Vehicle registration plates of Germany

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German number plate, current format (FE-style)
Country codeD
Current series
Size520 mm × 110 mm
20.5 in × 4.3 in
Serial formatNot standard (max 8 characters)
Colour (front)Black on white
Colour (rear)Black on white
First issued1906
1-letter area code Z for Zwickau
2-letter area code TR for Trier
3-letter area code CUX for Cuxhaven

Vehicle registration plates (German: Kraftfahrzeug-Kennzeichen or, more colloquially, Nummernschilder) are mandatory alphanumeric plates used to display the registration mark of a vehicle registered in Germany. They have existed in the country since 1906, with the current system in use since 1956. German registration plates are alphanumeric plates in a standardized format, issued officially by the district authorities.[1][2]

All motorized vehicles participating in road traffic on public space, whether moving or stationary, have to bear the plates allotted to them, displayed at the appropriate spaces at the front and rear. Additionally, the official seals on the plates show their validity which can also be proven by the documentation coming with them. Motorcycles and trailers carry only a rear plate.

A significant feature of German vehicle registration plates is the area code, which can be used to tell the district of registration. It has developed into a widespread habit in Germany, even a children's game when travelling, to guess "where that vehicle is from".[3][4]

Format and Legal Requirements[edit]

Number plate in post-1994 format (FE-style)[a]
Number plate in pre-1994 format (DIN-style), no longer issued but still in use[b]
Number plate with few characters, hence shorter than standard 520×110
Number plate for motorcycles, issued until 2011 (280×200) [c]
Small number plate (255×130)[d]


The legal requirements for these licence plates are laid down in a federal law titled Verordnung über die Zulassung von Fahrzeugen zum Straßenverkehr (Ordinance on the admission of vehicles for road traffic), or in the shortened version Fahrzeug-Zulassungs-Verordnung, FZV[5] which replaced part of an older law named Straßenverkehrszulassungsordnung, StVZO[e] in 2011. The law distinguishes between Kennzeichen meaning a specific combination of letters and digits, and Kennzeichenschilder which are the physical licence plates.[5]: §10  In everyday language, these terms are often replaced indifferently by Nummernschild and rarely is the difference emphasized by restricted use of either Nummer or Schild.

Physical Characteristics[edit]

German number plates are rectangular, with standard dimensions 520 mm × 110 mm (20+12 in × 4+38 in) for cars, trucks, buses and their trailers. Plates bearing few characters may have reduced length but must retain the size and shape of the characters. Plates in two lines for the said types of vehicles[f] measure 340 mm × 200 mm (13+38 in × 7+78 in). Motorcycles also have plates in two lines but with specific dimensions: Plates for "large motorcycles" (engine displacement over 125 cc or power output exceeding 11 kW (15 bhp)) issued until 2011 combine a size of 280 mm × 200 mm (11 in × 7+78 in) with characters of the same size as used for car plates, while those issued since 2011 have characters of reduced size and measure either 180 mm × 200 mm (7+18 in × 7+78 in) or 220 mm × 200 mm (8+58 in × 7+78 in). Plates for "light motorcycles" (Leichtkrafträder up to 125 cc and 11 kW (15 bhp)) combine a size of 255 mm × 130 mm (10 in × 5+18 in) with characters of reduced size. This smallest size of plates is also used for agricultural tractors with a maximum speed of 40 km/h (25 mph) and their trailers and may also be issued as an exception for certain import cars, when a plate of regular size cannot be applied at the available space.

The characters on the licence plate, as well as the narrow rim framing it, are black on a white background.[5]: §10(1)  In standard size they are 75 mm (3 in) high, and 47.5 mm (1+78 in) wide for letters or 44.5 mm (1+34 in) wide for digits. The smaller plates bear characters of 49 mm (1+78 in) height and 31 or 29 mm (1+14 or 1+18 in) width, respectively. In the current system, introduced in 1956, they consist of an area code of one, two or three letters, followed by an identifier sequence of one or two letters and one to four digits. The total quantity of characters on the plate must not exceed eight. Identifiers consisting of one letter with one- or two-digit numbers are often reserved for motorcycle use since there is less space for plates on these vehicles, especially before the reduction of plate size to 180 × 200 mm and 220 × 200 mm in 2011.[6]


Modern German plates use a typeface called FE-Schrift (German: fälschungserschwerende Schrift, tamper-hindering script). It is designed so that the letter P cannot be altered to look exactly like an R, and vice versa; nor can the F or the L be forged to equal an E, etc. Another feature is the equal width of all characters, different from the old DIN 1451 script which had been in use since the introduction of the current system, in 1956. FE-Schrift can be read by OCR software for automatic number plate recognition more easily than DIN 1451.

The present style was introduced in 1994 and became mandatory in 2000, so the number of licence plates issued in the old style has become very rare. As with many plates for countries within the European Union, a blue strip on the left shows a shortened country code in white text (D for Deutschland = Germany) and the Flag of Europe (12 golden stars forming a circle on a blue background).


Traditionally, German licence plates are made of aluminium sheet, with embossed characters rising above background level. Over the years, however, various other materials have been used, albeit to a small extent only. Since 2013, a new style of plates made of plastic is allowed.[7] They are said to be less sensitive to mechanical damage and to cause less CO2 emission in their production, but are more expensive.[8]

Number plates are retroflective, but must not be mirroring, concealed or soiled, nor may they be covered by glass, foil or similar layers.[5]: §10(2)  Occasionally, drivers who adorn their licence plate with a badge of their favourite football club are fined and ordered to restore the original state.[9][10]

Constituent elements[edit]

Map of German districts and their licence plate codes

Area Code[edit]

The first part or Unterscheidungszeichen consists of one, two or three letters representing the district where the car was registered, such as B for Berlin or HSK for Hochsauerlandkreis. These letters formerly coincided with the German districts. They were assigned unambiguously, as each district had one abbreviation only. Whenever a district changed its name or was merged with another, the area code would be redefined and any vehicle registered henceforth could only be issued the current code. Since 2013, however, this rule was revoked and area codes long abolished were re-introduced.[11][12] In consequence, many districts use more than one code,[g] and certain codes, on the other hand, are not assigned to one district only.[example 1]

In some cases an urban district and the surrounding non-urban district share the same letter code. Usually, these are distinguished by different letter/digit patterns. For example, the urban district of Straubing has one letter after the area code (SR-A 123), whereas the surrounding district Straubing-Bogen has two letters (SR-AB 123) in this place. However, several cities that share their code with the surrounding rural districts have started using any available codes for both districts without any distinction; the city of Regensburg, for example, and the surrounding rural district of Regensburg used different systems with their code R only until 2007.

Germany includes diacritical marks in the letters of some codes, that is the letters Ö and Ü; formerly also Ä.[13][h] For a long time, German codes kept to the rule that a code with an umlaut would prohibit another code with the respective blank vowel, e.g. there could not be a district code FU as the code was already in use for Fürth. This rule was disregarded in 1996, when was introduced for Bördekreis in spite of BO existing for Bochum.

Development of the area code[edit]

When the area codes were introduced, they were intended mainly as a means for police officers to identify speeders and other traffic offenders. However, they soon developed into everyday abbreviations of people's home areas and were cherished or despised. Sometimes, the codes of neighbouring districts were given mocking or spiteful meanings.[example 2] When districts merged and only one of their codes could be continued, fierce battles might ensue about which one.[14]

The Büsingen exclave[edit]

Licence plate from the municipality of Büsingen, 1970s

Since 1968, a peculiar rule has applied to the municipality of Büsingen am Hochrhein which is a German exclave completely surrounded by Swiss territory. Although Büsingen belongs to the German district of Konstanz, it is part of the Swiss customs area. For this reason, a vehicle registered to a citizen of Büsingen does not bear KN for Konstanz but BÜS, signifying to Swiss customs officers that this is in fact a domestic vehicle. There are about 700 cars with this area code, which makes Büsingen the smallest and least-populated registration precinct in Germany.[15]

List of Area Codes[edit]

