Vehicle registration plates of Hungary

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Standard Hungarian plate (2004 onwards style)

Vehicle registration plates in Hungary usually consist 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 2025.[2]

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.[3]
  • 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.[4]
  • 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.[5]

Normal series[edit]

The plate consists 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
A 1990
B 1991
C 1991
D 1992
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
R Jul 2018
S Expected from Q2 2020
  • Note, that the series starting with ‘O’ is not given out as it can be confused with 0.[6] 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 €).[7] 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.[8] Owners of these cars enjoy some benefits (e.g.: free parking in Budapest and some other cities).[9] Usually certain letter combinations are dedicated from the normal series which are all green plates from 001 to 999. These letter combinations are: NLE, NNB, PAV, PDA, PMY, PPZ, PUL, PXA, PYA, REW, RIA as of 2018. White plates from the normal series can be requested to be remade as a green plate, if the car meets the requirements.
  • In April, 2017 gray plates were introduced.[10] The plate is identical with the car's original plates, but the background color is gray and with EU stripe in all cases. The aim was to create a 3rd plate for bike rack users, as the law did not allow the rear plate to be moved to the bike rack. The process of getting a gray plate was quite complicated and expensive, thus the system was simplified just after 2 months of its introduction. Since June 2017 the rear plate can be transferred to the bike rack, which makes gray plates practically unnecessary, can be still requested though.[11]

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. 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 often occur). Since 2008 yellow plates are not a requirement for trucks and buses, new yellow plates starting with 'F' are rare nowadays.

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 is ‘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, 004=Germany
Old timer plate
Military plate
Customs plate
Ambulance plate
Motorsport vehicles plate

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

Diplomatic[edit]

Since May 2017 diplomatic corps plates carry the letters CD and six numbers, separated with a hyphen. The plate has white characters on light blue background. First three numbers are matched to countries, numbers are arranged in chronological order of the first diplomatic contact with each country. 001 belongs to Vatican City, 020 belongs to the United States.[12] The complete code list is not known yet. Last three numbers are in connection with the diplomatic person's working position (ambassador, consul, embassy staff, etc.). Before 2017 plates starting with CD were for diplomats, who are leaving the country permanently, valid for 30 days. This plate has black letters (2 letters, 4 numbers) on white background, and the Hungarian tricolor on the left, probably still issued.

Veteran vehicles[edit]

The plate starts with OT, followed by four numerals. There is no EU version of this plate. The vehicle has to be at least 30 years old, still has its original technical specifications.[13]

Military[edit]

Military plates start with H followed by one letter and four numbers. Mostly tricolor plates, with some euroband exceptions. Letters seen in use: A (cars), B (buses, minibuses), E, F (minibuses), I, K (minibuses, jeeps), M, N (motorcycles), P, R, S (military ambulance), T (trucks), V, X (trailers).

Police and customs[edit]

It starts with R, next to 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.[14]

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(issued 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)
  • 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.[15]
  • Diplomats, consuls and their families who are enjoying immunity according to international treaties had plates starting with DT, followed by four numbers. This plate had white characters on dark blue background (light blue on the 1990-2004 style). Plates starting with CK, followed by four numbers were given out to non-Hungarian embassy staff. This had red characters on white background. The first two numbers were connected to the country. Some examples: 00/01 – USA, 02 – Great Britain, 04 – Germany, 05 – France, 06 – Italy. DT and CK plates were not issued after May, 2017 and were valid until the end of the same year.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Milyen lesz az Ön új rendszáma?". IHO.hu.
  2. ^ "Közeleg a nagy rendszámcsere - hogy állunk most?". Napi.hu.
  3. ^ "Jön az EU-rendszám". vezess.hu.
  4. ^ "Ezért fogja sűrűbben nézni a forgalmiját". totalcar.hu.
  5. ^ "A matrica, ami nem igazol semmit". totalcar.hu.
  6. ^ "Meglepetésbetűvel jön az új rendszám". vezess.hu.
  7. ^ "Az egyedi rendszám mellé matricát is kap Péterfalvi autója". origo.hu.
  8. ^ "Itt az első zöld rendszám". hvg.hu.
  9. ^ "Zöld rendszám előnyei". villanyautosok.hu.
  10. ^ "Kinek jó a szürke rendszám?". totalcar.hu.
  11. ^ "Kiváltottad a szürke rendszámot? Így jártál…már nem kötelező!". bikemag.hu.
  12. ^ "Új rendszámok jelennek meg az utakon". index.hu.
  13. ^ "Hogyan lehet OT rendszámos autónk?". autonavigator.hu.
  14. ^ "Sportrendszámot mindenkinek!". Magyar Terep-Rallye.
  15. ^ "Megszüntették a tiszteletbeli konzulok kiváltságait". index.hu.

External links[edit]