plates started to be offered since 1987 in a printed plastic plates coming in white on different colours as red, blue, green, black and later pink, orange. Due to premature cracking of the original plastic, the manufacture changed it to plexiglass as of 1999. Comes in 12-345, AB-123, YAB-123 or YAB-12D formats.
YAA-000- YZZ-999 and YAA-00A to YZZ-99Z are also included.
Special purpose issues
Public transport vehicles are allocated distinctive codes:
- BUS-nnn (ACTION government buses, rear-only plate on newer buses) – ochre on white
- MO-n, MO-nn, and MO-nnn (other buses) – black on yellow
- H-n, H-nn and H-nnn (chauffeur-driven hire cars) – black on yellow
- TX-n, TX-nn, and TX-nnn (taxicabs). – black on yellow. Taxi plates in the ACT numbered below TX-300 are plates which can be traded, and are estimated to be worth around $200,000. Recently the ACT government has issued over 100 plates which are leased from the government, cannot be traded or transferred, and are leased for a term of four years, with one renewal available. These plates are in the series TX-400 which can be found on any type of taxi, and TX-900 and above are reserved for, and bear the legend 'Restricted Taxi', which is for the use of Wheelchair Accessible Taxis which have an obligation to give priority to wheelchair-disabled persons.
ACT Government vehicles are allocated codes 2nn-nnn. The plates are red/brown on reflective white with ACT GOVERNMENT below the number.
ActewAGL vehicles are issued with plates in the format of YWE-nnn, the 'W' and 'E' standing for water and electricity.
Vehicles registered in the Jervis Bay Territory are issued ACT plates in the format of YZO-nnn until 2013 when YJJ-00A is now issued with a new format
- Historic issues - Lorry plates in small L embossing and in black on white was introduced in 1940 but discontinued in 1958 and was recalled & replaced by the standard white on blue numeric general series.
Vintage, veteran and historic cars
Historic vehicles owned by members of registered ACT motor vehicle clubs and used only for approved events may be granted special plates at concessional registration. Plates are standard blue on reflective white with the following wording.
- Veteran cars built before 1919: ACT VETERAN CAR – nnn
- Vintage cars built from 1919 to 1930: ACT VINTAGE CAR – nnn
- Historic cars built after 1931 and more than 30 years old: ACT HISTORIC CAR – nnn
* General series:
The Northern Territory has never fully adopted the 1950s three letter, three number Federal scheme. It was proposed to receive XAA-000 to XZZ-999 that Western Australia later took up.
Prior to 1933 Registration plates in the NT was between Central Australia and Northern Australia for 5 years, as NA & CA has their own registration plates until the merger in 1933 back into Northern Territory.
1933 to 1953 Plates were made in the style similar to Q plates in Qld, with NT shown on a white band at the left and the numericals in white on black.
1953 to 1979 Registration plates in the NT were simply five numbers these being white on a black background. [e.g. 12-354], by the 1970's it reached 100-000 so a 6-digit version was added and ran until 1979 when it changed to ochre on white plates. All black-and-white plates were recalled and replaced on expiry of registration, retention fees applied if the motorist wished to keep the original number.
1979 to 2011 NT plates have six numbers in ochre on a white background, with the slogan "Northern Territory: Outback Australia". Motorcycle plates have five numbers. There doesn't seem to be a noticeable system to plate series, as numbers of all types appear on both halves of the plate.
NTG (Northern Territory Government) 800-000 to 899-000 and Cycles 80-000 to 85-999, has the NTG embossed at the left hand side of a standard plate, while NTG was embossed on top of motorcycle plates. It continues to be issued as a standalone numeric allocation after 2011 when the general series moved to alpha numeric.
In 1987, the embossing has changed following a change of manufacturer into a non-standard embossing.
The same year, motorcycles and trailers plates were modified to accommodate registration labels to be displayed in a box below the T letter for trailers and at the right hand side for motorcycles. It happened for a while before the change of manufacturer.
In the 1990's MVR started offering custom, or combination of alpha numerics personalised in Ochre-white base, Black-white base and black-yellow base, with slogan options N.T. - OUTBACK AUSTRALIA or N.T. - NATURE TERRITORY - or N.T. at the top.
In 1998, Vehicle general series reverted to the Australian standard embossing used before 1987.