List of License Plate Area Codes of Germany[16][17][18][19]
Codes starting with letter A
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
A Augsburg City Bavaria Augsburg From [A-AA 100 to 999]
To [A-ZZ 100 to 999]
(Excludes [A-PS 100 to 999], reserved for city Police)
From [A-AA 5000 to 9999] to [A-ZZ 5000 to 9999]
[A-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G
[A-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G
Augsburg District From [A-A 1000 to 9999]
To [A-Z 1000 to 9999]
From [A-AA 1000 to 4999] to [A-ZZ 1000 to 4999]
[A-X 1 to 999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G
[A-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G'
AA Ostalb District Baden-Württemberg Aalen
AB Aschaffenburg District Bavaria Aschaffenburg From [AB-AA 100 to 9999] to [AB-ZZ 100 to 9999]
[AB-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[AB-'XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Aschaffenburg City From [AB-A 1000 to 9999] to [ AB-Z 1000 to 9999]
[AB-X 1 to 999]
Where X is not: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[AB-'XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
ABG Altenburger Land District Thuringia Altenburg
ABI Anhalt-Bitterfeld District Saxony-Anhalt Anhalt-Bitterfeld
AC Aachen Region North Rhine-Westphalia Aachen
AE Vogtland District Saxony Auerbach
AH Borken District North Rhine-Westphalia Ahaus
AIB Munich District Bavaria Bad Aibling From [AIB-Q 1] to [AIB-Q 9999]
Rosenheim District Every other available combination
AIC Aichach-Friedberg District Bavaria Aichach
AK Altenkirchen (Westerwald) District Rhineland-Palatinate Altenkirchen
ALF Hildesheim District Lower Saxony Alfeld
ALZ Aschaffenburg District Bavaria Alzenau
AM Amberg City Bavaria Amberg From [AM-A 1 to 999] to [AM-Z 1 to 999]
From [AM-AA 1 to 99] to [AM-ZZ 1 to 99]
AN Ansbach District Bavaria Ansbach From [AN-AA 100 to 999] to [AN-ZZ 100 to 999]
[AN-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[AN-'XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Ansbach City [AN-X 1 to 999]
Where X is not: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[AN-'XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
ANA Erzgebirge District Saxony Annaberg-Buchholz
ANG Uckermark District Brandenburg Angermünde
ANK Vorpommern-Greifswald District
(Excluding Greifswald City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Anklam
Altötting District Bavaria Altötting
AP Weimarer Land District Thuringia Apolda
APD Weimarer Land District Thuringia Apolda
ARN Ilm District Thuringia Arnstadt
ART Kyffhäuser District Thuringia Artern
AS Amberg-Sulzbach District Bavaria Amberg-Sulzbach
ASL Salzland District Saxony-Anhalt Ascherleben
ASZ Erzgebirge District Saxony Aue-Schwarzenberg
AT Mecklenburgische Seenplatte District
(Excluding Neubrandenburg City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Altentreptow
AU Erzgebirge District Saxony Aue-Bad Schlema
AUR Aurich District Lower Saxony Aurich
AW Ahrweiler District Rhineland-Palatinate Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler
AZ Alzey-Worms District Rhineland-Palatinate Alzey
AZE Anhalt-Bitterfeld District Saxony-Anhalt Anhalt-Zerbst
Codes starting with letter B
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
B Berlin Berlin
BA Bamberg City Bavaria Bamberg From [BA-AA 100 to 9999] to [BA-ZZ 100 to 9999]
[BA-X 1 to 9999]
Where X is :B, F, G, I, O , Q
(Excludes [BA-P 1000 to 9999], reserved for City Police)
[BA-XY 1 to 999]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O , Q
Bamberg District [BA-X 1 to 9999]
Where X is not:B, F, G, I, O , Q
(Excludes [BA-P 1000 to 9999], reserved for District Police)
[BA-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O , Q
BAD Baden-Baden City Baden-Württemberg Baden-Baden
BAR Barnim District Brandenburg Barnim
BB Böblingen District Baden-Württemberg Böblingen
BBG Salzland District Saxony-Anhalt Bernburg
BBL Brandenburg Government, Landtag, and Police Brandenburg Brandenburgische
Code reserved for Brandenburg State-owned governmental vehicles
BC Biberach District Baden-Württemberg Biberach
BCH Neckar-Odenwald District Baden-Württemberg Buchen
BD German Bundestag, Bundesrat, Office of the Federal President, Federal Government and Ministries, Federal fiscal administration (incl. Federal Customs Service), and Federal Constitutional Court Bundesdienst (Federal service) Code reserved for Federally-owned governmental vehicles
BE Warendorf District North Rhine-Westphalia Beckum
BED Mittelsachsen District Saxony Brand-Erbisdorf
BER Barnim District Brandenburg Bernau
BF Steinfurt District North Rhine-Westphalia Burgsteinfurt
BGD Berchtesgadener Land District Bavaria Berchtesgaden
BGL Berchtesgadener Land District Bavaria Berchtesgadener Land
BH Ortenau District Baden-Württemberg Bühl [BH-OF 1 to 999] and [BH-OP 1 to 999]
From [BH-F 7000] to [BH-F 7999]
From [BH-N 8000] to [BH-N 8999]
From [BH-O 2000] to [BH-O 2999]
From [BH-OF 1000] to [BH-OF 6999]
From [BH-OG 9000] to [BH-OG 9999]
From [BH-OK 3000] to [BH-OK 3999]
From [BH-OP 1000] to [BH-OP 4999]
Rastatt District Every other available combination
BI Bielefeld City North Rhine-Westphalia Bielefeld
BID Marburg-Biedenkopf District Hesse Biedenkopf
BIN Mainz-Bingen District Rhineland-Palatinate Bingen
BIR Birkenfeld District Rhineland-Palatinate Birkenfeld
BIT Eifel District Bitburg-Prüm Rhineland-Palatinate Bitburg
BIW Bautzen District Saxony Bischofswerda
BK Rems-Murr District Baden-Württemberg Backnang From [BK-A 100 to 999] to [BK-M 100 to 999]
(Excluding Codes B, F, G, I)
From [BK-N 1] to [BK-Z 999]
(Excluding codes O and Q)
From [BK-AA 1 to 99] to [BK-PZ 1 to 99]
(Excluding Codes B, F, G, I, O, Q)
From [BK-A 1000 to 9999] to [BK-Z 1000 to 9999]
Schwäbisch Hall District [BK-A 1 to 99] to [BK-M 1 to 99]
(Excluding Codes B, F, G, I)
From [BK-RA 1 to 99] to [BK-ZZ 1 to 99]
(Excluding Codes B, F, G, I, O, Q)
From [BK-TA 1000 to 999] to [BK-ZZ 1000 to 999]
Börde District Saxony-Anhalt Bördekreis [BK-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[BK-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are : B, F, G, I, O, Q
From [BK-A 1000 to 9999] to [BK-Z 1000 to 999]
From [BK-AA 100 to 9999] to [BK-ZZ 100 to 999]
From [BK-AA 1000 to 999] to [BK-SZ 1000 to 999]
BKS Bernkastel-Wittlich District Rhineland-Palatinate Bernkastel-Kues
BL Zollernalb District Baden-Württemberg Balingen
BLB Siegen-Wittgenstein District North Rhine-Westphalia Bad Berleburg
BLK Burgenland District Saxony-Anhalt Burgenlandkreis
BM Rhein-Erft District North Rhine-Westphalia Bergheim
BN Bonn City North Rhine-Westphalia Bonn
BNA Leipzig District Saxony Borna
BO Bochum City North Rhine-Westphalia Bochum
Börde District Saxony-Anhalt rde
BOG Straubing-Bogen District Bavaria Bogen
BOH Borken District North Rhine-Westphalia Bocholt
BOR Borken District North Rhine-Westphalia Borken
BOT Bottrop City North Rhine-Westphalia Bottrop
BP German Federal Police Bundespolizei Code reserved for Vehicles of German Federal Police
BRA Wesermarsch District Lower Saxony Brake
BRB Brandenburg an der Havel City Brandenburg Brandenburg
BRG Jerichower Land District Saxony-Anhalt Burg
BRK Bad Kissingen District Bavaria Bad Brückenau
BRL Goslar District Lower Saxony Braunlage
BRV Rotenburg (Wümme) District Lower Saxony Bremervörde
BS Braunschweig City (Brunswick) Lower Saxony Braunschweig
BSB Osnabrück District Lower Saxony Bersenbrück
BSK Oder-Spree District Brandenburg Beeskow
BT Bayreuth District Bavaria Bayreuth From [BT-AA 100 to 9999] to [BT-ZZ 100 to 9999]
[BT-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G
[BT-XY 1 to 99]
Where X or Y or both are: B, F, G
Bayreuth City [BT-X 1 to 999]
Where X is not : B, F, G, I, O, Q
[BT-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[BT-X 1000 to 9999]
Where X is not: B, F, G
BTF Anhalt-Bitterfeld District Saxony-Anhalt Bitterfeld-Wolfen
BÜD Wetterau District Hesse Büdingen
BUL Amberg-Sulzbach District Bavaria Burglengenfeld [BUL-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G
Schwandorf District Every other available combination
BÜR Paderborn District North Rhine-Westphalia Büren
BÜS Büsingen am Hochrhein Municipality
(A subdivision of Konstanz District)
Baden-Württemberg Büsingen It is allocated its own code to facilitate cross-border travel, as it is a German exclave within Switzerland
BÜZ Rostock District Mecklenburg-Vorpommern tzow
BW Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration Bundes-Wasserstraßen- und Schifffahrtsverwaltung Code reserved for Vehicles of German Federal Waterway and Shipping Admin.
BWL Baden-Württemberg Government, Landtag, and Police Baden-Württemberg Baden-Württembergischer
Code reserved for Baden-Württemberg State-owned governmental vehicles
BYL Bavaria Government and Landtag Bavaria Bayerischer
Code reserved for Bavaria State-owned governmental vehicles
BZ Bautzen District Saxony Bautzen
Codes starting with letter C
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
C Chemnitz City Saxony Chemnitz From [C-AA 1 to 9999] to [C-ZZ 1 to 9999]
CA Oberspreewald-Lausitz District Brandenburg Calau
CAS Recklinghausen District North Rhine-Westphalia Castrop-Rauxel
CB Cottbus City Brandenburg Cottbus From [CB-AA 1 to 999] to [CB-ZZ 1 to 999]
CE Celle District Lower Saxony Celle
CHA Cham District Bavaria Cham
CLP Cloppenburg District Lower Saxony Cloppenburg
CLZ Goslar District Lower Saxony Clausthal-Zellerfeld
CO Coburg City
Coburg District
Bavaria Coburg
COC Cochem-Zell District Rhineland-Palatinate Cochem
COE Coesfeld District North Rhine-Westphalia Coesfeld
CR Schwäbisch Hall District Baden-Württemberg Crailsheim
CUX Cuxhaven District Lower Saxony Cuxhaven
CW Calw District Baden-Württemberg Calw
Codes starting with letter D
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
D Düsseldorf City North Rhine-Westphalia Düsseldorf
DA Darmstadt City Hesse Darmstadt From [DA-AA 100 to 999] to [DA-ZZ 100 to 999]
[DA-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[DA-X 1 to 99]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Darmstadt-Dieburg District From [DA-A 1000 to 9000] to [DA-Z 1000 to 9999]
From [DA-AA 1000 to 9999] to [DA-ZZ 1000 to 9999]
[DA-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[DA-X 1 to 99]
Where X is not: B, F, G, I, O, Q
DAH Dachau District Bavaria Dachau
DAN Lüchow-Dannenberg District Lower Saxony Dannenberg
DAU Vulkaneifel District Rhineland-Palatinate Daun
DBR Rostock District Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Bad Doberan
DD Saxony Police Saxony Dresden From [DD-Q 1] to [DD-Q 9999]
Dresden City From [DD-AA 1 to 9999] to [DD-ZZ 1 to 9999]
DE Dessau-Roßlau City Saxony-Anhalt Dessau-Roßlau
DEG Deggendorf District Bavaria Deggendorf
DEL Delmenhorst City Lower Saxony Delmenhorst
DGF Dingolfing-Landau District Bavaria Dingolfing
DH Diepholz District Lower Saxony Diepholz
DI Darmstadt-Dieburg District Hesse Dieburg
DIL Lahn-Dill District
(Excluding Wetzlar City)
Hesse Dillenburg
DIN Wesel District North Rhine-Westphalia Dinslaken
DIZ Rhein-Lahn District Rhineland-Palatinate Diez
DKB Ansbach District Bavaria Dinkelsbühl
DL Mittelsachsen District Saxony Döbeln
DLG Dillingen an der Donau District Bavaria Dillingen
DM Mecklenburgische Seenplatte District
(Excluding Neubrandenburg City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Demmin
DN Düren District North Rhine-Westphalia Düren
DO Dortmund City North Rhine-Westphalia Dortmund
DON Donau-Ries District Bavaria Donauwörth
DU Duisburg City North Rhine-Westphalia Duisburg
DUD Göttingen District
(Excluding Göttingen City)
Lower Saxony Duderstadt
DÜW Bad Dürkheim District Rhineland-Palatinate Bad rkheim an der Weinstraße
DW Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge District Saxony Dippoldiswalde
DZ Nordsachsen District Saxony Delitzsch
Codes starting with letter E
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
E Essen City North Rhine-Westphalia Essen
EA Wartburg District Thuringia Eisenach Eisenach was an independent urban District until 1 July 2021, when it was merged into Wartburg District due to a budgetary crisis.[20]
EB Nordsachsen District Saxony Eilenburg
EBE Ebersberg District Bavaria Ebersberg
EBN Haßberge District Bavaria Ebern
EBS Kulmbach District Bavaria Ebermannstadt From [EBS-A 1 to 999] to [EBC-M 1 to 999]
Bayreuth District From [EBS-N 1 to 999] to [EBC-Z 1 to 999]
Forchheim District Every other available combination
ECK Rendsburg-Eckernförde District Schleswig-Holstein Eckernförde
ED Erding District Bavaria Erding
EE Elbe-Elster District Brandenburg Elbe-Elster
EF Thuringia Police Thuringia Erfurt From [EF-LP 1000] to [EF-LP 9999]
Erfurt City From [EF-AA 1 to 999] to [EF-ZZ 1 to 999]
EG Rottal-Inn District Bavaria Eggenfelden
EH Oder-Spree District Brandenburg Eisenhüttenstadt
EI Eichstätt District Bavaria Eichstätt
EIC Eichsfeld District Thuringia Eichsfeld
EIL Mansfeld-Südharz District Saxony-Anhalt Eisleben
EIN Northeim District Lower Saxony Einbeck
EIS Saale-Holzland District Thuringia Eisenberg
EL Emsland District Lower Saxony Emsland
EM Emmendingen District Baden-Württemberg Emmendingen
EMD Emden City Lower Saxony Emden
EMS Rhein-Lahn District Rhineland-Palatinate Bad Ems
EN Ennepe-Ruhr District North Rhine-Westphalia Ennepe
ER Erlangen City Bavaria Erlangen
ERB Odenwald District Hesse Erbach
ERH Erlangen-Höchstadt District Bavaria Erlangen-Höchstadt
ERK Heinsberg District North Rhine-Westphalia Erkelenz
ERZ Erzgebirge District Saxony Erzgebirge
ES Esslingen District Baden-Württemberg Esslingen
ESB Bayreuth District Bavaria Eschenbach From [ESB-AT 1 to 99] to [ESB-ZT 1 to 99]
Amberg-Sulzbach District From [ESB-'B 1] to [ESB-X 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Nürnberger Land District From [ESB-N 1] to [ESB-N 999]
Neustadt an der Waldnaab District Every other available combination
ESW Werra-Meißner District Hesse Eschwege
EU Euskirchen District North Rhine-Westphalia Euskirchen
EW Barnim District Brandenburg Eberswalde
Codes starting with letter F
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
F Frankfurt am Main City Hesse Frankfurt
FB Wetterau District Hesse Friedberg
FD Fulda District Hesse Fulda
FDB Aichach-Friedberg District Bavaria Friedberg
FDS Freudenstadt District Baden-Württemberg Freudenstadt
FEU Ansbach District Bavaria Feuchtwangen
FF Frankfurt (Oder) City Brandenburg Frankfurt
FFB Fürstenfeldbruck District Bavaria Fürstenfeldbruck
FG Mittelsachsen District Saxony Freiberg
FI Elbe-Elster District Brandenburg Finsterwalde
FKB Waldeck-Frankenberg District Hesse Frankenberg
FL Flensburg City Schleswig-Holstein Flensburg
FLÖ Mittelsachsen District Saxony Flöha
FN Bodensee (Lake Constance) District Baden-Württemberg Friedrichshafen
FO Forchheim District Bavaria Forchheim
FOR Spree-Neiße District Brandenburg Forst
FR Freiburg im Breisgau City Baden-Württemberg FReiburg [FR-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[FR-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
From [FR-NA 1000 to 9999] to [FR-ZZ 1000 to 9999]
Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald District [FR-X 1 to 999]
Where X is not: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[FR-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
From [FR-AA 1000 to 9999] to [FR-MZ 1000 to 9999]
FRG Freyung-Grafenau District Bavaria Freyung-Grafenau
FRI Friesland District Lower Saxony Friesland
FRW Märkisch-Oderland District Brandenburg Bad Freienwalde
FS Moosburg an der Isar City
(A subdivision of Freising District)
Bavaria Freising [FS-I 1 to 999]
[FS-X 1000 to 999]
Where X is: H, I, M, P, R
[FS-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: I
Freising District
(Excluding Moosburg an der Isar City)
[FS-X 1 to 999]
Where X is not: I, O, Q
[FS-XY 1 to 999]
Where neither X nor Y are: I, O, Q
FT Frankenthal (Pfalz) City Rhineland-Palatinate Frankenthal
FTL Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge District Saxony Freital
Fürth City Bavaria rth [FÜ-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[FÜ-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
From [FÜ-AA 100 to 9999] to [FÜ-ZZ 100 to 9999]
Fürth District [FÜ-X 1 to 999]
Where X is not: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[FÜ-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
From [FÜ-A 1000 to 9999] to [FÜ-Z 1000 to 9999]
FÜS Ostallgäu District Bavaria Füssen
FW Oder-Spree District Brandenburg Fürstenwalde
FZ Schwalm-Eder District Hesse Fritzlar
Codes starting with letter G
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
G Gera City Thuringia Gera
GA Altmark District Salzwedel Saxony-Anhalt Gardelegen
GAN Northeim District Lower Saxony Bad Gandersheim
GAP Garmisch-Partenkirchen District Bavaria Garmisch-Partenkirchen
GC Zwickau District Saxony Glauchau
GD Ostalb District Baden-Württemberg Schwäbisch Gmünd
GDB Nordwestmecklenburg District
(Excluding Wismar City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Gadebusch
GE Gelsenkirchen City North Rhine-Westphalia Gelsenkirchen
GEL Kleve District North Rhine-Westphalia Geldern
GEO Haßberge District Bavaria Gerolzhofen [GEO-A 1000 to 9990]
[GEO-B 1000 to 9990]
Schweinfurt District Every other available combination
GER Germersheim District Rhineland-Palatinate Germersheim
GF Gifhorn District Lower Saxony Gifhorn
GG Groß-Gerau District Hesse Groß-Gerau
GHA Leipzig District Saxony Geithain
GHC Wittenberg District Saxony-Anhalt Gräfenhainichen
GI Gießen District Hesse Gießen
GK Heinsberg District North Rhine-Westphalia Geilenkirchen
GL Rheinisch-Bergischer District North Rhine-Westphalia Bergisch Gladbach
GLA Recklinghausen District North Rhine-Westphalia Gladbeck
GM Oberbergischer District North Rhine-Westphalia Gummersbach
GMN Vorpommern-Rügen District
(Excluding Stralsund City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Grimmen
GN Main-Kinzig District
(Excluding Hanau City)
Hesse Gelnhausen
GNT Jerichower Land District Saxony-Anhalt Genthin
Göttingen District
(Excluding Göttingen City)
Lower Saxony ttingen [GÖ-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, O, Q
[GÖ-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, O, Q
From [GÖ-AA 100 to 999] to [GÖ-ZZ 100 to 999]
Göttingen City
(A subdivision of Göttingen District)
[GÖ-X 1 to 999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[GÖ-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
From [GÖ-A 1000 to 9999] to [GÖ-Z 1000 to 9999]
GOA Rhein-Hunsrück District Rhineland-Palatinate Sankt Goar
GOH Rhein-Lahn District Rhineland-Palatinate Sankt Goarshausen
GP Göppingen District Baden-Württemberg Göppingen
GR Görlitz District Saxony Görlitz
GRA Freyung-Grafenau District Bavaria Grafenau
GRH Meißen District Saxony Großenhain
GRI Rottal-Inn District Bavaria Bad Griesbach [GRI-XY 100 to 999]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, I, O, Q
GRM Leipzig District Saxony Grimma
GRZ Greiz District Thuringia Greiz
GS Goslar District Lower Saxony Goslar
GT Gütersloh District North Rhine-Westphalia Gütersloh
GTH Gotha District Thuringia Gotha
Rostock District Mecklenburg-Vorpommern strow
GUB Spree-Neiße District Brandenburg Guben
GUN Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen District Bavaria Gunzenhausen
GV Rhein District Neuss North Rhine-Westphalia Grevenbroich
GVM Nordwestmecklenburg District
(Excluding Wismar City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Grevesmühlen
GW Vorpommern-Greifswald District
(Excluding Greifswald City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Greifswald
GZ Günzburg District Bavaria Günzburg
Codes starting with letter H
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
H Hanover City
(A subdivision of Hanover Region)
Lower Saxony Hannover [H-X 1 to 9999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[H-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
From [H-A 1000 to 9999] to [H-Z 1000 to 9999]
From [H-BA 1000 to 9999] to [H-BZ 1000 to 9999]
From [H-FA 1000 to 9999] to [H-GZ 1000 to 9999]
Hanover Region
(Excluding Hanover City)
[H-X 1 to 9999]
Where X is not: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[H-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
From [H-AA 1000 to 9999] to [H-AZ 1000 to 9999]
From [H-CA 1000 to 9999] to [H-EZ 1000 to 9999]
From [H-HA 1000 to 9999] to [H-ZZ 1000 to 9999]
HA Hagen City North Rhine-Westphalia Hagen
HAB Bad Kissingen District Bavaria Hammelburg
HAL Halle (Saale) City Saxony-Anhalt Halle
HAM Hamm City North Rhine-Westphalia Hamm
HAS Haßberge District Bavaria Hassfurt
HB Bremen City State of Bremen Hansestadt Bremen From [HB-A 1 to 999] to [HB-Z 1 to 999]
From [HB-AA 1 to 999] to [HB-ZZ 1 to 999]
Bremerhaven City From [HB-A 1000 to 9999] to [HB-Z 1000 to 9999]
HBN Hildburghausen District Thuringia Hildburghausen
HBS Harz District Saxony-Anhalt Halberstadt
HC Mittelsachsen District Saxony Hainichen
HCH Freudenstadt District Baden-Württemberg Hechingen [HCH-QY 1000 to 999], [HCH-VY 1000 to 999]
[HCH-YQ 1000 to 999], [HCH-YV 1000 to 999]
[HCH-ZQ 1000 to 999]
Zollernalb District Every other available combination
HD Rhein-Neckar District Baden-Württemberg Heidelberg [HD-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[H-HD-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
From [HD-AA 100 to 9999] to [HD-ZZ 100 to 9999]
Heidelberg City [HD-X 1 to 999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[HD-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
From [HD-A 1000 to 9999] to [HD-Z 1000 to 9999]
HDH Heidenheim District Baden-Württemberg Heidenheim
HDL Börde District Saxony-Anhalt Haldensleben
HE Helmstedt District Lower Saxony Helmstedt
HEB Nürnberger Land District Bavaria Hersbruck
HEF Hersfeld-Rotenburg District Hesse Bad Hersfeld
HEI Dithmarschen District Schleswig-Holstein Heide
HEL Hesse Government and Landtag Hesse Hessischer Landtag Code reserved for Hesse State-owned governmental vehicles
HER Herne City North Rhine-Westphalia Herne
HET Mansfeld-Südharz District Saxony-Anhalt Hettstedt
HF Herford District North Rhine-Westphalia Herford
HG Hochtaunus District Hesse Bad Homburg
HGN Ludwigslust-Parchim District Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Hagenow
HGW Greifswald City
(A subdivision of Vorpommern-Greifswald District)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Hansestadt Greifswald
HH Hamburg Hansestadt Hamburg
HHM Burgenland District Saxony-Anhalt Hohenmölsen
HI Hildesheim District Lower Saxony Hildesheim
HIG Eichsfeld District Thuringia Heilbad Heiligenstadt
HIP Roth District Bavaria Hilpoltstein
HK Heide District Lower Saxony Heidekreis
HL Lübeck City Schleswig-Holstein Hansestadt Lübeck
HM Hameln-Pyrmont District Lower Saxony Hameln (Hamelin)
HMÜ Göttingen District
(Excluding Göttingen City)
Lower Saxony Hann. nden
HN Heilbronn District Baden-Württemberg Heilbronn From [HN-AA 100 to 999] to [HN-ZZ 100 to 999]
From [HN-AA 1000 to 9999] to [HN-MZ 1000 to 9999]
[HN-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[HN-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Heilbronn City From [HN-A 1000 to 9999] to [HN-Z 1000 to 9999]
From [HN-NA 1000 to 9999] to [HN-ZZ 1000 to 9999]
[HN-X 1 to 999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[HN-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
HO Hof District Bavaria Hof From [HO-AA 100 to 999] to [HO-ZZ 100 to 999]
From [HO-AA 1000 to 9999] to [HO-ZZ 1000 to 9999]
[HO-B 1 to 999]
[HO-G 1 to 999]
[HO-F 1 to 99]
Hof City From [HO-AA 1000 to 9999] to [HO-ZZ 1000 to 9999]
[HO-F 100 to 999]
[HN-X 1 to 999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[HO-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
HOG Kassel District Hesse Hofgeismar
HOH Haßberge District Bavaria Hofheim
HOL Holzminden District Lower Saxony Holzminden
HOM Saarpfalz District
(Excluding Sankt Ingbert City)
Saarland Homburg
HOR Freudenstadt District Baden-Württemberg Horb
HÖS Erlangen-Höchstadt District Bavaria chstadt
HOT Zwickau District Saxony Hohenstein-Ernstthal
HP Bergstraße District Hesse Heppenheim
HR Schwalm-Eder District Hesse Homberg
HRO Rostock City Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Hansestadt Rostock
HS Heinsberg District North Rhine-Westphalia Heinsberg
HSK Hochsauerland District North Rhine-Westphalia HochSauerlandKreis
HST Stralsund City
(A subdivision of Vorpommern-Rügen District)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Hansestadt Stralsund From [HST-AA 1 to 999] to [HST-ZZ 1 to 999]
[HST-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, G, I, O, Q
HU Main-Kinzig District Hesse Hanau
HV Stendal District Saxony-Anhalt Havelberg
HVL Havelland District Brandenburg Havelland
HWI Wismar City
(A subdivision of Nordwestmecklenburg District)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Hansestadt Wismar
HX Höxter District North Rhine-Westphalia Höxter
HY Bautzen District Saxony Hoyerswerda
HZ Harz District Saxony-Anhalt Harz
Codes starting with letter I
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
IGB St. Ingbert City
(A subdivision of Saarpfalz District)
Saarland St. Ingbert
IK Ilm District Thuringia Ilm-Kreis
IL Ilm District Thuringia Ilmenau
ILL Neu-Ulm District Bavaria Illertissen
IN Ingolstadt City Bavaria Ingolstadt
IZ Steinburg District Schleswig-Holstein Itzehoe
Codes starting with letter J
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
J Jena City Thuringia Jena
JE Wittenberg District Saxony-Anhalt Jessen
JL Jerichower Land District Saxony-Anhalt Jerichower Land
JÜL Düren District North Rhine-Westphalia Jülich
Codes starting with letter K
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
K Cologne City North Rhine-Westphalia Köln
KA Karlsruhe City Baden-Württemberg Karlsruhe From [KA-AA 100 to 999] to [KA-ZZ 100 to 999]
From [KA-NA 1000 to 9999] to [KA-ZZ 1000 to 9999]
[KA-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, Q
[KA-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, Q
Karlsruhe District From [KA-A 1000 to 9999] to [KA-Z 1000 to 9999]
From [KA-AA 1000 to 9999] to [KA-MZ 1000 to 9999]
[KA-X 1 to 999]
Where X is not: B, F, G, Q
[KA-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, Q
KB Waldeck-Frankenberg District Hesse Korbach
KC Kronach District Bavaria Kronach
KE Kempten (Allgäu) City Bavaria Kempten From [KE-A 1 to 999] to [KE-Z 1 to 999]
From [KE-AA 1 to 99] to [KE-ZZ 1 to 99]
KEH Kelheim District Bavaria Kelheim
KEL Ortenau District Baden-Württemberg Kehl
KEM Bayreuth District Bavaria Kemnath From [KEM-AT 1 to 99] to [KEM-ZT 1 to 99]
Tirschenreuth District Every other available combination
KF Kaufbeuren City Bavaria Kaufbeuren
KG Bad Kissingen District Bavaria Bad Kissingen
KH Bad Kreuznach District
(Excluding Bad Kreuznach City)
Rhineland-Palatinate Bad Kreuznach From [KH-AA 1 to 999] to [KH-ZZ 1 to 999]
Bad Kreuznach City
(A subdivision of Bad Kreuznach District)
From [KH-A 1 to 9999] to [KH-Z 1 to 9999]
KI Kiel City Schleswig-Holstein Kiel
KIB Donnersberg District Rhineland-Palatinate Kirchheimbolanden
KK Viersen District North Rhine-Westphalia Kempen-Krefeld
KL Kaiserslautern District Rhineland-Palatinate Kaiserslautern From [KL-AA 100 to 999] to [KL-ZZ 100 to 999]
[KL-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[KL-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Kaiserslautern City [KL-X 1 to 9999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[KL-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
KLE Kleve District North Rhine-Westphalia Kleve
KLZ Altmark District Salzwedel Saxony-Anhalt Klötze
KM Bautzen District Saxony Kamenz
KN Konstanz District
(Excluding Büsingen am Hochrhein Municipality)
Baden-Württemberg Konstanz
KO Koblenz City Rhineland-Palatinate Koblenz
KÖN Rhön-Grabfeld District Bavaria Bad Königshofen
KÖT Anhalt-Bitterfeld District Saxony-Anhalt Köthen
KÖZ Cham District Bavaria Bad tzting
KR Krefeld City North Rhine-Westphalia Krefeld
KRU Günzburg District Bavaria Krumbach
KS Kassel District
Kassel City
Hesse Kassel
KT Kitzingen District Bavaria Kitzingen
KU Kulmbach District Bavaria Kulmbach
KÜN Hohenlohe District Baden-Württemberg Künzelsau
KUS Kusel District Rhineland-Palatinate Kusel
KW Dahme-Spreewald District Brandenburg Königs Wusterhausen
KY Ostprignitz-Ruppin District Brandenburg Kyritz
KYF Kyffhäuser Dristrict Thuringia Kyffhäuser
Codes starting with letter L
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
L Leipzig City Saxony Leipzig From [L-A 1 to 9999] to [L-T 1 to 9999]
From [L-AA 1 to 9999] to [L-TZ 1 to 9999]
Leipzig District From [L-U 1 to 9999] to [L-Z 1 to 9999]
From [L-UA 1 to 9999] to [L-ZZ 1 to 9999]
LA Landshut District Bavaria Landshut From [LA-AA 5000 to 9999] to [LA-ZZ 5000 to 9999]
From [LA-AA 100 to 999] to [LA-ZZ 100 to 999]
[LA-X 1 to 9999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[LA-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Landshut City From [LA-AA 1000 to 4999] to [LA-ZZ 1000 to 4999]
[LA-X 1 to 9999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[LA-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
LAN Dingolfing-Landau District Bavaria Landau
LAU Nürnberger Land District Bavaria Lauf
LB Ludwigsburg District Baden-Württemberg Ludwigsburg
LBS Saale-Orla District Thuringia Bad Lobenstein
LBZ Ludwigslust-Parchim District Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Lübz
LC Dahme-Spreewald District Brandenburg Luckau
LD Landau in der Pfalz City Rhineland-Palatinate Landau
LDK Lahn-Dill District
(Excluding Wetzlar City)
Hesse Lahn-Dill-Kreis
LDS Dahme-Spreewald District Brandenburg Landkreis Dahme-Spreewald
LEO Böblingen District Baden-Württemberg Leonberg
LER Leer District Lower Saxony Leer
LEV Leverkusen City North Rhine-Westphalia Leverkusen
LF Altötting District Bavaria Laufen [LF-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: C, I, J, L, M, O, Q, V
[LF-E 1 to 599]
Traunstein District [LF-XY 100 to 999]
Where XY is: FZ, GH, KQ, RW, TS, WW,XX, ZZ
[LF-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G
[LF-XY 1 to 99]
Where XY is: DH, FZ, GH, KQ, LU, RW, TK, TS ,WW, XX, ZZ
[LF-DH 100 to 199]
[LF-LU 100 to 299]
[LF-TK 100 to 199]
[LF-VW 200 to 499]
Berchtesgadener Land District Every other available combination
LG Lüneburg District Lower Saxony Lüneburg
LH Coesfeld District
