Vehicle registration plates of Italy

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Present Italian car number plates have black characters on a rectangular white background, with small blue side-fields on the right and left (see European vehicle registration plates). The current numbering scheme, in use from 1994, is unrelated to the geographical provenance of the car. Italian plates are printed by the state (i.e. nation, country).

History[edit]

1897-1901[edit]

The very first Italian plates bears owner's name and municipal license numbers on the left side.

1901-1905[edit]

These early Italian number plates gave the unabbreviated name of the place of origin, followed by a number, as GENOVA 83 and PADUA 2. These were first plates to be made of metal.

Schematic representation:

  GENOVA 83  

1905-1927[edit]

Plate was black-on-white. The registration number was a numeric code (in red), different for each province, and a progressive number, unique for that province (in black). E.g. 63 – 2993, where 63 is the code for Turin.

Schematic representation:

  63 – 2993  

1927-1976[edit]

1948-1976 Italian vehicle licence plate from Livorno.

Plate was black with white digits. Rear plate was 27.5 × 20 cm (since 1951), front plate was 26.2 × 5.7 cm. Note that single line rear registration plates (similar to the ones used by other European countries) will not be available until 1976. The registration number was the provincial designator, which is a two-letter code (exception: Rome's code is Roma), and a progressive code, unique for that province, up to 6 characters long.

From 1927 to 1932, the progressive code was before the provincial designator. Then, the progressive code was before the provincial designator in front plates and after it in rear plates.[1]

The progressive code for the first 999999 cars of the provinces was just a progressive number, not filled with initial zeroes; in the rear plate the last four digits are in the second row and the first ones (when present) in the first row. For cars from 1000000, it was A00000-A99999, B00000-B99999 etc. Possible letters were, in this order, A B D E F G H K L M N P R S T U V Z X Y W. After that, it was 00000A-99999A, 00000D-99999D etc. Possible letters were, in this order, A D E F G H L M N P R S T V W X Y Z; then, the letter was moved to the second position, and then to third (same range as in second position).

Schematic representation:

  LI16
  0116  

1976-1985[edit]

1976-1985 front and rear Italian vehicle licence plates from Rome.

Front plate was identical as in the period 1927-1976. Rear plate, instead, came in three pieces. One, size 10,7 × 33 cm, black with white digits, contains the progressive code and, very small, the provincial designator. The other two were black with orange letters, and contained the provincial designator. One was 10,7 × 33 cm, the other one was 10,7 × 20 cm. Only one of the latter two was used: for a long plate, the small province code piece is put left of the progressive code, for a roughly square plate, the big province code piece is put above the progressive code.

Schematic representations:
  X74036 ROMA  
Front plate
  ROMA X74036  
Back plate

1985-1994[edit]

1985-1994 Italian vehicle licence plate from Verona.

Plates become white with black digits. Rear plate was identical as in the period 1976-1985. Front plate becomes larger (32.5 × 10.7 cm) and the progressive code on it is moved after the provincial designator, as it was already for rear plates.

  VR VR A58322  

1994-present[edit]

1994-1999 Italian vehicle licence plate.

An entirely new numeration system was introduced which omitted any explicit reference to the place of origin. A simple alpha-numeric serial code takes the form AA 999 AA. Here ‘A’ can be any letter of the Latin alphabet except I, O, Q, U and is treated as a base-22 digit; ‘9’ can be any decimal digit. e.g. AK 514 RH, AX 848 LK, BA 924 NS, etc. The three-digit number changes first, then the letters from right to left. So, first plate is AA 000 AA, followed by AA 001 AA...AA 999 AA, then AA 000 AB to AA 999 AZ, then AA 000 BA to AA 999 ZZ, then AB 000 AA to AZ 999 ZZ, then BA 000 AA to ZZ 999 ZZ.

Rear plates are no more in two pieces. Instead, a square plate can be chosen instead of the ordinary long one. If the rear plate is square, the numbering scheme starts from ZA 000 AA.

1999-present Italian vehicle licence plate from Bolzano.

In 1999, the plates were redesigned, starting from the serial number BB 000 HH. The digits are thicker. The last decimal digit is now very close to the third letter. The standard European blue band has been added on the left side, with the European flag motif (12 yellow stars) and the country code I. Another blue band was added, on the right side, bearing a yellow circle with the year of registration (optional).