Trailer plates used the Tnn-nnn format up it was exhausted in 1998 after which Ta-nnnn was implemented. This was previously on a black on yellow base until 1979 when the current ochre on white slogan plates were introduced.
In the early 2000's slimline plates were introduced on personalised /custom or general series via remakes only.
By August 2008 it was reported both motorcycles and general series have reached the 9's and a new system was being looked into to replace the current system. It was reported that the MVR in the NT is looking at n-a-nnnn or aa-nnnn or the NSW aa-nn-aa format to replace it. It is expected to occur near the end of 2010.
As of 23 October 2009, the NT Government has announced the chosen new plate format Ca-nn-aa. It will also replace the all numeric motorcycle series with alpha numeric series. The new series was unveiled in January 2011. It become available for issue in June 2011, with the same ochre on reflective white base and slogan slightly modified to show as NT OUTBACK AUSTRALIA without dash and full stops.
From 1953, Motorcycles had the NT insert embossed at the left hand side while the remainder is embossed as 12-345 in white on black base.
From 1979, the ochre on reflective white base was introduced, with the slogan NT-OUTBACK AUSTRALIA for a brief period at the top before reverting to N.T.
Motorcycles since March 2011, have the new format adopted as A-1234 replacing the numerics issued since it began, is the 1st version.
in 2013, with the labels abolished, motorcycles plates had the box rego label space removed and alpha numeric characters realigned to the middle, hence version 2 of the current format began but it lasted for about 2,500 before changing again.
As of October 2015, motorcycles have changed the embossing back into the standard Australian motorcycle starting from A-8900's, hence the 3rd version since the March 2011 changeover.
Special purpose plates
Special purpose plates offered are MO (Buses), MB (Mini Buses), Private Hire PH, Taxi, SUB taxi series, TV (Tourist Vehicle), SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle), LV (Limousine Vehicle), CV (Courtesy Vehicle), D - Dealer Trade series and SFV (Special Function Vehicle)
Dealer Trade series was in annual cyclic colours before changing to the yellow on black reflective base then finally into current ochre on reflective white base.
MO bus plates from 1953 until 1987 was in yellow on black base which was later reflective in the 1980's and was replaced by the current blue on mid yellow base. Initially it used wheat base but changed to mid yellow base.
Lorry plates in small L embossing and in black on white was introduced in 1953 but lasted only 3 years and was recalled & replaced by the standard general series.
in the 2010's, a new club plate scheme has replaced the VCC (Vintage Car Club) scheme, with embossed legend CLUB down left vertical and bottom legend "NT-MOTOR ENTHUSIAST" and is white on reflective red.
Commonwealth and military
Military plates were nnn-nnn with the first digit corresponding to the military district number:
- 1 – Queensland
- 2 – New South Wales
- 3 – Victoria
- 4 – South Australia
- 5 – Western Australia
- 6 – Tasmania
However, new plates issued to the Army are now in this format: nn-nnnn, where the first two digits represent the year the vehicle was registered. r.g. 05-1832.
Current Australian Army registration plate format is Annnnn with this newer format beginning in 2003. The A represents "Army" with the next two digits representing the year the vehicle was first registered. For instance, a 2008 model Toyota Coaster used to transport army cadets might have the plate A08227. This format has also been adopted by the Defence Force, Navy, and Air Force with combinations Dnnnnn, Nnnnnn and Rnnnnn respectively.
The official cars of the three service chiefs carry plates ARMY1, NAVY1 or RAAF1.
The Commonwealth Government of Australia used the Z prefix for its government owned vehicles up until 2000 when the Commonwealth Vehicle Registry was closed.
These plates were on a black on white background, usually marked with "C of A" at the top of the plate – an abbreviation of Commonwealth of Australia and the leading Z being red to further distinguish it from other state plates.
Issuance of Z prefixed plates used for same purposes was passed onto the states after 2000. ACT plates started at ZYA-000, Victorian plates started at ZED-000, Queensland plates started at ZQ-0000, NSW plates started at ZZZ-000, SA plates started at ZSA-000 and Tasmanian plates started at ZTA-000.WA plates started at ZAA-00F,
Each of the states display their state initials as seen above the numbers instead of the old "C of A" marking.
Interestingly the Northern Territory still uses the older format and same "C of A" markings at top of the plate.