Unna District
North Rhine-Westphalia Lüdinghausen
LI Lindau (Bodensee) District Bavaria Lindau
LIB Elbe-Elster District Brandenburg Bad Liebenwerda
LIF Lichtenfels District Bavaria Lichtenfels
LIP Lippe District North Rhine-Westphalia Lippe
LL Landsberg District Bavaria Landsberg am Lech
LM Limburg-Weilburg District Hesse Limburg
LN Dahme-Spreewald District Brandenburg Lübben
Lörrach District Baden-Württemberg rrach
LÖB Görlitz District Saxony Löbau
LOS Oder-Spree District Brandenburg Landkreis Oder-Spree
LP Soest District North Rhine-Westphalia Lippstadt
LR Ortenau District Baden-Württemberg Lahr
LRO Rostock District Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Landkreis Rostock
LSA Saxony-Anhalt Government, Landtag, and Police Saxony-Anhalt Land Sachsen-Anhalt Code reserved for Saxony-Anhalt State-owned governmental vehicles
LSN Saxony Government and Landtag, Saxony Landtag Sachsen Code reserved for Saxony State-owned governmental vehicles
LSZ Unstrut-Hainich District Thuringia Bad Langensalza
LU Ludwigshafen am Rhein City Rhineland-Palatinate Ludwigshafen
LÜN Unna District North Rhine-Westphalia Lünen
LUP Ludwigslust-Parchim District Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Ludwigslust-Parchim
LWL Ludwigslust-Parchim District Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Ludwigslust
Codes starting with letter M
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
M Munich City Bavaria München [M-X 1 to 9999]
Where X is: B, F, G
[M-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G
[M-XY 100 to 9999]
Where neither X nor Y are: I, O, Q
Unless either X or Y is: B, F, G
In addition, XY can be any other combination of letters.
Munich District [M-X 1 to 9999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G
[M-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y: B, F, G
[M-XY 100 to 9999]
Where either X or Y or both are: I, O, Q
But neither X nor Y are: B, F, G
MA Mannheim City Baden-Württemberg Mannheim
MAB Erzgebirge District Saxony Marienberg
MAI Landshut District Bavaria Mainburg [MAI-X 1 to 9999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Kelheim District Every other available combination
MAK Wunsiedel im Fichtelgebirge District Bavaria Marktredwitz
MAL Landshut District Bavaria Mallersdorf-Pfaffenberg [MAL-X 1 to 9999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Straubing-Bogen District Every other available combination
MB Miesbach District Bavaria Miesbach
MC Mecklenburgische Seenplatte District
(Excluding Neubrandenburg City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Malchin
MD Magdeburg City Saxony-Anhalt Magdeburg
ME Mettmann District North Rhine-Westphalia Mettmann
MED Dithmarschen District Schleswig-Holstein Meldorf
MEG Schwalm-Eder District Hesse Melsungen
MEI Meißen District Saxony Meißen
MEK Erzgebirge District Saxony Mittlerer Erzgebirgskreis
MEL Osnabrück District Lower Saxony Melle
MER Saale District Saxony-Anhalt Merseburg
MET Rhön-Grabfeld District Bavaria Mellrichstadt
MG Mönchengladbach City North Rhine-Westphalia Mönchengladbach
MGH Main-Tauber District Baden-Württemberg Bad Mergentheim
MGN Schmalkalden-Meiningen District Thuringia Meiningen
MH Mülheim an der Ruhr City North Rhine-Westphalia Mülheim
MHL Unstrut-Hainich District Thuringia Mühlhausen
MI Minden-Lübbecke District North Rhine-Westphalia Minden
MIL Miltenberg District Bavaria Miltenberg
MK Märkischer District North Rhine-Westphalia Märkischer Kreis
MKK Main-Kinzig District
(Excluding Hanau City)
Hesse Main-Kinzig-Kreis
ML Mansfeld-Südharz District Saxony-Anhalt Mansfelder Land
MM Memmingen City Bavaria Memmingen
MN Unterallgäu District Bavaria Mindelheim
MO Wesel District North Rhine-Westphalia Moers
MOD Ostallgäu District Bavaria Marktoberdorf
MOL Märkisch-Oderland District Brandenburg Märkisch-Oderland
MON Aachen Region
Düren District
North Rhine-Westphalia Monschau
MOS Neckar-Odenwald District Baden-Württemberg Mosbach
MQ Saale District Saxony-Anhalt Merseburg-Querfurt
MR Marburg-Biedenkopf District Hesse Marburg
MS Münster City North Rhine-Westphalia Münster
MSE Mecklenburgische Seenplatte District
(Excluding Neubrandenburg City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Mecklenburgische Seenplatte
MSH Mansfeld-Südharz District Saxony-Anhalt Mansfeld-Südharz
MSP Main-Spessart District Bavaria Main-Spessart
MST Mecklenburgische Seenplatte District
(Excluding Neubrandenburg City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Mecklenburg-Strelitz
MTK Main-Taunus District Hesse Main-Taunus-Kreis
MTL Leipzig District Saxony Muldental
Mühldorf am Inn District Bavaria hldorf
MÜB Bayreuth District Bavaria nchberg From [MÜB-A 100 to 999] to [MÜB-M 100 to 999]
From [MÜB-N 1 to 999] to [MÜB-Z 1 to 999]
Hof District Every other available combination
MÜR Mecklenburgische Seenplatte District
(Excluding Neubrandenburg City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Müritz
MVL Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Government, Landtag, and Police Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Mecklenburg-Vorpommerscher Landtag Code reserved for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern State-owned governmental vehicles
MW Mittelsachsen District Saxony Mittweida
MY Mayen-Koblenz District Rhineland-Palatinate Mayen
MYK Mayen-Koblenz District Rhineland-Palatinate Mayen-Koblenz
MZ Mainz City Rhineland-Palatinate Mainz From [MZ-AA 100 to 999] to [MZ-ZZ 100 to 999]
From [MZ-AA 1000 to 9999] to [MZ-KY 1000 to 9999]
[MZ-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[MZ-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Mainz-Bingen District From [MZ-A 1000 to 9999] to [MZ-Z 1000 to 9999]
From [MZ-LA 1000 to 9999] to [MZ-ZZ 1000 to 9999]
[MZ-X 1 to 999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[MZ-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
MZG Merzig-Wadern District Saarland Merzig
Codes starting with letter N
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
N Nuremberg City Bavaria Nürnberg From [N-A 1000 to 9999] to [N-Z 1000 to 9999]
From [N-AA 100 to 9999] to [N-ZZ 100 to 9999]
[N-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[N-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Nürnberger Land District [N-X 1 to 999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G, I, O, Q, S
NAB Schwandorf District Bavaria Nabburg [NAB-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G
Amberg-Sulzbach District Every other available combination
NAI Hof District Bavaria Naila
NAU Havelland District Brandenburg Nauen
NB Neubrandenburg City
(A subdivision of Mecklenburgische Seenplatte District)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Neubrandenburg From [NB-AA 1 to 999] to [NB-ZZ 1 to 999]
ND Neuburg-Schrobenhausen District Bavaria Neuburg an der Donau
NDH Nordhausen District Thuringia Nordhausen
NE Rhein District Neuss North Rhine-Westphalia Neuss
NEA Neustadt an der Aisch-Bad Windsheim District Bavaria Neustadt an der Aisch
NEB Burgenland District Saxony-Anhalt Nebra
NEC Coburg City
Coburg District
Bavaria Neustadt bei Coburg
NEN Schwandorf District Bavaria Neunburg
NES Rhön-Grabfeld District Bavaria Bad Neustadt an der Saale
NEW Neustadt an der Waldnaab District Bavaria Neustadt an der Waldnaab
NF Nordfriesland District Schleswig-Holstein Nordfriesland
NH Sonneberg District Thuringia Neuhaus
NI Nienburg/Weser District Lower Saxony Nienburg
NK Neunkirchen District Saarland Neunkirchen
NL Lower Saxony Government and Landtag Lower Saxony Niedersächsischer Landtag Code reserved for Lower Saxony State-owned governmental vehicles
NM Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz District Bavaria Neumarkt
NMB Burgenland District Saxony-Anhalt Naumburg
NMS Neumünster City Schleswig-Holstein Neumünster
Donau-Ries District Bavaria rdlingen
NOH Grafschaft Bentheim District Lower Saxony Nordhorn
NOL Görlitz District Saxony Niederschlesische Oberlausitz
NOM Northeim District Lower Saxony Northeim
NOR Aurich District Lower Saxony Norden
NP Ostprignitz-Ruppin District Brandenburg Neuruppin
NR Neuwied District
(Excluding Neuwied City)
Rhineland-Palatinate Neuwied am Rhein From [NR-AA 1 to 999] to [NR-ZZ 1 to 999]
Neuwied City
(A subdivision of Neuwied District)
From [NR-A 1 to 9999] to [NR-Z 1 to 9999]
NRW North Rhine-Westphalia Government, Landtag, and State Police North Rhine-Westphalia Nordrhein-Westfalen Code reserved for North Rhine-Westphalia State-owned governmental vehicles
NT Esslingen District Baden-Württemberg Nürtingen
NU Neu-Ulm District Bavaria Neu-Ulm
NVP Vorpommern-Rügen District
(Excluding Stralsund City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Nordvorpommern
NW Neustadt an der Weinstraße City Rhineland-Palatinate Neustadt an der Weinstraße
NWM Nordwestmecklenburg District
(Excluding Wismar City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Nordwestmecklenburg
NY Görlitz District Saxony Niesky
NZ Mecklenburgische Seenplatte District
(Excluding Neubrandenburg City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Neustrelitz
Codes starting with letter O
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
OA Oberallgäu District Bavaria Oberallgäu
OAL Ostallgäu District Bavaria Ostallgäu
OB Oberhausen City North Rhine-Westphalia Oberhausen
OBB Miltenberg District Bavaria Obernburg
OBG Stendal District Saxony-Anhalt Osterburg
OC Börde District Saxony-Anhalt Oschersleben
OCH Würzburg District Bavaria Ochsenfurt
OD Stormarn District Schleswig-Holstein Bad Oldesloe
OE Olpe District North Rhine-Westphalia Olpe
OF Offenbach District
Offenbach am Main City
Hesse Offenbach
OG Ortenau District Baden-Württemberg Offenburg
OH Ostholstein District Schleswig-Holstein Ostholstein
OHA Göttingen District
(Excluding Göttingen City)
Lower Saxony Osterode am Harz
ÖHR Hohenlohe District Baden-Württemberg Öhringen
OHV Oberhavel District Brandenburg Oberhavel
OHZ Osterholz District Lower Saxony Osterholz-Scharmbeck
OK Börde District Saxony-Anhalt Ohrekreis
OL Oldenburg City Lower Saxony Oldenburg From [OL-AA 100 to 999] to [OL-ZZ 100 to 999]
[OL-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[OL-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, Q
Oldenburg District From [OL-A 1000 to 9999] to [OL-Z 1000 to 9999]
[OL-X 1 to 999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[OL-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
OP Leverkusen City North Rhine-Westphalia Opladen
OPR Ostprignitz-Ruppin District Brandenburg Ostprignitz-Ruppin
OS Osnabrück District Lower Saxony Osnabrück From [OS-AA 100 to 999] to [OS-ZZ 100 to 999]
(Excludes [OS-PD 100 to 999], reserved for District Police)
From [OS-AA 3000 to 9999] to [OS-ZZ 3000 to 9999]
[OS-X 1 to 9999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[OS-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Osnabrück City From [OS-AA 1000 to 2999] to [OS-ZZ 1000 to 2999]
[OS-X 1 to 9999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G, I, O, Q
(Excludes [OS-P 1 to 9999], reserved for City Police)
[OS-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
OSL Oberspreewald-Lausitz District Brandenburg Oberspreewald-Lausitz
OTW Neunkirchen District Saarland Ottweiler
OVI Schwandorf District Bavaria Oberviechtach
OVL Vogtland District Saxony Obervogtland
OZ Nordsachsen District Saxony Oschatz
Codes starting with letter P
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
P Potsdam City Brandenburg Potsdam
PA Passau City Bavaria Passau From [PA-A 1 to 9999] to [PA-Z to 9999]
Passau District From [PA-AA 1 to 999] to [PA-ZZ 1 to 999]
PAF Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm District Bavaria Pfaffenhofen
PAN Rottal-Inn District Bavaria Pfarrkirchen
PAR Kelheim District Bavaria Parsberg [PAR-Q 1 to 999], [PAR-Y 1 to 999]
[PAR-BB 1 to 999], [PAR-CC 1 to 9999]
Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz District Every other available combination
PB Paderborn District North Rhine-Westphalia Paderborn
PCH Ludwigslust-Parchim District Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Parchim
PE Peine District Lower Saxony Peine
PEG Nürnberger Land District Bavaria Pegnitz [PEG-A 1 to 999]
Bayreuth District From [PEG-B 1 to 999] to [PEG-Z 1 to 999]
Forchheim District From [PEG-AA 1 to 99] to [PEG-ZZ 1 to 99]
From [PEG-A 1000 to 9999] to [PEG-Z 1000 to 9999]
PF Pforzheim City Baden-Württemberg Pforzheim From [PF-AA 100 to 999] to [PF-ZZ 100 to 999]
From [PF-NA 1000 to 9999] to [PF-ZZ 1000 to 9999]
[PF-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[PF-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Enz District From [PF-A 1000 to 9999] to [PF-Z 1000 to 9999]
From [PF-AA 1000 to 9999] to [PF-MZ 1000 to 9999]
[PF-X 1 to 999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[PF-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
PI Pinneberg District Schleswig-Holstein Pinneberg
PIR Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge District Saxony Pirna
PL Vogtland District Saxony Plauen
PLÖ Plön District Schleswig-Holstein Plön
PM Potsdam-Mittelmark District Brandenburg Potsdam-Mittelmark
PN Saale-Orla District Thuringia Pößneck
PR Prignitz District Brandenburg Prignitz
PRÜ Eifel District Bitburg-Prüm Rhineland-Palatinate Prüm
PS Pirmasens City Rhineland-Palatinate Pirmasens From [PS-A 1 to 9999] to [PS-Z 1 to 9999]
Südwestpfalz District From [PS-AA 1 to 999] to [PS-ZZ 1 to 999]
PW Vorpommern-Greifswald District
(Excluding Greifswald City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Pasewalk
PZ Uckermark District Brandenburg Prenzlau
Codes starting with letter Q
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
QFT Saale District Saxony-Anhalt Querfurt
QLB Harz District Saxony-Anhalt Quedlinburg
Codes starting with letter R
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
R Regensburg City Bavaria Regensburg From [R-AA 100 to 999] to [R-ZZ 100 to 999]
From [R-MN 1000 to 9999] to [R-ZZ 1000 to 9999]
[R-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[R-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
(Excludes [R-PR 100 to 999], reserved for City Police)
Regensburg District From [R-A 1000 to 9999] to [R-Z 1000 to 9999]
From [R-AA 1000 to 9999] to [R-MM 1000 to 9999]
[R-X 1 to 999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[R-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
RA Rastatt District Baden-Württemberg Rastatt
RC Vogtland District Saxony Reichenbach
RD Rendsburg-Eckernförde District Schleswig-Holstein Rendsburg
RDG Vorpommern-Rügen District
(Excluding Stralsund City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Ribnitz-Damgarten
RE Recklinghausen District North Rhine-Westphalia Recklinghausen
REG Regen District Bavaria Regen
REH Wunsiedel im Fichtelgebirge District Bavaria Rehau [REH-AU 900 to 999]
[REH-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: A, E, F, H, J, M, N, P, R, S, V, X
[REH-XY 100 to 999]
Where XY is: AA, FF, GG, OO, ZZ
Hof District Every other available combination
REI Berchtesgadener Land District Bavaria Bad Reichenhall
RG Meißen District Saxony Riesa-Großenhain
RH Roth District Bavaria Roth
RI Schaumburg District Lower Saxony Rinteln
RID Kelheim District Bavaria Riedenburg
RIE Meißen District Saxony Riesa
RL Mittelsachsen District Saxony Rochlitz
RM Mecklenburgische Seenplatte District
(Excluding Neubrandenburg City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Röbel/Müritz
RN Havelland District Brandenburg Rathenow
RO Rosenheim District Bavaria Rosenheim From [RO-A 1000 to 9999] to [RO-Z 1000 to 9999]
From [RO-AA 10 to 9999] to [RO-ZZ 100 to 9999]
[RO-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[RO-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Rosenheim City [RO-X 1 to 999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[RO-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
ROD Schwandorf District Bavaria Roding [RO-B 1 to 599], [RO-F 1 to 799]
[RO-G 50 to 499]
[RO-I 100 to 1999]
(Excludes [RO-P 100 to 999], reserved for City Police)
Cham District Every other available combination
ROF Hersfeld-Rotenburg District Hesse Rotenburg an der Fulda
ROK Donnersberg District Rhineland-Palatinate Rockenhausen
ROL Landshut District Bavaria Rottenburg an der Laaber From [ROL-AA 1 to 999] to [ROL-ZZ 1 to 999]
[ROL-X 1 to 9999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Kelheim District Every other available combination
ROS Rostock District Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Rostock
ROT Ansbach District Bavaria Rothenburg ob der Tauber
ROW Rotenburg (Wümme) District Lower Saxony Rotenburg (Wümme)
RP Rhein-Pfalz District Rhineland-Palatinate Rhein-Pfalz
RPL Rhineland-Palatinate Government, Landtag, and State Police Rhineland-Palatinate Rheinland-Pfälzischer Landtag Code reserved for Rhineland-Palatinate State-owned governmental vehicles
RS Remscheid City North Rhine-Westphalia Remscheid
RSL Dessau-Roßlau City Saxony-Anhalt Dessau-Rosslau
RT Reutlingen District Baden-Württemberg Reutlingen
RU Saalfeld-Rudolstadt District Thuringia Rudolstadt
RÜD Rheingau-Taunus District Hesse Rüdesheim
RÜG Vorpommern-Rügen District
(Excluding Stralsund City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Rügen
RV Ravensburg District Baden-Württemberg Ravensburg
RW Rottweil District Baden-Württemberg Rottweil
RZ Herzogtum Lauenburg District Schleswig-Holstein Ratzeburg
Codes starting with letter S
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
S Stuttgart City Baden-Württemberg Stuttgart
SAB Trier-Saarburg District Rhineland-Palatinate Saarburg
SAD Schwandorf District Bavaria Schwandorf
SÄK Waldshut District Baden-Württemberg Bad ckingen
SAL Saarland Government, Landtag, and State Police Saarland Saarländischer Landtag Code reserved for Saarland State-owned governmental vehicles
SAN Kronach District Bavaria Stadtsteinach From [SAN-S 1 to 999] to [SAN-V 1 to 999]
From [SAN-AA 1 to 99] to [SAN-FZ 1 to 99]
Kulmbach District From [SAN-A 1 to 999] to [SAN-R 1 to 999]
From [SAN-JA 1 to 99] to [SAN-ZZ 1 to 99]
Hof District From [SAN-W 1 to 999] to [SAN-Z 1 to 999]
From [SAN-GA 1 to 999] to [SAN-IZ 1 to 999]
SAW Altmark District Salzwedel Saxony-Anhalt Salzwedel
SB Saarbrücken Region
(Excluding Völklingen City)
Saarland Saarbrücken
SBG Vorpommern-Greifswald District
(Excluding Greifswald City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Strasburg
SBK Salzland District Saxony-Anhalt Schönebeck
SC Schwabach City Bavaria Schwabach
SCZ Saale-Orla District Thuringia Schleiz
SDH Kyffhäuser Dristrict Thuringia Sondershausen
SDL Stendal District Saxony-Anhalt Stendal
SDT Uckermark District Brandenburg Schwedt
SE Segeberg District Schleswig-Holstein Bad Segeberg
SEB Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge District Saxony Sebnitz
SEE Märkisch-Oderland District Brandenburg Seelow
SEF Neustadt an der Aisch-Bad Windsheim District Bavaria Scheinfeld
SEL Wunsiedel im Fichtelgebirge District Bavaria Selb
SFB Oberspreewald-Lausitz District Brandenburg Senftenberg
SFT Salzland District Saxony-Anhalt Staßfurt
SG Solingen City North Rhine-Westphalia Solingen
SGH Mansfeld-Südharz District Saxony-Anhalt Sangerhausen
SH Schleswig-Holstein Government, Landtag, and Schleswig-Holstein Police Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein Code reserved for Schleswig-Holstein State-owned governmental vehicles
SHA Schwäbisch Hall District Baden-Württemberg Schwäbisch Hall
SHG Schaumburg District Lower Saxony Stadthagen
SHK Saale-Holzland District Thuringia Saale-Holzland-Kreis
SHL Suhl City Thuringia Suhl
SI Siegen-Wittgenstein District North Rhine-Westphalia Siegen
SIG Sigmaringen District Baden-Württemberg Sigmaringen
SIM Rhein-Hunsrück District Rhineland-Palatinate Simmern
SK Saale District Saxony-Anhalt Saalekreis
SL Schleswig-Flensburg District Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig
SLE Düren District
Euskirchen District
North Rhine-Westphalia Schleiden
SLF Saalfeld-Rudolstadt District Thuringia Saalfeld
SLG Ravensburg District Baden-Württemberg Bad Saulgau [SLG-X 1 to 9999]
Where X is: A, M, P, Q, W
From [SLG-AX 1 to 999] to [SLG-ZX 1 to 999]
Where X is: U, Y
Sigmaringen District [SLG-X 1 to 9999]
Where X is: B, D, F, H, N, O, R, S, T, Y
From [SLG-AX 1 to 999] to [SLG-ZX 1 to 999]
Where X is: From A to J
SLK Salzland District Saxony-Anhalt Salzlandkreis
SLN Altenburger Land District Thuringia Schmölln
SLS Saarlouis District Saarland Saarlouis
SLÜ Main-Kinzig District
(Excluding Hanau City)
Hesse Schchtern
SLZ Wartburg District Thuringia Bad Salzungen
SM Schmalkalden-Meiningen District Thuringia Schmalkalden
SMÜ Augsburg District Bavaria Schwabnchen
SN Schwerin City Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Schwerin
SO Soest District North Rhine-Westphalia Soest
SOB Neuburg-Schrobenhausen District Bavaria Schrobenhausen
SOG Weilheim-Schongau District Bavaria Schongau
SOK Saale-Orla District Thuringia Saale-Orla-Kreis
SÖM Sömmerda District Thuringia Sömmerda
SON Sonneberg District Thuringia Sonneberg
SP Speyer City Rhineland-Palatinate Speyer
SPB Spree-Neiße District Brandenburg Spremberg
SPN Spree-Neiße District Brandenburg Spree-Neiße
SR Straubing City Bavaria Straubing From [SR-A 1 to 9999] to [SR-Z 1 to 9999]
(Excludes [SR-P 1000 to 9999], reserved for City Police)
Straubing-Bogen District From [SR-AA 1 to 999] to [SR-ZZ 1 to 999]
SRB Märkisch-Oderland District Brandenburg Strausberg
SRO Saale-Holzland District Thuringia Stadtroda
ST Steinfurt District North Rhine-Westphalia Steinfurt
STA Starnberg District Bavaria Starnberg
STB Ludwigslust-Parchim District Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Sternberg
STD Stade District Lower Saxony Stade
STE Lichtenfels District Bavaria Bad Staffelstein
STL Erzgebirge District Saxony Stollberg
STO Sigmaringen District Baden-Württemberg Stockach [STO-X 1 to 9999]
Where X is: B, D, F, H, N, O, R, S, T, Y
From [STO-AX 1 to 999] to [STO-ZX 1 to 999]
Where X is: From A to J
Konstanz District
(Excluding Büsingen am Hochrhein Municipality)
[STO-X 1 to 9999]
Where X is: C, E, G, I, J, K, L, V, X, Z
From [STO-AX 1 to 999] to [STO-ZX 1 to 999]
Where X is: From K to T
SU Rhein-Sieg District North Rhine-Westphalia Siegburg
SUL Amberg-Sulzbach District Bavaria Sulzbach-Rosenberg
SÜW Südliche Weinstraße District Rhineland-Palatinate dliche Weinstraße
SW Schweinfurt District Bavaria Schweinfurt From [SW-AA 100 to 9999] to [SW-ZZ 100 to 9999]
[SW-X 1 to 9999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[SW-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Schweinfurt City [SW-X 1 to 9999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[SW-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
SWA Rheingau-Taunus District Hesse Bad Schwalbach
SY Diepholz District Lower Saxony Syke
SZ Salzgitter City Lower Saxony Salzgitter
SZB Erzgebirge District Saxony Schwarzenberg
Codes starting with letter T
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
TBB Main-Tauber District Baden-Württemberg Tauberbischofsheim
TDO Nordsachsen District Saxony Torgau-Delitzsch-Oschatz
TE Steinfurt District North Rhine-Westphalia Tecklenburg
TET Rostock District Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Teterow
TF Teltow-Fläming District Brandenburg Teltow-Fläming
TG Nordsachsen District Saxony Torgau
THL Thuringia Government and Landtag Thuringia Thüringer Landtag Code reserved for Thuringia State-owned governmental vehicles
THW Federal Agency for Technical Relief Technisches Hilfswerk Code reserved for Vehicles of German Federal Agency for Technical Relief.
TIR Tirschenreuth District Bavaria Tirschenreuth
TO Nordsachsen District Saxony Torgau-Oschatz
TÖL Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen District Bavaria Bad Tölz
TP Uckermark District Brandenburg Templin
TR Trier-Saarburg District
Trier City
Rhineland-Palatinate Trier
TS Traunstein District Bavaria Traunstein
TT Bodensee (Lake Constance) District Baden-Württemberg Tettnang
Tübingen District Baden-Württemberg bingen
TUT Tuttlingen District Baden-Württemberg Tuttlingen
Codes starting with letter U
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
ÜB Sigmaringen District Baden-Württemberg Überlingen [ÜB-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: K, N, P, Q, U, W, Y, Z
[ÜB-X 1000 to 9999]
Where X is : A, E
From [ÜB-XA 1 to 99] to [ÜB-XZ 1 to 99]
Where X is: A, C, E
[ÜB-XY 100 to 999]
Where XY is: BB, HH, II, MM, NN, OO, XX
[ÜB-XY 1000 to 9999]
Where XY is: FF, GG, PP, RR, VV
Ravensburg District [ÜB-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: A, C, E, G, I, J, L
[ÜB-X 1000 to 9999]
Where X is: B, X
From [ÜB-XA 1 to 99] to [ÜB-XZ 1 to 99]
Where X is: U, V, W, Y, Z
[ÜB-XY 100 to 999]
Where XY is: AA, DD, FF
[ÜB-XY 1000 to 9999]
Where XY is: KK, OO, TT, RV
Bodensee (Lake Constance) District [ÜB-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, D, F, H, M, O, R, S, T, V, X
[ÜB-X 1000 to 9999]
Where X is not: A, B, E, X
From [ÜB-XA 1 to 99] to [ÜB-XZ 1 to 99]
Where X isn't: A, C, E, U, V, W, Y, Z
[ÜB-XY 100 to 999]
Where XY is not: AA, BB, DD, FF, HH, II, MM, NN, OO, XX
[ÜB-XY 1000 to 9999]
Where XY is not: FF, GG, KK, OO, PP, RR, RV,TT, VV
UE Uelzen District Lower Saxony Uelzen
UEM Vorpommern-Greifswald District
(Excluding Greifswald City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Ueckermünde
UFF Neustadt an der Aisch-Bad Windsheim District Bavaria Uffenheim
UH Unstrut-Hainich District Thuringia Unstrut-Hainich
UL Alb-Donau District Baden-Württemberg Ulm From [UL-AA 100 to 999] to [UL-ZZ 100 to 999]
From [UL-NA 1000 to 9999] to [UL-ZZ1000 to 9999]
[UL-X 1 to 999]
Where X is: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[UL-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
Ulm City [UL-A 1000 to 4999], [UL-A 6000 to 9999]
From [UL-B 1000 to 9999] to [UL-Z 1000 to 9999]
[UL-X 1 to 999]
Where X isn't: B, F, G, I, O, Q
[UL-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
UM Uckermark District Brandenburg Uckermark
UN Unna District North Rhine-Westphalia Unna
USI Hochtaunus District Hesse Usingen
Codes starting with letter V
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
V Vogtland District Saxony Vogtland
VAI Ludwigsburg District Baden-Württemberg Vaihingen
VB Vogelsberg District Hesse Vogelsberg
VEC Vechta District Lower Saxony Vechta
VER Verden District Lower Saxony Verden
VG Vorpommern-Greifswald District
(Excluding Greifswald City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Vorpommern-Greifswald
VIB Rottal-Inn District Bavaria Vilsbiburg [VIB-X 1 to 9999]
Where X is: B, I, O, Q]
Mühldorf am Inn District [VIB-G 1 to 9999]
Landshut District Every other available combination
VIE Viersen District North Rhine-Westphalia Viersen
VIT Regen District Bavaria Viechtach
VK Völklingen City
(A subdivision of Saarbrücken Region)
Saarland Völklingen
VOH Neustadt an der Waldnaab District Bavaria Vohenstrauß
VR Vorpommern-Rügen District
(Excluding Stralsund City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Vorpommern-Rügen
VS Schwarzwald-Baar District Baden-Württemberg Villingen-Schwenningen
Codes starting with letter W
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
W Wuppertal City North Rhine-Westphalia Wuppertal
WA Waldeck-Frankenberg District Hesse Waldeck
WAF Warendorf District North Rhine-Westphalia Warendorf
WAK Wartburg District Thuringia Wartburgkreis
WAN Herne City North Rhine-Westphalia Wanne-Eickel
WAR Höxter District North Rhine-Westphalia Warburg
WAT Bochum City North Rhine-Westphalia Wattenscheid
WB Wittenberg District Saxony-Anhalt Wittenberg
WBS Eichsfeld District Thuringia Leinefelde-Worbis
WDA Zwickau District Saxony Werdau
WE Weimar City Thuringia Weimar
WEL Limburg-Weilburg District Hesse Weilburg
WEN Weiden in der Oberpfalz City Bavaria Weiden
WER Augsburg District Bavaria Wertingen [WAR-YA 1 to 999] to [WAR-YZ 1 to 999]
From [WAR-A 7000 to 9999] to [WAR-Z 7000 to 9999]
Dillingen an der Donau District Every other available combination
WES Wesel District North Rhine-Westphalia Wesel
WF Wolfenbüttel District Lower Saxony Wolfenbüttel
WG Ravensburg District Baden-Württemberg Wangen
WHV Wilhelmshaven City Lower Saxony Wilhelmshaven
WI Wiesbaden City Hesse Wiesbaden (Excludes [WI-HP 100 to 9999], reserved for City Police)
WIL Bernkastel-Wittlich District Rhineland-Palatinate Wittlich
WIS Nordwestmecklenburg District
(Excluding Wismar City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Wismar
WIT Ennepe-Ruhr District North Rhine-Westphalia Witten
WIZ Werra-Meißner District Hesse Witzenhausen
WK Ostprignitz-Ruppin District Brandenburg Wittstock
WL Harburg District Lower Saxony Winsen (Luhe)
WLG Vorpommern-Greifswald District
(Excluding Greifswald City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Wolgast
WM Weilheim-Schongau District Bavaria Weilheim
WMS Börde District Saxony-Anhalt Wolmirstedt
WN Rems-Murr District Baden-Württemberg Waiblingen
WND Sankt Wendel District Saarland Sankt Wendel
WO Worms City Rhineland-Palatinate Worms
WOB Wolfsburg City Lower Saxony Wolfsburg
WOH Kassel District Hesse Wolfhagen
WOL Freudenstadt District Baden-Württemberg Wolfach From [WOL-A 9000 to 9999] to [WOL-E 9000 to 9999]
Ortenau District Every other available combination
WOR Munich District Bavaria Wolfratshausen [WOL-F 1 to 9999]
[WOL-O 1 to 9999]
Starnberg District [WOL-B 1 to 9999]
[WOL-G 1 to 9999]
Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen District Every other available combination
WOS Freyung-Grafenau District Bavaria Wolfstein
WR Harz District Saxony-Anhalt Wernigerode
WRN Mecklenburgische Seenplatte District
(Excluding Neubrandenburg City)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Waren
WS Mühldorf am Inn District Bavaria Wasserburg [WS-Q 1 to 9999]
From [WS-QA 1 to 9999] to [WS-QZ 1 to 9999]
Rosenheim District Every other available combination
WSF Burgenland District Saxony-Anhalt Weissenfels
WST Ammerland District Lower Saxony Westerstede
WSW Görlitz District Saxony Weisswasser
WT Waldshut District Baden-Württemberg Waldshut-Tiengen
WTL Osnabrück District Lower Saxony Wittlage
WTM Wittmund District Lower Saxony Wittmund
Würzburg City Bavaria rzburg From [WÜ-AA 100 to 999] to [WÜ-ZZ 100 to 999]
From [WÜ-AA 1000 to 9999] to [WÜ-ZZ 1000 to 9999]