The two-letter provincial code is optionally present on the right band in capital letters (90% of circulating vehicles bear such code). For the capital city of Rome, the word Roma replaces the two-digit provincial code. Provincial codes are in capital letters except for three cases, where the second letter is expressed in small caps for the provincial codes of the autonomous provinces of Bolzano/Bozen (Bz) and Trento (Tn) and the autonomous region Aosta Valley (Ao), that are surmounted by the local coat of arms.

The reintroduction of the provincial code (although no longer as a compulsory element of the plate) was implemented because the 1994 suppression of the two-letter provincial codes proved extremely unpopular. Unlike before, the provincial code is not part of the registration number, which is the same for the whole nation.

Schematic representations:
  AE 170 HJ  
1994-1999 plate
EU-section-with-I.svg  CZ 898NF  Bz
Current registration plate from Bolzano.
EU-section-with-I.svg ZA MI
904 SZ
Square registration plate from Milan.

Special plates[edit]

Motorbike plates[edit]

Motorbike license plate from Roma

Motorbikes have plates formed by two letters and five digits, starting from AA 00000. For these vehicles the provinces' codes are not used to avoid confusion (for example, the plate after AF 99999 is AH 00000, because AG means Agrigento). Plates size is 177x177 mm (6,96x6,96 inches).

EU-section-with-I.svg BB ROMA
03813

Moped plates[edit]

Old moped plate

Registration plates of small mopeds where introduced in 1994 (before that date Italian moped had no plate at all) they were trapeze-shaped and have a registration system based on a five letter-and-digit combination (treated as a 31-base numeric system), with the first two placed on top and the following three below (such as 47 A23 or K3 561 or 8X 4RF whereby whole sets of series are assigned locally). In 2006 new moped plates are introduced; new plates have a square shape measuring 12 by 14 cm. The registration shows six characters: the first is always "X" ("Y" for Local Police plates), the other five follows the same scheme of the old system; but the digit 1 and 0 and the letters A, E, I, O, Q and U are not used. Since 2012 old moped plates are no longer valid and have to be replaced by new ones.

Trailer plates[edit]

Trailer plate until 2013.

Car's and truck's trailers had two plates: the trailer's own one was quite small and bore the word "RIMORCHIO" (trailer) and a two letters-five digits code, the other had the same size of vehicles' rear plates and bore the same registration of the prime mover written with black stickers on a retroflective yellow base. From February 2013 new trailer plates have been introduced: they use the same pattern of standard vehicle plates, the numeric scheme is XL 000 LL where "L" is a generic letter, "0" is a digit and "X" is the reserved letter. Mover repetition plates are no longer needed on trailers registered with new plates; but they are still compulsory for old trailers with small plates and small unregistered "appendix trailers".

Schematic representation (2013):

EU-section-with-I.svg  XA 123 AA  MI

Police plates[edit]

Registration Plate of Polizia Nazionale
Registration Plate of Guardia di Finanza

Local police forces have the word "POLIZIA LOCALE" (local police) in blue. They have the same pattern as trailer and civilian plates, the scheme is YL 000 LL where "L" is a letter, "0" is a digit and the "Y" is the reserved letter (for motorcycles YL 00000, mopeds Y00 000). Unlike civilian plates they don't show up the code. National police plates have "POLIZIA" in red followed by letter, then numbers (formerly numbers only). Customs police plates start with prefix "GdiF" in red. The serial letters and three serial numbers are in black.[2]

Diplomatic plates[edit]

Registration Plate of Corpo Diplomatico from Vatican City (XG)
Registration Plate of Nazioni Unite (Specialists)

Diplomatic plates have blue letters. These have the "CC" (Corpo Consolare), "CD" (Corpo Diplomatico) and four numbers, while "UN" (Nazioni Unite (Permanent)), "UNP" (Nazioni Unite (Specialists)), and "UNT" (Nazioni Unite (Transit)) plates have three. Scheme is CC 0000 AA or UNP 000 AA. The "AA" is a country code (blue) while "0" is a digit. Front and rear plates are identical and both measure 34 by 11 cm.

Schematic Representations:
  CD 0213 XG  
Diplomatic corps plate of Vatican City.
  UNP 147 AA  
United Nations plate for specialists.