The registration plate of the Prime Minister's vehicle is C*1 (i.e. Commonwealth No. 1) with a seven-pointed Federation Star. This has been updated in November 2015 showing C (Aust Govt crest image) 1.
The Governor-General's official cars do not carry registration plates, but simply depict a representation of the Crown of St Edward. They tend to also have a flag mounted on the official car.
For official visits to Australia, special plates are often put over the top of normal 'Z' plates, depicting the Australian Coat of Arms and, in red 'Visit to Australia' with a numeral. These are not strictly registration plates, but are useful for police and other officials to identify cars in official motorcades.
Federal Interstate Registration Scheme
Heavy vehicles (over 4.5 tonnes GVM) can choose to participate in FIRS.
FIRS plates are, and are green on a reflective yellow background.
FIRS plates are issued by state authorities on behalf of the Commonwealth, and carry the format as specified by the Interstate Road Transport Regulations 1986 – Reg 21. Federal Interstate-registered vehicles are prohibited from undertaking intrastate journeys and can only be used for cross-border work.
The first character represents the state of issue:
- A for Australian Capital Territory
- C for Northern Territory
- N for New South Wales
- Q for Queensland
- S for South Australia
- T for Tasmania
- V for Victoria
- W for Western Australia
The second character represents the type of vehicle being registered:
- V for vehicle (typically issued to prime-movers, but are also attached to rigid vehicles such as coaches and moving trucks).
- T for trailer.
- X for extra weight, for vehicles with particular high gross vehicle or aggregate trailer masses.
The remaining characters are allocated by the issuing authorities. As most interstate transport companies are based on the East Coast, the majority of FIRS plates are registered in NSW and Vic. Some issues originate in Qld or SA, with the remaining states appearing relatively rarely.
A typical plate which might be found on a semi-trailer, registered to a company in QLD would be.
Diplomatic plates are issued to foreign diplomats by the Government of the Australian Capital Territory. They follow the format of 'DC nnnn', 'DCnnnnn', 'DX nnnn' or 'DXnnnnn', where the first two or three numbers are the code for the home country of the diplomat, and have black text on a powder blue background. DC plates are issued to members of the diplomatic corps, whereas DX plates are issued to persons who are attached to diplomatic missions but are not themselves diplomats, e.g. household staff.
Older issues have no territory identifier, however newer plates have 'ACT' embossed at the top centre of the plate. Newer plates are also written as 'DC' and 'DX', rather than 'D.C.' and 'D.X.' to allow for the inclusion of a greater number of characters in the sequence. A substantial number of older-style plates are still in use, however.
The first two or three numbers appearing in the plate correspond to a specific country, for example 69 is issued to the United Kingdom. The following two digits are typically issued with lower numbers to higher-ranking officials, usually 01 being issued to the ambassador from that country. So High Commissioner to Australia.would be found on the vehicle of the British
The number issued to each country has no particular relevance, and was allocated by ballot. Countries with many vehicles (such as the USA) are allocated two numbers. Before the blue D.C. plates were introduced, diplomatic cars in Canberra carried plates which had white letters on red. The numbers then correlated to the length of time the particular diplomatic mission had been in Canberra and the British High Commissioner's car proudly carried the plate. The replacement arrangement is more egalitarian.
State registration authorities issue CC plates to consular representatives in their relevant state capital.
The ACT Government issues similar plates to representatives of international organisations in the Territory. These plates are also coloured black on powder blue, and follow a format of.
Registration labels abolition for light vehicles
States abolished rego labels since 2010 are:
- Western Australia – 1 January 2010
- South Australia – 1 July 2011
- Tasmania – 1 September 2012
- New South Wales – 1 January 2013
- Australian Capital Territory – 1 July 2013
- Northern Territory – 1 July 2013
- Victoria – 1 January 2014
- Queensland – 1 October 2014
Heavy vehicles GVM 14.5 or more will continue to be issued with registration labels where abolished.
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Custom Plates Issuing Authorities
- NSW: MyPlates
- Victoria: Vplates
- South Australia: EzyPlates
- Queensland: Personalised Plates
- Tasmania: TasPlates
- Western Australia: Dept of Transport WA
- Australian Capital Territory: Rego ACT
- Northern Territory: Dept of Transport NT