(Excludes [WÜ-PP 1 to 9999], reserved for Police)
[WÜ-X 1 to 999]
Where X is B, F, G, I, O, Q
[WÜ-XY 1 to 99]
Where either X or Y or both are: B, F, G, I, O, Q

Würzburg District From [WÜ-A 1000 to 9999] to [WÜ-Z 1000 to 9999]
[WÜ-X 1 to 999]
Where X isn't B, F, G, I, O, Q
[WÜ-XY 1 to 99]
Where neither X nor Y are: B, F, G, I, O, Q
WUG Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen District Bavaria Weißenburg
WÜM Cham District Bavaria Waldnchen
(with rearranged letter order)
WUN Wunsiedel im Fichtelgebirge District Bavaria Wunsiedel
WUR Leipzig District Saxony Wurzen
WW Westerwald District Rhineland-Palatinate Westerwald
WZ Lahn-Dill District Hesse Wetzlar
WZL Börde District Saxony-Anhalt Wanzleben-Börde
Codes starting with letter X
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
X NATO Headquarters in Germany Arbitrarily chosen [X-1000] Format
Codes starting with letter Y
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
Y Bundeswehr (German Federal Military) Arbitrarily chosen [Y-100 123] Format
Codes starting with letter Z
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
Z Zwickau District Saxony Zwickau
ZE Anhalt-Bitterfeld District Saxony-Anhalt Zerbst
ZEL Cochem-Zell District Rhineland-Palatinate Zell
ZI Görlitz District Saxony Zittau
ZIG Schwalm-Eder District Hesse Ziegenhain
ZP Erzgebirge District Saxony Zschopau
ZR Greiz District Thuringia Zeulenroda-Triebes
ZW Zweibrücken City Rhineland-Palatinate Zweibrücken From [ZW-A 1 to 9999] to [ZW-Z 1 to 9999]
From [ZW-AA 100 to 9999] to [ZW-ZZ 100 to 9999]
Südwestpfalz District From [ZW-AA 1 to 99] to [ZW-ZZ 1 to 99]
ZZ Burgenland District Saxony-Anhalt Zeitz
Codes starting with Numbers, 0 to 9
Code City / Rural District State Namesake Notes
0 [0-1] Vehicle of the Federal President
[0-2] Vehicle of the Federal Chancellor
[0-3] Vehicle of the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs
[0-4] Vehicle of the State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office
[0-## 1 to 999]
[0-### 1 to 999]
Diplomatic License plate
Where ## or ### is a numerical code associated with each country.
1 [1-1] Vehicle of the President of the Bundestag