Military plates[edit]

Registration Plate of Esercito Italiano
Registration Plate of Marina Militare

Military plates have the prefixes EI (Esercito Italiano, Army), AM (Aeronautica Militare, Air Force) and MM (Marina Militare, Navy), all of them red, the trailers have the indication "RIMORCHIO". There is a code same as mentioned before, but it is small and it is black. The scheme is EI LL 000. While "EI" is the prefix, "LL" is a letter and "0" is a digit. Between the letter and number there is a green dot. In 1980 Army plates adopted the 11 by 34 cm size for both front and rear plates, but more recent plates use the 1994-99 civilian plate standard for rear plates. Starting from 2004, historical military vehicles does not use original plate, instead the scheme is EI VS 000, "VS" is colored green.

Schematic representations:
  EI BL 235  
Esercito Italiano plate.
  MM 567 RM  
Marina Militare plate.
  EI VS 132  
Historical Esercito Italiano plate

Dealer plates[edit]

Italian dealer plates have a square (16.5 by 16.5 cm) size and follows the format XXpX/XXXX (where "X" could be a letter or a digit) arranged in two lines. They are the only kind of Italian plates whose code could be chosen by the owner.

Red Cross plates[edit]

Registration Plate of Croce Rossa Italiana

Have the prefix "CRI" (Croce Rossa Italiana) in red, the style is CRI 000LL (pre-2007 was CRI L000L, motorcycles CRI 0000), while "L" is a letter, and "0" is a number. Between "CRI" and the other characters there is the Red Cross sign. They use the same style of pre-1999 plates; the final code of two-line plates always starts with the letter "Z".

Schematic representations:
  CRI A 350 C  
Pre-2007 plate.
  CRI 273 AA  
Current plate.

Firefighters[edit]

Registration plate of Vigili del Fuoco
Registration plate of Vigili del Fuoco di Trento

Have the prefix "VF" (Vigili del Fuoco) in red. They have the same style and dimension of Port Authority plates, but they don't have text in the bottom section. Firefighters of autonomous regions use special Firefighters plates issued locally. Their schemes were VF 0L0 AA (formerly VF L00 AA), where "AA" at the end can be TN or BZ. Trailers have small red "R" between prefix and numbers.

Schematic representations:
  VF 25646  
National firefighters plate (except for autonomous provinces below)
  VF R 1234  
Trailer plate
  VF 7A0 TN  
Firefighter plate from Trento.

Port Authority plates[edit]

Have the prefix "CP" (Capitaneria di Porto) in red. They have the text "GUARDIA COSTIERA" at the bottom. Those plates are considerably shorter than a standard one (circa 35 by 52mm), front and rear plates have the same size and square rear plates are not available.

Schematic representation:

  CP 2378  

SMOM plates[edit]

Vehicle registration plate of the Order, as seen in Rome, Italy.

Uses prefix "SMOM" (Sovrano militare ordine di Malta) in red, followed by two numbers (previously red). They have the text "SMOM" at the bottom. These plates used only by Sovereign Military Order of Malta members (only plate that was circulating on along with its diplomatic plate (code XA), being SMOM is a subject of international law.), and these plates were issued by Ministry of Defence.

Schematic representation:

  SMOM 60  

Temporary plates[edit]

They have the same style of Diplomatic plates, but they start with "EE" (black) instead of "CD". The upper part of the plate has a small space for accommodating expiry date stickers.

Schematic Representation:

  EE 053 AM  

Agricultural plates[edit]

Agricultural machines have motorcycle-sized plates following the AA-0/00A scheme written in black on yellow. Agricultural trailers have the text "RIM AGR." in red on the upper part. The style is same as the old trailer plates but background is yellow and the serial is AA-000A. Agricultural trailers have to show both their own plates and a prime mover repetition one.

State Forestry Corps plates[edit]

These plates have the prefix "CFS" (Corpo Forestale dello Stato) in red. The format is CFS 000 LL, "CFS" is a prefix, then three numbers and then "LL" suffix. Forestry Corps of autonomous regions use special dedicated plates, showing the province (or region) of registration. These plates have scheme CF AA L00 AA, where "CF" is red, "AA" is where the region is registered to ("FD" (means Forst Dienst) for Bolzano, "VA" (means Vigilanza Ambientale) for Sardinia), then followed by a letter and two numbers, and then suffix.

Schematic representations:
  CFS 123 AA  
National Corpo Forestale dello Stato plate (except for autonomous provinces below)
  CF FD A12 AA  
Corpo Forestale dello Stato plate from Bolzano.

