Vehicle registration plates of Hungary

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Standard Hungarian plate (2004 onwards style)

Vehicle registration plates in Hungary are usually consisting of six characters on white background with black letters. The current system was introduced in 1990. The standard license plates for private vehicles carry three letters and three numbers, separated with a hyphen. The combination has no connection with geographic location.

History[edit]

Pre-1990 plate

Plates issued 1958 to 1990 were in the format of two letter and four number, with small dashes between them (eg.: GA▪51▪34). The letters were in connection with the type/nature/owner of the vehicle. The current system was introduced in 1990 with the Hungarian flag above ‘H’ on the left side of the plate, separated by a black vertical line. Instead of this, since May 1, 2004 (when Hungary joined the European Union ) the EU stars are shown above the ‘H’ on a blue stripe. However, some plate types are still issued in the pre-2004 format.

Future[edit]

In 2012 the Hungarian government wanted to replace the current license plates with a new system that would indicate the geographical area where the car was registered.[1] The introduction date for this new system has not been announced yet. Based on the number of license plates issued in a year, the current system has enough combinations approximately until 2028.

Ordinary plates[edit]

Normal series (1990-2004 style)
Normal series (2004- style)
Personalised plate
Green plate
Taxi plate
Commercial truck plate
Motorcycle plate
Trailer plate (currently issued)

Ordinary plates carry six characters, three letters and three numbers (except for personalised plates).

  • Since May, 2004 every plate has euroband on the left side, instead of the Hungarian tricolor.
  • Validation stickers were used on the rear plate, below and above the hyphen from 1999, but they are no longer in use since January, 2016.[2]
  • In case of europlates every vehicle has to have a validation sticker at the bottom right corner of the windscreen. It contains the plate number of the vehicle and a bar code. Its usefulness is highly questionable.[3]

Normal series[edit]

The plate is consisting of three letters and three numbers, separated with a hyphen. It has a reflective white background, black frame and black characters. The series are given out in alphabetical order, so the approximate age of the license plate (and sometimes of the car, if it was registered for the first time) can be determined.

First letter First issued in Notes
E 1993 From EEA to EZZ.
F 1994 From FAA to FHZ
G 1996
H 1999
I 2001
J Dec 2003 EU stripe from JDA-001
K Dec 2005
L Nov 2007
M Dec 2011
N Dec 2014
P Dec 2016
  • Note, that the series starting with ‘O’ is not given out as it can be confused with 0.[4] For similar reasons ‘O’ and ‘I’ cannot be the last letter (the last one given out was ACO and ACI), ‘Q’ cannot be at all (last one was AWQ). This rule is also valid for commercial, taxi, trailer and motorcycle plates. Nevertheless, ‘I’, O’’ and ‘Q’ can be at any position in case of personalised plates.
  • Personalised plates can be bought in the format of three letter-three number (350 €) and four letter-two number or five letter-one number (1400 €).[5] Plates are linked to the buyer and may be transferred to a new vehicle. Offensive or misleading texts are not allowed.
  • Since October, 2015 it is possible to ask for green backgrounded plates for plug-in hybrids and electric cars which meet certain criteria.[6] Owners of these cars enjoy some benefits (e.g.: free parking in Budapest).[7]

Taxi and Commercial[edit]

The system is similar to the normal series, but the background colour is yellow. Taxi plates are ranging from EAA to EDZ. Very rarely, plates from the normal series are remade as a yellow taxi plate. Commercial plates are ranging from FIA to FZZ. Changing normal white plate to yellow commercial could be requested before 2004 (yellow plates with for instance G, H or I first letters occur). From 2008 yellow plates are voluntary for trucks, therefore rarely asked for since then.

Motorcycle[edit]

Similar to normal plates, but small size and two-line format is used. Also consisting of three letters and three numbers, but without a hyphen and the first letter must be ‘U’. Some cars can have plates from the ‘U’ series, where there is only room for motorcycle-sized plates both on the front and the back (typically American cars).

Trailer[edit]

Same format as the normal series, but the first letter is X (all combinations were used up in 2014) or W (currently issued).

Special plates[edit]

Diplomatic plate (04=Germany)
Embassy staff (06=Italy)
Ambulance plate
Slow vehicle plate

The common format for special plates is two letters followed by two numbers and two numbers, separated with a hyphen.

Diplomatic[edit]

Diplomats, consuls and their families who are enjoying immunity according to international treaties have plates starting with DT, followed by four numbers. This plate has white characters on blue background (light blue on the old format). Plates starting with CK are given out to non-Hungarian embassy staff. This has red characters on white background. Plates starting with CD are for diplomats, who are leaving the country permanently. It has black letters on white background. The first two numbers are connected to the country. Some examples: 00/01 – USA, 02 – Great Britain, 04 – Germany, 05 – France, 06 – Italy.

Old timers[edit]

The plate starts with OT, followed by four numerals. There is no EU version of this plate.

Military[edit]

Military plates start with H followed by one letter and four numbers. No euroband version, so far. Letters seen in use: A (cars), B (buses, minibuses), E, K (minibuses, jeeps), M, P, R, S (military ambulance), T (trucks), V, X (trailers).

Police and Customs[edit]

It starts with R, then one letter and four numerals. Most common for police is RB, but nowadays plates from the normal series are generally used. Letters seen in use: A (cars), B (cars), F (trucks), K (motorcycles). RR 00-01 to 49-99 is used by law enforcement and RR 50-00 to 99-99 is used by National Tax and Customs Administration.

Ambulance[edit]

Ambulance vehicles’ plates start with MA, then four numbers. This type was introduced in 2006, before that normal plates were in use.

Motorsport[edit]

Vehicles used for motorsport purposes can ask for SP plates since October, 2012. The format is same as the others above. No euroband version. This plate cannot be used to drive in regular traffic on an everyday basis.

Others[edit]

  • Mopeds have license plate since 2014, starts with S, followed by three letters and two numbers.
  • Agricultural vehicles plates start with M, then six numerals. Characters are green on white background, no europlate version. Expires after 3 years and cannot be renewed. May only be used in Hungary.
  • Slow vehicles plate has the same style as the normal series, but starts with ‘Y’ and the characters are red on white background.

Temporary plates[edit]

E plate on a Smart Fortwo(valid in 2008)

The format is one letter and five numbers, separated with a hyphen. On the right side two small numbers are indicating the year of issue (E, Z, P plates) or the year when it is valid (V plates). For instance, 16 means 2016. No EU version of these plates.

  • Common temporary plates start with E. Maximum valid for 180 days, date is indicated in the car’s registration and may only be used in Hungary.
  • Car under customs process begins with V.
  • Export plates start with Z. Valid for 30 days, date is indicated in the car’s registration.
  • Trial or experimental plates start with P. Usually used by car dealers. May carry only one person unless otherwise authorised.

No longer used[edit]

Rent-a-car plate (no longer in use)
Foreign residents plate. (No longer issued since 2009)
  • Rental cars used to have the format X followed by one letter and four numerals, but no longer used since July, 2004.
  • Foreign residents have the plate C followed by one letter and four numbers. Not issued since April, 2009, however the ones already given out are still valid.
  • Honorary consuls used to have HC plates but were withdrawn in 2003.[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]