Registration plates become valid with the official seal of registration.[5]: §10(3)  This is a sticker of 45 mm (1+34 in) diameter, following the area code and bearing, in colours, the seal of the respective German Bundesland with the name of the state and the issuing district authority added in print. Older stickers were monochrome, black on silver or white, and smaller (35 mm; 1+38 in), depicting the seal of either the Bundesland or the city district. Vehicles used by federal institutions, such as Bundespolizei, carry the German Bundesadler instead of a Bundesland seal.

The rear plate bears, above the official seal, the vehicle safety test sticker. This test is obligatory three years after the first registration, and every two years after that. (This time scheme applies to most vehicles, but differs for trucks, taxis, etc.) The expiration date can be seen at one glance, as the sticker is attached with the month of expiration pointing upwards. The black marking, covering the sectors on either side of 12, thus makes it easy for the police to read the expiration month from a distance. Like the hand on a clock, the marking shows the position of a number on the face of a clock. The year when the next safety test is due is printed in the centre of the sticker and also indicated by the colour of the sticker which is repeated every six years.

Whereas the technical inspection was introduced in 1951, it was not before 1961 that a decal on the rear plate indicated when it was due.[21] The inspection generally had to be performed every two years, only later brand new cars were granted an extra year before their first technical inspection. Consequently, there were not so many different colours needed, and the pattern was different then.

Between 1985 and 2010, a similar yet hexagonal sticker was applied to the front plate, certifying the emission test which had to be performed separately since March 1985. With a change of laws effective in 2010, the emission test was incorporated into the safety test, so the emission sticker became obsolete.[22]

Colours of the emission test (1985–2010) and vehicle safety test stickers (since 1974)
Colour Year
   RAL 8004 (Kupferbraun, Copper brown) 1974 1980 1986 1992 1998 2004 2010 2016 2022 2028 2034
   RAL 3015 (Hellrosa, Light pink) 1975 1981 1987 1993 1999 2005 2011 2017 2023 2029 2035
   RAL 6018 (Gelbgrün, Yellow-green) 1976 1982 1988 1994 2000 2006 2012 2018 2024 2030 2036
   RAL 2000 (Gelborange, Yellow-orange) 1979 1983 1989 1995 2001 2007 2013 2019 2025 2031 2037
   RAL 5015 (Himmelblau, Sky blue) 1978 1984 1990 1996 2002 2008 2014 2020 2026 2032 2038
   RAL 1012 (Zitronengelb, Lemon yellow) 1977 1985 1991 1997 2003 2009 2015 2021 2027 2033 2039
Old style safety test sticker, 1967[j]
Colours of vehicle safety test stickers (1961–73)
Colour Year
   Weiß, White 1961 1965 1969 1973
   Dunkeloliv, Dark Olive Green 1962 1966 1970
   Goldgelb, Golden Yellow 1963 1967 1971
   Blau, Blue 1964 1968 1972
Bus with repeater plate, due to the bike carrier

All these stickers are specially treated to be easily transferred onto the licence plates, but hard to be removed without damaging the plate itself, making them relatively counterfeit-proof.

The only licence plates which do not need to carry either seal are repeaters. These are obligatory when the original rear plate is covered, in part or whole, by cargo or attached parts, such as bicycle carriers.[5]: §10(9) 

Serial letters and digits[edit]

The final identifier or Erkennungsnummer of the licence plate consists of one or two letters, followed by a number of up to four digits. Thus, basically any combination from A1 to ZZ9999 is possible, yet restricted by the maximum length of eight characters, including the area code. All 26 letters of the Latin alphabet may be used, yet this was not always so. In order to avoid confusion between B and 8, F and E, G and 6, I and 1, O and Q and 0, those six letters were excluded from the middle part of registration plates. In 1992, the letters B, F and G were permitted, and in 2000 the alphabet was completed as I, O and Q have been allowed. In the very first months of the numbering system, between July and November 1956, the letter I was used but J was not. This was soon reversed, but single vintage cars kept sporting their letter I between 1956 and 2000 when it was re-introduced.

This plate from Frankfurt am Main bears the letters F ST, whereas FS T may be found on a vehicle from Freising.

In the style used until 1994, a hyphen following the area code was used to separate the two groups of letters. This no longer appears in the new format but is often retained,[k] as the space between the geographic identifier and serial letters is a significant character and must be considered when writing down or transmitting a number. For example, F ST 683 is different from FS T 683. The risk of confusion can be avoided by writing a hyphen after the city code, like F-ST 683. For this reason, the police will usually radio the location name and spell out the next letters, using the German spelling alphabet. Thus, F ST 683 would be radioed as Frankfurt, Siegfried, Theodor, sechs-acht-drei and FS T 683 as Freising, Theodor, sechs-acht-drei. If the officer should not know the meaning of the area code, he would spell it out too, such as Friedrich, Siegfried, Trennung (separation), Theodor, etc.

While the number is issued by each district authority separately, a probable split between two or more districts sharing the same area code has to be considered.[example 3] Further restrictions are caused by "prohibited" combinations (see below). There has to exist a method to avoid two vehicles getting plate numbers only distinguished by the position of the blank space, because the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic describes some rules about international road traffic, and it does not define blank or hyphen as a significant character on plates.[23]

Personalised plates[edit]

Very old example of a personalised plate, from Kiel

For an extra charge of €10.20, vehicle owners can register a personalised identifier, keeping to the above rules. In most cases of personalised plates, owners choose their initials and a number reflecting their date of birth. In this fashion, fictional Mrs Ulrike Mustermann, born 2 May 1965 and living in Essen, might choose E-UM 2565 for her car. By combining area code and random letters, further possibilities arise, such as a man from Oldenburg named Olaf, born on Christmas Eve, could choose OL-AF 2412. A resident of the town of Pirna might choose PIR-AT 77, Pirat meaning "pirate" in German. Kiel is one of few places where the number plate can spell out all of the city name.

BMW, owner of Mini, registers all Mini press/marketing cars in the district of Minden-Lübbecke which holds the code MI, to get "MI-NI" number plates for the cars. BMW itself is based in Munich, yet M-INI plates are not possible to issue, as three letters after the district code are not permitted.

From 1970s up to 1994, Essen city buses owned by city transport company EVAG (Essener Verkehrs-AG) were registered with E-AT number plates, essen means "to eat" in German.[24][25]

These vanity plates can only be made up of the available prefixes and numbers, within the general rules. A James Bond fan from Hamburg would not be allowed the plate HH-JB 007 because leading digits 0 (or even double-0) are not possible; however, he might strive for HH-J 8007 or HH-OO 7, imitating digits by letters or vice versa. The owner of a Volkswagen Polo can certainly show VW in the middle section, but neither PO-LO 1995 nor VW-P0 L01 would be possible, as these prefixes are not issued nor may letters and digits be mixed at will. Nonetheless, a notable variety of personalised number plates can be spotted on German roads.

Prohibited combinations[edit]

Combinations that are regarded as a Verstoß gegen die guten Sitten, which means “offence to moral and customs”, are disallowed or otherwise avoided.[5]: §10(9)  This refers mostly to abbreviations relating to Nazi Germany, such as NS (National Socialism), KZ (Konzentrationslager, concentration camp), HJ (Hitlerjugend, Hitler Youth), SS (Schutzstaffel) and SA (Sturmabteilung). Therefore, these two-letter combinations are generally not issued in any district, nor do the city districts of Nuremberg, Cologne and Stuttgart issue one-letter plates which would result in the combinations N-S, K-Z, S-A, S-D and S-S.[26][27][28]

Those prefixes which will not be issued as middle letters were also excluded from the list of possible area codes with the introduction of the current system, although between 1945 and 1949 the French occupation force had used the combination SA followed by the double-digit numbers 01 to 08 for the then seven rural districts in the Saar Protectorate and its capital Saarbrücken. Nor were these codes later taken into consideration for newly formed districts in former GDR: The district Sächsische Schweiz used the name of its capital, Pirna, in its code PIR, to avoid the use of SS. When the districts of Torgau, Delitzsch and Oschatz merged into Nordsachsen, they combined their initials into TDO, instead of abbreviating Northern Saxony as NS.[l]

Example of banned combination (NS) which was issued accidentally

On the other hand, the area codes HH and AH were chosen for Hansestadt Hamburg and former district Ahaus, although they could be interpreted as Heil Hitler and Adolf Hitler, respectively. In everyday German, the letters AH are not regarded as an obvious abbreviation for that name,[m] even less so in the 1950s when the lists were created.[n] Nonetheless, these two-letter codes and the respective numerals 18 and 88, signifying the first and eighth letter of the alphabet, obviously have developed into Nazi symbols. They are therefore generally avoided in the serial part of licence plates, although they may be found sometimes.[29] Generally, the decision whether or not a certain combination is permitted lies with the respective district authority. In Brandenburg, any plates that are related to Hitler, the Hitler salute, etc. cannot be issued, especially if they would be bearing digits 1888, 8818, 8888 or ending in 88, 888, 188. Nor can the combinations AH 18 and HH 18 be issued to new owners.[30] Some districts however allow these combinations if they are the owner's initials (for example, Norbert Schmidt might be able to get XX-NS 1234).[citation needed]

In 2004 in Nuremberg, a car owner was refused a number plate beginning N-PD because of the connection to the political party NPD.[31] After the terror group National Socialist Underground was uncovered in 2011, the city of Nuremberg refused number plates beginning with N-SU and even abolished the respective plates on their own vehicles of Stadtentwässerung und Umweltanalytik (sewage and environmental department).[32] In the 2010s, some districts started banning licence plates with the middle letters IS which resembled the Islamic State.[33] The Herford district registration office ceased issuing registration plates with the combination HF-Z in April 2022 to avoid connotations with the use of the letter "Z" as a symbol for the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[34]

Example of permitted combination AC-AB

The combinations STA-SI, S-ED,[28] HEI-L, IZ-AN and WAF-FE are also forbidden or discouraged, to avoid association with Stasi, the Sozialistische Einheitspartei of the GDR, the Nazi salute, NAZI backwards and the German word for weapon respectively. Other combinations affected are BUL-LE (German derogative for police, roughly comparable to pig),[35] MO-RD (German for murder)[36] and SU-FF (boozing).[37][38] On the other hand, plates that would seem offensive in other circumstances have been allowed, such as the infamous acronym AC-AB.