Road Machinery plates[edit]

Registration plate of Road Machinery

The style of these plates is LL LL000. They are red on yellow background.

Civil Defense plates[edit]

Registration plate of Protezione Civile provinciale di Bolzano
Registration plate of Protezione Civile provinciale di Trento

These plates only exist in autonomous regions, they have the prefix "PC" (Protezione Civile) in red and an alfanumeric serial chosen by local authorities (PC ZS0LL in Bolzano (ZS means Zivilschutz), PC L00TN in Trento). Cars of national Civil Defense department have special plates bearing the "DPC" (Dipartimento della Protezione Civile) code followed by an alphanumeric serial (DPC L 0000), while operative vehicles usually use civil plates. Emergency plates have the text at top:"DIPARTIMENTO PROTEZIONE CIVILE RICOVERO DI EMERGENZA", then a provincial designator and four numbers.

Schematic representations:
  DPC X 1234  
Dipartimento della Protezione Civile plate
EU-section-with-I.svg  PC ZS0FZ  Bz
Civil Defense plate from Bolzano.
EU-section-with-I.svg  PC B61TN  ?
Civil Defense plate from Trento.
DIPARTIMENTO
PROTEZIONE CIVILE
RICOVERO DI EMERGENZA

RM 0123
Emergency shelter plate.

Carabinieri plates[edit]

Registration Plate of Corpo di Carabinieri

These plates have the prefix "CC" in red. The style is CC LL 000 where "CC" is a prefix, "LL" is a letter, and "0" is a digit.

Schematic representation:

  CC DF 948  

Trolleybus plates[edit]

These plates format is serial number, then logo and then the operator's number (normally 3 digits). Blue-on-white, plates size is 320 x 115 mm. Until 1950's they were circulated along with normal car plates.

Province Codes[edit]

Province Codes 1927 to present day[edit]

Code Province Code Province Code Province Code Province Code Province
AG Agrigento AL Alessandria AN Ancona AO Aosta AP Ascoli Piceno
AQ L'Aquila AR Arezzo AT Asti AV Avellino BA Bari
BG Bergamo BI Biella BL Belluno BN Benevento BO Bologna
BR Brindisi BS Brescia BT Barletta-Andria-Trani BZ Bolzano/Bozen CA Cagliari
CB Campobasso CE Caserta CH Chieti CI Carbonia-Iglesias CL Caltanissetta
CN Cuneo CO Como CR Cremona CS Cosenza CT Catania
CZ Catanzaro EN Enna FC Forlì-Cesena FE Ferrara FG Foggia
FI Florence (Firenze) FM Fermo FR Frosinone GE Genoa (Genova) GO Gorizia
GR Grosseto IM Imperia IS Isernia KR Crotone LC Lecco
LE Lecce LI Leghorn (Livorno) LO Lodi LT Latina LU Lucca
MB Monza and Brianza MC Macerata ME Messina MI Milan (Milano) MN Mantua (Mantova)
MO Modena MS Massa-Carrara MT Matera NA Naples (Napoli) NO Novara
NU Nuoro OG Ogliastra OR Oristano OT Olbia-Tempio PA Palermo
PC Piacenza PD Padua (Padova) PE Pescara PG Perugia PI Pisa
PN Pordenone PO Prato PR Parma PT Pistoia PU Pesaro-Urbino
PV Pavia PZ Potenza RA Ravenna RC Reggio Calabria RE Reggio Emilia
RG Ragusa RI Rieti RN Rimini RO Rovigo Roma Rome (Roma)
SA Salerno SI Siena SO Sondrio SP La Spezia SR Syracuse (Siracusa)
SS Sassari SV Savona TA Taranto TE Teramo TN Trent (Trento)
TO Turin (Torino) TP Trapani TR Terni TS Trieste TV Treviso
UD Udine VA Varese VB Verbania VC Vercelli VE Venice (Venezia)
VI Vicenza VR Verona VS Medio Campidano VT Viterbo VV Vibo Valentia

These abbreviations for the names of provinces are extensively used in contexts other than vehicle registration. For example, "Trino (VC)", to indicate a place called Trino in the province of Vercelli, could appear on letterheaded paper or in a postal address or in a guide book and very often on business cards and trade signs. The abbreviations even count as valid words in crosswords and in Scarabeo, the Italian version of the board game Scrabble. