Vehicle registration plates of Greece

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Greek Europlate (Athens prefecture)

Greek vehicle registration plates are composed of three letters and four digits per plate (e.g. ΑΑΑ-1000) printed in black on a white background. The letters represent the district (prefecture) that issues the plates while the numbers begin from 1000 to 9999. As from 2004, a blue strip was added on the left showing the country code of Greece (GR) in white text and the Flag of Europe. Similar plates with digits beginning from 1 to 999 are issued for motorcycles which exceed 50 cc.

With the exception of Athens and Thessaloniki, all districts are represented by the first 2 letters. The final letter in the sequence changes in Greek alphabetical order after 9,000 issued plates. For example, Patras plates are ΑΧΑ-1000, where ΑΧ represents the Achaia prefecture of which Patras is the capital. When ΑΧΑ-9999 is reached the plates turn to ΑΧΒ-1000 and this continues until ΑΧΧ is finished. Only the letters from the intersection between the Latin and Greek alphabets by glyph appearance are used, namely Α, Β, Ε, Ζ, Η, Ι, Κ, Μ, Ν, Ο, Ρ, Τ, Υ, Χ (in Greek alphabetical order). This is because Greece is a contracting party to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, which in Annex 2 requires registration numbers to be displayed in capital Latin characters and Arabic numerals. The rule applies in a similar way in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bulgaria.

Combinations used for overseas residents are L-NNNN (where L = letter and N = number) and are limited. Until 2003, taxis used L-NNNN; the plate was aligned with the prefecture and the letters were colored red.

History[edit]

1972–1982
1982–2004
2004 to present

1911-1954[edit]

Up until 1954 Greek number plates were quite simple: black numbers on a white background, indicating the serial number shown on the car's license. These started at 1 and advanced to approximately 75-000 when the system was changed. The owner had to provide the plates and specifications were minimal: the size of the plates and numbers, as well as their respective colours. This meant that plates were not very uniform. Taxis had to indicate the initial of the city they were licensed in (e.g. "A" for Athens). In 1954 it was compulsory for all vehicles to change to a new system.

1954-1956[edit]

For just 2 years the system was L-NNNN or L-NNNNN with black characters on yellow background where L was the initial of the city they were licensed in (e.g. "A" for Athens, "Θ" for Thessaloniki etc.). All these plates display "1953-54" (the initial time period for the change - later revised) in black characters on a white background using a smaller typeface in the top left corner. These plates were compulsorily withdrawn in 1956.

1956-1972[edit]

In 1956 the system was again changed to just numbers NNNNNN. NNNNNN could be any number from one to six digits starting once again with "1" and ending this time at about "451000", though not all numbers were allocated. Characters were black on white background with a blue band at the top of both front and back plates indicating city/district of registration and type of usage (private, commercial etc). After 1960 the blue band on the front plate was abandoned and hence that plate became shorter in height. This time it was not compulsory to change plates after 1972 when the newer system arrived. Hence these so-called "six-figure plates" can still occasionally (as of 2018) be spotted on a few old vehicles.

1972–1982[edit]

In 1972, they became lettered and the system was LL-NNNN while trucks used L-NNNN. Again, they were black characters on white background but with a different typeface. It was not compulsory to change these plates when the newer system arrived.

1982–2004[edit]

In 1982, the system changed to LLL-NNNN and the first two letters are prefecture letters (with the exception of the biggest prefectures Attica/Athens, Thessaloniki and Heraklio where only the first letter remained the same). Again, it was not compulsory to change to the newer system plates in 2004.

2004 to present[edit]

In 2004 the euroband was added to the left and the typeface changed, in all other respects the previous system continued.

Car designations[edit]

A Greek motorcycle licence plate

Prefectures (in Greek alphabetical order)[edit]

The first 2 of 3 letters (which are listed below) of a licence plate usually represent the prefecture (nomos) where the car was registered. The almost full list of plates in Greece is below (next to the prefecture / district is its capital or an area within the prefecture that the plates are issued; some prefectures have more than one combination):

Special plates[edit]

Diplomatic corps
Police
A state vehicle registration plate
Works vehicles
Trailer over 3.5 tonnes without a prime mover.

Vehicles that belong to public services and armed forces use special license plates with the following letter combinations followed by numbers:[citation needed]

  • ΑΙΑ (Athens International Airport service vehicles) — (blue coloured with white lettering)
  • ΑΝ.Π. (Ανάπηροι Πολέμου, Anapiroi Polemou) — Disabled in war (blue coloured)
  • ΔΟΚ (Δοκιμαστικές, Dokimastikes) — Test plates
  • ΔΣ (Διπλωματικό Σώμα, Diplomatiko Soma) — Corps Diplomatique or foreign delegation (e.g. ΔΣ 48 CD, ΔΣ 48-1 CD) (blue-coloured)
  • Ε.Α. or ΕΛ.ΑΣ. (Ελληνική Αστυνομία, Elliniki Astynomia) — Hellenic Police
  • ΛΣ (Λιμενικό Σώμα, Limeniko Soma) — Coast Guard
  • ΞΑ (Ξένες Αποστολές, Xenes Apostoles) — Foreign missions (yellow coloured)
  • ΕΣ (Ελληνικός Στρατός, Ellinikos Stratos) — Hellenic Army
  • ΠΑ (Πολεμική Αεροπορία, Polemiki Aeroporia) — Hellenic Air Force
  • ΠΝ (Πολεμικό Ναυτικό, Polemiko Naftiko) — Hellenic Navy
  • ΠΣ (Πυροσβεστικό Σώμα, Pyrosvestiko Soma) — Fire Guard
  • ΠΚ (Πρόεδρος της Κυβέρνησης, Próedros tis Kyvérnisis) — President of the Government, i.e. the Prime Minister of Greece

The following categories are conflicting: The same letter combinations are used for both public services and specific regions:

  • ΑΜ (Αγροτικά Μηχανήματα, Agrotika Mekhanemata) — Agricultural vehicles
  • ΚΥ (Κρατική Υπηρεσία, Kratiki Ypiresia) — State
  • ΜΕ (Μηχανήματα Έργων, Mekhanimata Ergon) — Public works vehicles (yellow coloured)

For trailers over 3.5 tonnes without a prime mover:

The letter P followed by a hyphen and 5 or 4 numerals is used.

References[edit]

External links[edit]