Reserved combinations[edit]

Licence plate of a police car in Saxony

For quite different reasons, some districts hold certain letter combinations reserved. The Saxon capital Dresden issues all DD-Q plates to the state police vehicles. Likewise, Erfurt uses EF-LP for the police in Thuringia. Munich and other Bavarian cities reserve certain combinations with P for the police units within their authorities, such as M-PM, N-PP or RO-P.[39] Cologne issues K-TX to taxis and K-LN to the city's own vehicles.[27] In various districts, firefighter vehicles will be issued the middle letters FW standing for Feuerwehr.[40]

Bogus licence plates[edit]

Fake number plate, seemingly from Munich but obviously not correct, due to the umlaut and the leading digit 0

Sometimes, e.g. in movie films, it may be necessary to show licence plates which do not really belong to any vehicle. The easiest way would be to create a fictional area code, such as NN-XY 555. In the 1980s the West German TV series Der Fahnder Der Fahnder G was used for an imaginary large city in the Ruhrgebiet area. However, if the plot is supposed to take place in a defined town or region, the audience would expect cars to show codes of that area on their number plates. When James Bond was driving around Hamburg in Tomorrow Never Dies, the obviously fake Berlin licence plates on his BMW were soon pointed out.[41]

In the time before 2000, it had also been possible to use number plates with bogus identifiers containing the letters B, F, G, I, O and Q, which at that time were not issued in the middle group. Meanwhile, however, all these letters can appear on a real licence plate. In order to state clearly that the plate shown is a fictive one, the crew could use an impossible identifier, such as an umlaut in this middle section. Yet another way would be to have a valid registration issued (or at least reserved) by the district authority.



Several shops advertising Schilder (plates), in the street of the registration authority

Vehicles must be registered with their owner's name and current address. On proof of identity, vehicle documentation and liability insurance, the registration will take place in the district authority competent for the respective address.[5]: §6  An alphanumeric combination, which can be reserved according to personal wishes, will be issued to the vehicle. The physical plates, however, have to be acquired separately, either at a local store or online.[42] Both the dimensions of the plates and the typeface of letters and numbers are standardized. After purchasing the number plate, the official stamps must be applied, back at the registration office.[5]: §10(3)  A fee is payable for the registration, in addition to the expenses for the plates.

Changes, such as a vehicle being sold or its owner moving residence, must be registered to keep the vehicle documentation up to date.[5]: §13(1)  If the vehicle remains within the district, the licence plates may be retained. A vehicle being relocated outside of the district has to be registered at the authority now competent. Whilst it was mandatory to have the plates altered, according to the current address, this obligation was reduced in 2015 and has meanwhile been abolished. Since then, it is generally not possible any more to tell the owner's district of residence from the area code on the plates, as they may have registered it at a former residence e.g. in Hamburg yet moved to Frankfurt meanwhile.[43]

Example of a defaced plate – notice how the bottom seal is completely gone, due to scraping. (from Kronach).

When owners choose to deregister their vehicle, the officer at the local authority will want to see the licence plates with defaced seals on them as proof that the plate can no longer be used in public. For this purpose, special machines are available for use at the registration office. Once defaced, the plates may only be used legally on public roads for one return journey to the owner's residence. If a vehicle is to be deregistered and a new one registered to the same owner, it is possible to swap the licence plate from old to new within the same process. Documentation and fees are necessary nonetheless, and neither vehicle should be used to reach the authority, as the assignment of the number changes by the minute.

It is general practice for owners to deregister their vehicles when selling them, typically when a sale is agreed. A sales contract is highly recommended, and various forms are available online for free.[44] A seller may hand over their vehicle with valid licence plates and papers still in their name to the new owner, and the owner will complete the registration transfer to their name. In a scenario without a proper sales contract, the seller may become liable when the buyer commits traffic violations or even criminal acts related to the car or plates. It is generally not recommended to sell used cars with licence plates.

A car whose owner has not paid their insurance premium and is reported to the police by the insurance company may get entstempelt, unstamped when found in a public place. The police will remove the official seal using a scratching tool like a screwdriver, leaving the plate without a valid seal. This renders the vehicle illegal to be used, or to be left in a public place, unless the insurance premium is paid and plates are fitted with a new official seal. A one-time journey to the relevant registration authorities is permitted to have the seal reinstated, once insurance is restored.


As of 2020, the average registration fee is €26.00[45] whilst further fees may apply for choosing an individual identifier or for reservation of such. Whereas some of these amounts are ordained by federal laws, others vary slightly from one district to the next.[46] The prices for number plates, on the other hand, are subject to the free market and range from less than €10 up to around €40 per piece. Generally, it is cheaper to have the plates ordered online, but faster to walk across the street and have them made on the spot.

Further costs arise for motor vehicle tax (€194 on average[47] yet very much depending on engine and emissions) and mandatory liability insurance (€260 on average, in 2019;[48] depending on the model of the vehicle, age and residence of the owner, etc.). Comprehensive insurance is recommended but voluntary.

Special types of registration[edit]

Besides the most common way of registering a vehicle for everyday, all-year use indefinitely, it is possible to register for several months of each year, or for a few days in order to export the vehicle abroad. As well it is allowed, under certain restrictions, to register two vehicles (such as a car and a motorhome) under one number, with the same main licence plate. These variations may save expenses in tax and insurance. Further ways of saving apply to vintage cars and to electrically powered vehicles. Each of these special registrations are represented in the respective licence plate.

Special codes, colours and formats[edit]

Certain types of vehicle bear special codes.[o]

Different codes[edit]

In deviating from the system described above, vehicles registered to federal, state or communal owners can bear licence plates not showing the district and sometimes omitting the middle letters.

Highest state offices[edit]

Plate of the German Chancellor

The President uses the licence plate 0-1, the Chancellor uses 0-2, the Foreign Minister uses 0-3 and the First State Secretary of the Foreign Office (i.e. the deputy Foreign Minister) uses 0-4. The President of the Parliament uses 1-1. This reflects the fact that the Parliament's President is not part of the executive branch but still ranks higher in (symbolic) importance than the Chancellor. These vehicles are tax-exempt and need not to be insured since the German government acts as insurer.


Bundeswehr (armed forces)
  • Bundeswehr uses old style non-reflecting plates. The German flag is shown, instead of the blue EU strip. Bundeswehr plates use the letter Y instead of a city code, as no German city has this initial. The Y is followed by a dash and a six-digit number (or five digits for motorcycles), for example Y-123 456. These vehicles are tax-exempt and need not to be insured since the German government acts as insurer. There is also no mandatory technical inspection required but the Armed Forces carry out a regular internal inspection on these vehicles similar to the official inspection.
  • Military vehicles which are used by the NATO headquarters in Germany use the same design as the Y-plates except they carry the letter X followed by a four-digit number, for example X-1234.
Bundesfinanzverwaltung (customs)
Vehicle of Baden-Württemberg state government

Federal and state governments[edit]

Both the federal government and federal state governments use special abbreviations instead of a city code. The code BD (Bundesrepublik Deutschland) applies to the federal government, ministries, parliament, presidential office, etc., whereas the state governments and diets use their respective codes. This difference is not made in the Stadtstaaten Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen, as they fulfil both district and state function in addition to their municipality's. In some Bundesländer, such as North Rhine-Westphalia, the state code is also used by the police.[example 4]

Bundespost vehicle, 1960s/70s, with old-style BP plate

Federal administration[edit]

Some branches and institutions of the federal government use their special prefix (often an abbreviation of their name) instead of a city code.

  • The Technisches Hilfswerk (German Federal Agency for Technical Relief) uses its abbreviation THW, so the plates read THW-80000, for example. All numbers on THW plates start either with the digit 8 or 9.
  • The Wasserstraßen- und Schifffahrtsverwaltung des Bundes (Federal Administration of Waterways and Navigation) uses BW followed by a digit identifying the region of the office (from 1=north to 7=south).
  • Before the Deutsche Bundesbahn (German Federal Railways) and the Deutsche Bundespost (German Federal Mail) were privatised, they used the abbreviations DB and BP (e.g. DB-12345, BP-12345).
  • The federal police uses the code BP for Bundespolizei instead of a local code. Before 2006 the code BG, for their former name Bundesgrenzschutz, was used in the scheme BG-12345. This old code still remains valid, but any new vehicles will get the new code BP.

Public sector[edit]

Official registered vehicle (here: fire brigade)
Official registered vehicle for disaster relief

Before the legal reforms of 2006, official vehicles such as police, fire fighting and municipal administration did not carry a letter after the sticker, but only the district prefix and a number, such as M-1234. These included:

  • vehicles of the district government: 1–199, 1000–1999, 10000–19999
  • vehicles of the local government, e.g. fire brigade: 200–299, 2000–2999, 20000–29999, 300–399
  • police: 3000–3999, 7000–7999, 30000–39999, 70000–79999
  • disaster relief (mostly changed to "THW", see above): 8000–8999, 80000–89999
This style of plate is no longer issued in most states, but many official vehicles which were registered before 2006 still carry this type of plate.
A similar style is issued by some districts to consular or diplomatic vehicles in the form Aaa-9NNn (example: D-921). Unlike the other style of diplomatic/consular plates issued in Berlin and Bonn, this plate does not indicate the nationality of the mission.

Diplomatic plates[edit]

Plates of cars covered by diplomatic immunity bear the digit 0 (Zero), followed by a two- or three-digit number which indicates the specific diplomatic mission, a hyphen and another number counting within this mission. Traditionally, a digit 1 in this final place denotes the ambassador or chef de mission. Lower-ranking embassy or consular staff without full diplomatic status are issued plates with the regular city code (mostly B for the capital, Berlin, or BN for the former capital, Bonn). The following characters are identical to the 0-plates, e.g. B 19–256; however these are commonly mistaken for non-diplomatic plates. Further holders of diplomatic plates are certain international organizations, such as the UNHCR or the European Central Bank.[49]

Diplomatic Codes on German Licence Plates [50]
Code Flag with State State in German Notes
10  Vatican City Vatikanstadt
11  Egypt Ägypten
12  Angola Angola
13  Albania Albanien
14  Ethiopia Äthiopien
15  Afghanistan Afghanistan
16  Algeria Algerien
17  United States Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika Amerika
18  Argentina Argentinien
19  Australia Australien
20  Bangladesh Bangladesch
21  Belgium Belgien
22  Brunei Brunei
23  Bulgaria Bulgarien
24  Myanmar Myanmar formerly Myanmar Birma
25  Bolivia Bolivien
26  Brazil Brasilien
27  Burundi Burundi
28  Chile Chile
29  China China
30  Costa Rica Costa Rica
31  Belarus Belarus formerly Belarus Weißrussland
32  Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnien und Herzegowina
33  Equatorial Guinea Äquatorialguinea
34  Denmark Dänemark
35  Benin Benin formerly  Dahomey
36  Dominican Republic Dominikanische Republik
37  Ecuador Ecuador / Ekuador
38  Ivory Coast Elfenbeinküste
39  El Salvador El Salvador
40  Kosovo Kosovo
41  Estonia Estland
42  Liechtenstein Liechtenstein
43  Montenegro Montenegro
44  Finland Finnland
45  France Frankreich
46  Gabon Gabun
47  Ghana Ghana
48  Greece Griechenland
49  United Kingdom Vereinigtes Königreich Großbritannien
50  Guatemala Guatemala
51  Guinea Guinea
52  Latvia Lettland
53  Lithuania Litauen
54  Haiti Haiti
55  Honduras Honduras
56  India Indien
57  Indonesia Indonesien
58  Iraq Irak
59  Iran Iran
60  Ireland Irland
61  Iceland Island
62  Laos Laos
63  Cape Verde Kap Verde
64  Israel Israel
65  Italy Italien
66  Jamaica Jamaika
67  Japan Japan
68  Yemen Jemen
69  Jordan Jordanien
70  Serbia Serbien formerly Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Jugoslawien
71  Kuwait Kuwait
72  Cuba Kuba
73  Qatar Katar
74  Cameroon Kamerun
75  Canada Kanada
76  Kenya Kenia
77  Colombia Kolumbien
78  Republic of the Congo Kongo
79  South Korea Südkorea Korea (Republik)
80  Lebanon Libanon
81  Liberia Liberia
82  Libya Libyen
83  Lesotho Lesotho
84  Luxembourg Luxemburg
85  Madagascar Madagaskar
86  Malawi Malawi
87  Malaysia Malaysia
88  Mali Mali
89  Morocco Marokko
90  Mauritania Mauretanien
91  Mexico Mexiko
92  Malta Malta
93  Monaco Monaco
94  Nepal Nepal
95  New Zealand Neuseeland
96  Nicaragua Nicaragua
97  Netherlands Niederlande
98  Niger Niger
99  Nigeria Nigeria
100  Norway Norwegen
101  Mongolia Mongolei
102  Mozambique Mosambik a.k.a. Mozambique Moçambique
103  Oman Oman
104  Burkina Faso Burkina Faso formerly Republic of Upper Volta Obervolta
105  Austria Österreich
106  Pakistan Pakistan
107  Panama Panama
108  Paraguay Paraguay
109  Peru Peru
110  Philippines Philippinen
111  Poland Polen
112  Portugal Portugal
113  Papua New Guinea Papua-Neuguinea
114  Namibia Namibia
115  Rwanda Ruanda
116  Romania Rumänien
117  Zambia Sambia
118  Saudi Arabia Saudi-Arabien
119  Sweden Schweden
120  Switzerland Schweiz
121  Senegal Senegal
122  Sierra Leone Sierra Leone
123  Singapore Singapur
124  Zimbabwe Simbabwe
125  Somalia Somalia
126  Spain Spanien
127  Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
128  Sudan Sudan
129  South Africa Südafrika
130  Syria Syrien
131  Tanzania Tansania
132  Thailand Thailand
133  Togo Togo
134  Tonga Tonga
135  Czech Republic Tschechien formerly Czechoslovakia Tschechoslowakei
136  Chad Tschad
137  Turkey Türkei
138  Tunisia Tunesien
139  Uganda Uganda
140  Russia Russland formerly UdSSR =  Soviet Union
141  Uruguay Uruguay
142  Hungary Ungarn
143  Ukraine Ukraine
144  Grenada Grenada
146  Venezuela Venezuela
147  Vietnam Vietnam
148  United Arab Emirates Vereinigte Arabische Emirate
151  Democratic Republic of the Congo Demokratische Republik Kongo formerly  Zaire
152  Central African Republic Zentralafrikanische Republik
153  Cyprus Zypern
154  Croatia Kroatien
155  Slovenia Slowenien
156  Azerbaijan Aserbaidschan
157  Slovakia Slowakei
158  Kazakhstan Kasachstan
159  North Macedonia Nordmazedonien
160  Uzbekistan Usbekistan
161  Eritrea Eritrea
162  Georgia Georgien
163  Tajikistan Tadschikistan
164  Bahrain Bahrain
165  Cambodia Kambodscha
166  Armenia Armenien
167  Kyrgyzstan Kirgisistan
168  Moldova Moldawien a.k.a. Republik Moldau
169  Turkmenistan Turkmenistan
170 International Labour Organization Internationale Arbeitsorganisation ILO
171 European Central Bank Europäische Zentralbank ECB
172 European Union European Union Aviation Safety Agency Europäische Agentur für Flugsicherheit EASA
173 United Nations United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Hoher Flüchtlings-Kommissar UNHCR
174 Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation Gemeinsame Organisation für Rüstungskooperation OCCAR
175 International Organization for Migration Verbindungsstelle der Internationalen Organisation für Migration IOM
176  Arab League Liga der Arabischen Staaten جامعة الدول العربية
177 Franco-German Youth Office Deutsch-Französisches Jugendwerk Office franco-allemand pour la Jeunesse, OFAJ
178 European Space Operations Centre Europäisches Operations-Zentrum für Weltraumforschung ESOC
179 NATO NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency NATO-Agentur für Entwicklung, Produktion und Logistische Betreuung der Waffensysteme EF 2000 und Tornado NETMA
180 European Southern Observatory Europäische Südsternwarte ESO
181 European Molecular Biology Laboratory Europäisches Laboratorium für Molekularbiologie EMBL
182 European Union European Commission Europäische Kommission
183 European Patent Office Europäisches Patentamt EPO
184 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Organisation für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung OECD
185 United Nations World Food Programme Welternährungsprogramm der Vereinten Nationen (UNEP) WFP
186 European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites Europäische Organisation für die Nutzung meteorologischer Satelliten EUMETSAT
187 European Astronaut Centre Europäisches Astronautenzentrum EAC
188 UNESCO UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning UNESCO-Institut für lebenslanges Lernen UIL
189 German-Polish Youth Office Deutsch-Polnisches Jugendwerk (DPJW) Polsko-Niemiecka Współpraca Młodzieży (PNWM)
190 World Bank Weltbank IFC
191 European Center for Environment and Health Europäisches Zentrum für Umwelt und Gesundheit
192 United Nations UNEP Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals Umweltprogramm der UN, Sekretariat zur Erhaltung der wandernden wildlebenden Tierarten CMS
193 United Nations United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Sekretariat der Klimarahmen-Konvention UNFCCC
194 United Nations United Nations Volunteers Freiwilligenprogramm der Vereinten Nationen UNV
195 International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea Internationaler Seegerichtshof ITLOS
196 United Nations United Nations Information Centres Informationszentrum der Vereinten Nationen UNIC
197 United Nations United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification UN-Sekretariat der Wüstenkonvention UNCCD
198 UNESCO International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training Internationales Zentrum für Berufsbildung UNEVOC
199 United Nations United Nations University Universität der Vereinten Nationen, Forschungsinstitut für Katastrophenmanagement UNU
200  Mauritius Mauritius
201  North Korea Nordkorea Demokratische Volksrepublik Korea
202  Djibouti Dschibuti
203  Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau
204  South Sudan Südsudan
205  Botswana Botswana
206  Maldives Malediven
300 United Nations United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs / United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response Plattform der Vereinten Nationen für raumfahrtgestützte Informationen für Katastrophenmanagement und Notfallmaßnahmen UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER
301 UNEP Study The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity Studie "Die Ökonomie der Ökosysteme und der biologischen Vielfalt" TEEB
302 International Renewable Energy Agency Internationale Organisation für Erneuerbare Energien IRENA
303 Global Crop Diversity Trust Welttreuhandfonds für Kulturpflanzenvielfalt GCDT

Different colours[edit]

Very rarely, German licence plates bear characters in different colours than black. These exceptions are:

Green on white[edit]

Plate for tax-exempt vehicles

Vehicles which are exempt from vehicle taxes (for example ambulances, tractors, agricultural trailers, trailers for boats or trailers for gliders) have green print on a white background plate.[5]: §9(2)  Regular trailers for lorries can be exempted from tax if the owner agrees to pay an increased tax on the vehicle which tows the trailer.

Red on white – 06[edit]

Plate for dealer's cars (red colour, old DIN-style)

Car dealers' plates are in red print on a white background, and the code begins with 06.[5]: §16(3)  Red plates may be attached to cars which are changing hands, such as the test run of unregistered cars, and the liability insurance is connected to the plate, not a specific car.

Red on white – 07[edit]

Plate for vintage car collector

Red plates starting with the number 07 are reserved for collectors of vintage vehicles.[5]: §17  Originally, vintage vehicles had a required minimum age of 20 years from first registering. Since April 2007, the required minimum age has been 30 years. Plates issued under the old 20 years rule remained valid after this date. The collectors must get an official certificate of approval (such as no criminal records). They are allowed to use one set of plates on any of their vehicles under the condition that they keep a strict record of use. No day-to-day use of the vehicles is allowed. A valid official technical inspection is not mandatory but the vehicles have to be technically fit for use on public roads.

Different formats and styles[edit]

H for historic[edit]

Plate for a specific vintage car

Classic vehicles (known in German by the pseudo-English expression Oldtimer) can get an H (historisch, historic) at the end of the plate, such as K-AA 100H in order to preserve the so-called "vehicle of cultural value" (kraftfahrtechnisches Kulturgut).[5]: §9(1)  This also implies a flat tax of around 190 per year. It is popular to choose the digits so that they indicate the car's year of manufacture. The requirements for a vehicle to receive an H-Plate are:

  • The first documented registration was at least 30 years ago.
  • The car must be in mostly original and preservation worthy condition. Preservation worthy means a grade C by popular car grading standards. The older the car, the more signs of usage it can show. This purely concerns the car's appearance; the road worthiness is established by separate mandatory safety inspections.[p]

E for electric[edit]

Plate for Plug-in electric vehicle

The 2015 Electric Mobility Act authorised issuing special licence plates for plug-in electric vehicles to allow proper identification to avoid abuses of these privileges.[5]: §9a [51][52] The special licence plate adds the letter E at the end of the licence number. Owners of all-electric cars and plug-in hybrids with a minimum all-electric range of 30 km (19 mi) can apply for the special licence. The minimum range for eligible plug-in hybrids went up to 40 km (25 mi) from 1 January 2018.[53][54]


Seasonal number plate, here valid from 1 April to 31 October of each year

Seasonal number plates are popular for motorbikes or convertibles in the summertime, or for "winter cars" substituting them, yet these plates are available for any vehicle.[5]: §9(3)  They bear two 2-digit numbers at the end of the plate indicating the months between which they are registered to drive, with the licence being valid from the start of the upper month until the end of the lower month. This results in lower car taxes, as well as lower insurance premiums.


Interchangeable licence plate (Wechselkennzeichen)

Two vehicles of the same class (two cars, two motorbikes or light vehicles, two trailers) may be registered with an alternating licence plate.[5]: §8(1a)  In this case, only the last digit varies – e.g. B-KJ 414|5 and B-KJ 414|6 – and is printed on an extra plate which remains on either vehicle, whereas the main part of the plate has to be attached to the vehicle in use. The main part carries the registration seal and a small letter W for Wechselkennzeichen, the individual part carries the technical inspection seal and below, in very small letters, the associated main number. Both vehicles have to pay full tax, yet the insurance premium may be discounted.[55]

Temporary registration[edit]

Temporary plate (Kurzzeit-Kennzeichen); this one was valid until 9 March 2004.

Used vehicles which are not currently registered to any person or company – or have been deregistered by their current owner, temporarily or permanently – can be driven on public roads using short-term plates, valid for five days only.[5]: §16(2)  These are known as "temporary number plates" or "yellow number plates", due to the yellow stripe. The first letter(s) indicate the issuing authority, as in regular German registrations. The numeric code starts with the numbers 04, e.g. DD-04321, and the plate has a yellow stripe on the right showing when they are valid. The date is listed numerically, on three lines, reading day, month, year, with two digits each. The vehicle need not have a valid technical inspection, however it must be technically fit to be operated in public. Typically they are used to drive to/from a technical inspection, or to move storage location of the vehicle. Insurance premiums are quite high, appr. 100 for the above-mentioned 5 days. Most insurance companies credit this premium if the car is registered as a normal car with the same insurance company after these 5 days. These temporary plates are only valid within Germany, and cannot be used to export the vehicle to a foreign country nor for transit. They can only be obtained by a resident of Germany.


Ausfuhrkennzeichen (export plates) are used for exporting vehicles abroad.[5]: §19  The owner does not have to be a German resident to register the car, but must provide identification such as a passport or ID card. The date on the red stripe on the right hand side shows the expiration date of the plate, as it indicates for how long the vehicle insurance and tax are paid. After this date, the vehicle must have left Germany, and is automatically deregistered from the German vehicle registration system. Use of the vehicle within Germany is permitted until the export date.


German Empire and Weimar Republic[edit]

Licence Plate from Thuringia (1930s)

The first German licence plates that had a lettering plan were issued from 1906 onwards. The various states and realms which made up the German Empire used different prefixes, such as Roman numerals (I representing Prussia, II Bavaria, III Württemberg, etc.) or plain letters (HH for Hansestadt Hamburg, e.g.). Larger states added further identifiers for their provinces or regions. Saxony did not use any statewide numeral and only used Roman numerals for its provinces.[56][57]

German Empire (1871–1918)
Weimar Republic (1918–1933)
List of Codes on German Licence Plates (1906–1945)
Code Country / Province / District Notes
I Prussia Preußen
I A Berlin
I B Posen-West Prussia Provinz Posen-Westpreußen 1922–1938
I C Province of East Prussia Provinz Ostpreußen
I D Province of West Prussia Provinz Westpreußen 1906–1922
then merged into Posen-West Prussia
I E Province of Brandenburg Provinz Brandenburg
I H Province of Pomerania Provinz Pommern
I K Province of Silesia Provinz Schlesien
I L Province of Hohenzollern Hohenzollernsche Lande
I M Province of Saxony Provinz Sachsen
I P Province of Schleswig-Holstein Provinz Schleswig-Holstein
I S Province of Hanover Provinz Hannover
I T Province of Hesse-Nassau Provinz Hessen-Nassau
I X Province of Westphalia Provinz Westfalen
I Y Province of Posen Provinz Posen 1906–1922
then merged into Posen-West Prussia
I Y District of Düsseldorf Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf 1928–1945
I Z Rhine Province Rheinprovinz excl. Bezirk Düsseldorf 1928–1945
II Kingdom of Bavaria Königreich Bayern 1906–1918
Free State of Bavaria Freistaat Bayern 1918–1945
II A Munich City District Stadtbezirk München
II B Upper Bavaria Kreis Oberbayern
II C Lower Bavaria Kreis Niederbayern
II D Circle of the Rhine Kreis Pfalz
II E Upper Palatinate Kreis Oberpfalz
II H Upper Franconia Kreis Oberfranken
II M Bavarian Military 1910–1919
II N City of Nuremberg Stadtbezirk Nürnberg incl. Fürth
II P Post 1910–1923
II S Middle Franconia Kreis Mittelfranken
II U Lower Franconia Kreis Unterfranken
II Z Swabia Kreis Schwaben
III Kingdom of Württemberg Königreich Württemberg 1906–1918
Free People's State of Württemberg Freier Volksstaat Württemberg 1918–1945
III A Neckarkreis: Stuttgart City
III C Neckarkreis: Oberämter Backnang, Besigheim, Brackenheim, Cannstatt, Esslingen
III D Neckarkreis: Oberämter Heilbronn, Leonberg, Ludwigsburg, Marbach, Maulbronn
III E Neckarkreis: Oberämter Neckarsulm, Oberamt Stuttgart, Vaihingen, Waiblingen, Weinsberg
III H Schwarzwaldkreis: Oberämter Balingen, Calw, Freudenstadt, Herrenberg, Horb, Nagold
III K Schwarzwaldkreis: Oberämter Neuenburg, Nürtingen, Oberndorf, Reutlingen, Rottenburg
III M Schwarzwaldkreis: Oberämter Rottweil, Spaichingen, Sulz, Tübingen, Tuttlingen, Urach
III P Jagstkreis: Oberämter Aalen, Crailsheim, Ellwangen, Gaildorf, Gerabronn
III S Jagstkreis: Oberämter Gmünd, Hall, Heidenheim, Künzelsau
III T Jagstkreis: Oberämter Mergentheim, Neresheim, Öhringen, Schorndorf, Welzheim
III X Donaukreis: Oberämter Biberach, Blaubeuren, Ehingen, Geislingen, Göppingen, Kirchheim
III Y Donaukreis: Oberämter Laupheim, Leutkirch, Münsingen, Ravensburg, Riedlingen
III Z Donaukreis: Oberämter Saulgau, Tettnang, Ulm, Waldsee, Wangen
III WP Württembergische Post 1912–1923
Kingdom of Saxony Königreich Sachsen 1906–1918
Free State of Saxony Freistaat Sachsen 1918–1945
I Kreishauptmannschaft Bautzen
Kreishauptmannschaft Dresden-Bautzen
II Kreishauptmannschaft Dresden
Kreishauptmannschaft Dresden-Bautzen
III Kreishauptmannschaft Leipzig
IV Kreishauptmannschaft Chemnitz
V Kreishauptmannschaft Zwickau
and police authorities (Polizeiämter) Zwickau and Plauen
IV Grand Duchy of Baden Großherzogtum Baden 1906–1918
Republic of Baden Republik Baden 1918–1945
IV B Baden
V Grand Duchy of Hesse Großherzogtum Hessen 1906–1918
People's State of Hesse Volksstaat Hessen 1918–1945
V O Province of Upper Hesse Provinz Oberhessen 1906–1937
V R Province of Rhenish Hesse Provinz Rheinhessen 1906–1937
V S Province of Starkenburg Provinz Starkenburg 1906–1937
V H People's State of Hesse Volksstaat Hessen 1937–1945
VI Alsace-Lorraine Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen 1906–1918
VI A Lower Alsace Bezirk Unterelsaß 1906–1918
VI B Upper Alsace Bezirk Oberelsaß 1906–1918
VI C Lorraine Bezirk Lothringen 1906–1918
Further states and realms
Code Country / Province / District Notes
A Duchy of Anhalt Herzogtum Anhalt 1906–1918
Free State of Anhalt Freistaat Anhalt 1918–1945
B Duchy of Brunswick Herzogtum Braunschweig 1906–1918
Free State of Brunswick Freistaat Braunschweig 1918–1945
CG Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha 1906–1918
Free State of Gotha Freistaat Gotha 1918–1920
then merged into Thuringia
Free State of Coburg Freistaat Coburg 1918–1920
then united with Bavaria
HB Hansestadt Bremen
HH Hansestadt Hamburg
HL Hansestadt Lübeck 1906–1937
L Hansestadt Lübeck 1903–1906
L Lippe 1906–1945
M Mecklenburg 1934–1945
M I Mecklenburg-Schwerin 1906–1934
then merged into Mecklenburg
M II Mecklenburg-Strelitz 1906–1934
then merged into Mecklenburg
O I Grand Duchy of Oldenburg Großherzogtum Oldenburg 1906–1918
Free State of Oldenburg Freistaat Oldenburg 1918–1945
O II Oldenburg, Lübeck exclave Landesteil Lübeck 1906–1937
then merged into Schleswig-Holstein
O III Oldenburg, Birkenfeld exclave Landesteil Birkenfeld 1906–1937
then merged into Rhine Province
RA Reuss Elder Line Reuß älterer Linie 1906–1920
then merged into Thuringia
RJ Reuss Younger Line Reuß jüngerer Linie 1906–1920
then merged into Thuringia
S Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach 1906–1920
then merged into Thuringia
SA Saxe-Altenburg Sachsen-Altenburg 1906–1920
then merged into Thuringia
SAAR Saar Basin Saargebiet 1920–1935
Saar Saarland 1935–1945
SL Schaumburg-Lippe
SM Saxe-Meiningen Sachsen-Meiningen 1906–1920
then merged into Thuringia
SR Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt 1906–1920
then merged into Thuringia
SS Schwarzburg-Sondershausen 1906–1920
then merged into Thuringia
T Thuringia Thüringen 1920–1922
Th Thuringia 1922–1945
W Waldeck 1906–1929
then merged into Hessen-Nassau

During World War I the German Army was assigned the combination MK for Militärkraftwagen des Deutschen Heeres, military vehicle of the German Army. After the war, during the Weimar Republic, the German Army used RW for Reichswehr. Beyond this, there were no significant changes after the overthrow of the German monarchy.

Nazi Germany[edit]

Army vehicle

During the Nazi regime (1933–1945), the system of licence plates was basically continued. New combinations were issued for nationwide institutions or organisations, such as DR (Deutsche Reichsbahn) for the railway authority, WH Wehrmacht Heer, WL Wehrmacht Luftwaffe, WM Wehrmacht Kriegsmarine and WT Wehrmacht Straßentransportdienst for the military, or POL for the police.

While the Nazi state expanded and waged war, their bureaucrats applied their systems, including licence plates, to occupied countries or territories. Thus, plates of similar style were introduced in Austria, on Czech and Polish territory, in Alsace and Lorraine, and beyond.

Postwar Germany[edit]

Occupation zones of Germany, 8 Jun 1947 - 22 Apr 1949

After 1945, however, the victorious allied forces abolished the system of German licence plates and instead assigned new lettering combinations in their respective occupation zones. Although each nation implemented their own ideas initially, a system for all four zones was introduced by 1949.[58] At first, the different zones were distinguishable by the first letter prefix A, B, F or S standing for the American, British, French or Soviet occupation zone, respectively. A second letter below indicated the area or country in question, such as A
stood for American zone/Bavaria. This area code was followed by a two-digit number signifying the district and another number counting within that area. Often the numbers would become scarce after some years and another zone prefix without the first letter was introduced additionally.

The city of Berlin had a special status and, consequentially, special plates. Having abolished the old I A number plates in 1945, the Soviet occupation forces issued plates with Cyrillic characters at first. Motorcycles were issued БM (=BM, 1945–1946) and ГM (GM, 1945–1947). Cars, lorries and buses received ГФ (=GF, 1945–1946) and БГ (=BG, 1945–1947).[59] These were replaced on the insistence of the western powers, first to KB for Kommandatura Berlin and, in the Eastern part of the city, to GB in 1948.

Vehicles of occupation/NATO forces[edit]

Occupation 1947 licence plate

The British Army of the Rhine (BAOR), initially occupation forces, later NATO elements, issued servicemen with plates carrying white letters and numerals on a black background for their personal vehicles. These cars stood out in comparison to the black on white German plates, and following the terrorist murder of a British serviceman[citation needed], identified when returning to his car with BAOR licence plates, servicemen had to opt for their cars to carry either UK plates (generally right-hand drive vehicles) or German plates (generally left-hand drive vehicles). During the time that Belgian forces were stationed in West Germany, white on black plates similar to the BAOR plates were used.

US Forces vehicles[edit]

“HK” number plate

The American Forces have tried to “blend in” their servicepersons′ private vehicles in another way. Starting in 2000, they adopted a type of license plates which closely resembled the German plates yet bore area codes which were at that time not assigned to any district, i.e. AD, AF and HK,[r] later also IF and QQ. These codes still stood out, especially as they bore the NATO symbol instead of the EU's circle of stars and the registration seal candidly read Streitkräfte der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika instead of, e.g. Bayern, Landratsamt Neustadt a.d. Waldnaab. Since 2006, the vehicles in question bear license plates with regular German area codes, generally referring to the district of their official stationing.

East Germany, DDR[edit]

The German Democratic Republic issued their own style of licence plates beginning in 1953. The first letter would indicate the Bezirk (administrative district[s]) where the vehicle was registered. These initials, however, did not refer to the name of the Bezirk but were distributed almost alphabetically from North to South.

Districts (Bezirke) of the GDR
3 Trabants with East Berlin licence plates. The red car bears a plate in the "Western" typeface.
Prefix Bezirk
A Rostock
B Schwerin
C Neubrandenburg
D Potsdam
E Frankfurt (Oder)
H Magdeburg
I Berlin Hauptstadt der DDR
K Halle
L Erfurt
N Gera
O Suhl
R Dresden
S Leipzig
T Karl-Marx-Stadt
VA Volksarmee (Armed Forces)
Volkspolizei (Police)
Z Cottbus

After German reunification in 1990, the DDR plates were soon abolished and the West German system introduced, starting in 1991 and completed in 1993. Even before this transition phase, it could be observed that licence plates in GDR scheme were produced with West German typeface on the respective machinery.

West Germany[edit]

In July 1956 the current system was introduced in then West Germany, replacing the post-war system.[60] The occupation zones were no longer referred to, instead the new system based on the districts of Germany. Each of these was assigned an alphabetic code which had its origin in the name of the district, i.e. of the city or of the capital of the rural district. Quite often, a "district-free" city was surrounded by, or adjacent to a rural district of the same name. In this case, they would both share the code as well as the name, yet devise a way how to split the possible alphanumerical combinations.

Number plate in the 1956 style, from Hannover

The number of letters in the area code hints at the size of the district. The basic idea was to even out the number of characters on all licence plates, because the most populous districts would have more cars and, therefore, more digits after the prefix. The largest German cities generally only have one-letter codes (B=Berlin, M=Munich (München), K=Cologne (Köln), F=Frankfurt, S=Stuttgart, H=Hannover, while most other districts in Germany have two- or three-letter codes. Therefore, cities or districts with fewer letters are generally assumed to be bigger and more important whereas three-letter codes tend to be regarded as rural and dull. Reflecting that, most districts aimed for a combination with fewer letters for their prefix code.

The most significant exception of the one-letter code is Germany's second largest city Hamburg which bears HH for Hansestadt Hamburg, because of its historical membership in the Hanseatic League, reflected already in its prefix used between 1906 and 1945. A similar principle applies to Bremen and Bremerhaven, forming the state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and sharing the common prefix HB (1906–1947, and again since 1956). Likewise, Hansestadt Lübeck received its former prefix HL, already used between 1906 and 1937 when its statehood was abolished.

The first drafts, however, had to be altered in a few cases. The district of Wittlich rejected the code WC, understandably, and received WIL instead. The code KZ, initially projected for Konstanz, was withdrawn fast, due to recent history, and replaced by KN. Neither were SA, SS or HJ considered to be issued. The code SD was projected for Stade and was finally altered into STD after protests from that district who did not want to bear the abbreviation of the Sicherheitsdienst.

When originally planned, the system included codes for districts in Eastern Germany which were to be reserved until reunification. That included the territory of the GDR as well as the territories annexed to Poland and the Soviet Union after World War II, which West Germany's government still claimed in that era until about 1970. When reunification came in 1990, the reserved codes (e.g. P for Potsdam) were indeed issued to East German districts in January 1991, often as originally planned and as they existed at that time.

First changes[edit]

Starting in the early 1970s, West German districts were extensively rearranged.[61] In order to reduce their number and so simplify governance, different steps could be taken:

  • city districts "swallowed" neighboring municipalities and thus grew.[example 5]
  • city districts lost their sovereignty and were integrated into the surrounding or neighbouring rural district.[example 6]
  • rural districts merged with one or several others, or were split up between neighbouring districts.[example 7]
  • single municipalities were moved between districts, as was deemed appropriate or practical.

In each of these cases, the new districts had to be endowed with an area code. Again, various solutions were possible:

  • the largest or most populous district bestowed its name and code upon the newly created unit.[example 8]
  • one former district gave its name and/or capital while another's area code was used for the new district.[example 9]
  • the new unit was given a new name yet continued to use an existing area code.[example 10]
  • the new unit was given a new name and created a new area code.[example 11]

In any case, the adamant rule was that one area code per district was valid and would be issued to any vehicle registered henceforth. Existing registrations would remain valid until the vehicle was removed from this district to be either relocated or permanently deregistered. Another rule, however, was abolished. Whereas rural districts had generally been named after their capital town, it was now possible to create new names, applying to geographical[example 12] or historical features.[example 13] As well it was possible to combine the names of the districts that had merged, either keeping one of their codes[example 14] or creating a new one.[example 15]

Germany reunited[edit]

Trabant registered in Stendal; pre-1994 typeface[t]

When the GDR ceased to exist and Germany was reunited in its present size on 3 October 1990, new area codes were issued to the East German districts. In many cases they could be taken from the old lists that had been prepared before 1956: P stood for Potsdam, EF for Erfurt, SON for Sonneberg. Yet, a considerable number of codes was altered, either because a code which had been reserved for a district in today's Poland or Russia had become available,[example 16] or because the projected code had meanwhile been issued to a West German district.[example 17]

A prominent example of a reserved code being reused before reunification was one-letter L which was originally planned for Leipzig, by far the largest German city starting with L. However this code was given to the newly formed Hessian city of Lahn and the district Lahn-Dill-Kreis in 1977, as hopes for reunification faded away. After the rather unexpected reunification (and Lahn city having split up again and thus abolished in 1979), the L was returned to the city of Leipzig and Lahn-Dill-Kreis was issued LDK instead.

The letter G was first reserved for the East German city of Görlitz and later awarded to the city of Gera, although both are smaller than the West German Gelsenkirchen (GE). The area code ZK had been reserved, in the 1950s, for the city of Zwickau but was rejected as ZK had become the abbreviation of the loathed Zentralkomitee of the former Communist party SED.

In analogy to the three northwestern Hansestädte Hamburg, Bremen and Lübeck, but without historical examples of formerly issued prefixes, four northeastern Hanseatic cities, Greifswald, Rostock, Stralsund and Wismar, chose the prefixes HGW, HRO, HST and HWI. There were no suitable two-letter codes available since HG, HR, HS and HW were already taken by West German districts.[u]

Beginning in the mid-1990s, however, districts in East Germany were rearranged again, similar to the West two decades before. Thus many of these codes issued before were now outdated, but could still be seen alongside the new code.[example 18] This rearrangement was continued in a second step after 2000, which created large districts with a remarkable variety of possible area codes registered. Still, only one of these was the current one which would be issued to vehicles registered at the moment.

Liberalized registration rules[edit]

After the reorganization of districts, from the 1970s onward, many area codes expired and new ones were created at that time. However, number plates issued before these rearrangements remain valid, providing the vehicle is still in use and has not been reregistered since. So it was still possible, if rare, to see a classic car with registration codes of administrative units that have not existed for over 30 years.[example 19]

Überlingen licence plate, reintroduced in Bodenseekreis in 2020

A study conducted in 2010–12 produced the result that 72% of the German population would welcome the possibility to use again these abolished area codes whereas only 13% opposed the idea.[11][62] What was especially striking was that even young people who had never driven a car with such an “old” prefix favoured the idea of this so-called Kennzeichenliberalisierung (licence plate liberalization).[v]

The police, however, warned against this step, as it had turned out that observant citizens would easily notice a car with a number plate from a distant district, thus assisting the police in solving crimes. Plates from the vicinity, on the other hand, would be easier to remember in full, and this would also help to find offenders. More opposition came from local politicians who maintained they had at last succeeded in unifying their merged districts and healed the wounds of those inhabitants who had to give up "their" prefix. If that prefix was available again, they feared, it might lead to old feuds within districts flaming up anew.

Nonetheless, the Federal Ministry of Transport complied with the majority of citizens. Beginning in November 2012 in some districts, and meanwhile nationwide, most of these expired prefix codes have been reintroduced, e.g. in the district of Wesel, it has again become possible to register vehicles with MO as used for the former district of Moers and DIN as used for the former district of Dinslaken, additionally to the standard WES which had been the only code issued since 1975. As of December 2020, the liberalization has led to 323 previously abolished codes being reintroduced.[11]

Furthermore, it has become possible to "take one's number along", i.e. to keep a licence plate issued at the previous address after moving away from that district.[63] For that reason, the area code and the respective state seal on a licence plate do not necessarily mean that the vehicle's owner really lives there.[w]

In 2023, the city of Munich applied for a second code, as the remaining free combinations with M, which the city has to share with the district of Munich, were becoming scarce. The code MUC, which is also the IATA code for Munich Airport, was granted by the Federal government on 21 September.[64]

Insurance plates[edit]

Insurance plates; the colour of the letters is changed every year.
Car with maximum speed reduced to 25 km/h (16 mph), hence using an insurance plate[x]

Light motorised vehicles such as mopeds, motorized wheelchairs and other small, low-power vehicles (such as vehicles for the physically handicapped, with a maximum speed of 50 km/h (31 mph)) are required to have a registration plate of a different kind. This Versicherungskennzeichen (insurance plate) uses a system of three digits on the top and three letters beneath. Both numbers and letters are chosen randomly so personalising the plates is not possible. Plates are much smaller[y] than the plates for normal cars and are only valid for one year from 1 March until the end of February the following year.[65] Those plates are sold by insurance companies, so the fee includes both the registration and the cost of one year's insurance for the vehicle. There are four colours used: black, blue, green for normal plates, and red for temporary use, such as testing (very rare). The first three colours are changed every year in order to make it easy to see whether the vehicle has the correct plate and insurance.

Colours of the insurance plates from 1 March onwards of each year
Colour Year
   RAL 9005 (Tiefschwarz, Jet black) 1990 1993 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008 2011 2014 2017 2020 2023 2026 2029 2032
   RAL 5012 (Lichtblau, Light blue) 1991 1994 1997 2000 2003 2006 2009 2012 2015 2018 2021 2024 2027 2030 2033
   RAL 6010 (Grasgrün, Grass green) 1992 1995 1998 2001 2004 2007 2010 2013 2016 2019 2022 2025 2028 2031 2034

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Front plate, post-2010 hence without sticker; coloured registration seal of Steinburg district
  2. ^ Front plate with emission test sticker (valid July 1994) and silver registration seal “Stadt Karlsruhe”
  3. ^ Used on a motorcycle, from Osterode am Harz
  4. ^ from Hansestadt Lübeck, final letter H for historic
  5. ^ Literally, “Road-Traffic-Admission-Ordinance”, cf. German compounds
  6. ^ As necessary e.g. on certain cars, such as the rear of a Volkswagen Beetle
  7. ^ Up to 9 in Mecklenburgische Seenplatte (district): MSE, AT, DM, MC, MST, MÜR, NZ, RM, WRN
  8. ^ This habit is uncommon in most other European countries but does appear on regular Montenegrin, Croatian and Serbian (letters Đ, Č, Ć, Š and Ž), Åland registration plates (letters Å, Ä and Ö), as well as on Finnish, Swedish (letters Å, Ä and Ö) and Danish (letters Æ, Ø and Å) personal registration plates.
  9. ^ Note that the numbers run in the opposite direction as now, and the black area 11–12–1 has not yet been invented.
  10. ^ The point behind figures 6 and 9 was meant to avoid confusion (6. vs 9.).
  11. ^ Recently (2020), it has been observed that instead of a hyphen, a colon is written to imitate the pair of stickers, such as A:BC 123.
  12. ^ TOD would have seemed indecent too, as it means death.
  13. ^ AH would rather be regarded as an abbreviation for Altenheim (old people's home) or Autohaus (car dealership); cf. German Wikipedia.
  14. ^ It was certainly not common to refer to the Nazi "Führer" by his initials, neither before nor after 1945.
  15. ^ These prefixes are defined by federal law in the Fahrzeug-Zulassungsverordnung (FZV) (in German). Appendix 3 defines the unique prefixes for vehicles of federal and state government bodies, agencies, police, the armed forces, diplomatic missions and privileged international organizations.
  16. ^ Universally accepted modifications include changes that benefit safety, such as seat belts and disc brakes, and environmental friendliness, such as catalytic converters and LPG conversions (if invisible from the outside). Further modifications that are generally accepted are those contemporary of the car's first registration (plus and minus 10 years, burden of proof lies with the owner through historic material such as photographs) and new paintjobs of any colour, including two-tone paint if originally offered and historic company logos, but no murals or custom patterns.
  17. ^ Saxony was abbreviated L for Leipzig, to avoid infamous SS.
  18. ^ HK has meanwhile been assigned to Heidekreis.
  19. ^ Any GDR Bezirk consisted of several Kreise and was much larger than the unit described as district elsewhere on this page.
  20. ^ With emission test sticker valid February 2011
  21. ^ HG = Hochtaunuskreis, capital: Bad Homburg vor der Höhe
    HR = Schwalm-Eder-Kreis, capital: Homberg
    HS = Kreis Heinsberg
    HW = Kreis Halle (Westfalen).
  22. ^ It may be possible that they hoped to have a better chance at getting a personalized licence plate if the aspired combination was available not once but several times within their district.
  23. ^ They did so, however, at some time in the past, and may have to buy a new plate when buying a new car.
  24. ^ Additionally, the white sticker reading "25" signals low speed to following drivers.
  25. ^ Regular size 130 mm × 101 mm (5+18 in × 4 in); also available as sticker for e-scooters in 67 mm × 55 mm (2+58 in × 2+18 in)


  1. ^ ESB, formerly standing for Eschenbach district, is now issued by the districts of Neustadt a.d. Waldnaab, Amberg-Sulzbach, Bayreuth and Nürnberger Land.
  2. ^ Drivers from Offenbach are slandered to be ohne Verstand (without sense) and even misspell it OF.
  3. ^ In Nürnberger Land district e.g., LAU and HEB can be used in any combination, ESB with N only, PEG with A only, N with one-letter identifiers only, yet excluding the “new” letters B, F, G, I, O, Q and S.
  4. ^ The Police of North Rhine-Westphalia uses NRW 4, NRW 5 and, for motorbikes, NRW 6 instead of a local code. This is followed by a four-digit number (e.g. NRW 4-1960).
  5. ^ The city of Bielefeld incorporated the largest part of the eponymous rural district, almost doubling their population.
  6. ^ The district-free towns of Marktredwitz and Selb were merged into the district of Wunsiedel.
  7. ^ The district of Springe split up into the districts of Hameln-Pyrmont, Hanover, Hildesheim and Schaumburg.
  8. ^ The urban district of Schwandorf (SAD) merged with the rural districts of Burglengenfeld (BUL), Nabburg (NAB), Neunburg (NEN) and Oberviechtach (OVI) into a new rural district of Schwandorf (SAD).
  9. ^ The Rheingaukreis (RÜD for Rüdesheim) and Untertaunuskreis (SWA for Bad Schwalbach) districts merged into Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis, choosing the area code RÜD but the capital Bad Schwalbach.
  10. ^ The districts of Eschwege and Witzenhausen merged into Werra-Meißner-Kreis, using Eschwege's ESW and dropping WIZ.
  11. ^ The districts of Eiderstedt (TÖN for Tönning), Husum (HUS) and Südtondern (NIB for Niebüll) merged into Nordfriesland (NF).
  12. ^ The rural districts of Heidelberg (HD), Mannheim (MA) and part of Sinsheim (SNH) merged into Rhein-Neckar-Kreis (HD); the districts of Alsfeld (ALS) and Lauterbach (LAT) merged into Vogelsbergkreis (VB).
  13. ^ Öhringen (ÖHR) and Künzelsau (KÜN) merged into Hohenlohekreis (KÜN).
  14. ^ The rural districts of Straubing and Bogen merged to Straubing-Bogen, keeping SR (and sharing it with Straubing city district) while dropping Bogen's BOG.
  15. ^ The rural districts of Koblenz and Mayen merged to Mayen-Koblenz, newly introducing MYK while dropping MY and leaving KO to the city of Koblenz.
  16. ^ DZ had once been reserved for Danzig but was now issued to Delitzsch.
  17. ^ Gotha had been scheduled to receive GT, yet this code went to the newly-created district of Gütersloh in 1973. Gotha was given GTH instead.
  18. ^ In Torgau-Oschatz district, merged in 1994, you might well see the new TO alongside Torgau's TG and Oschatz's OZ, at the same time.
  19. ^ EIN = Einbeck, which was merged into Northeim in 1974.


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External links[edit]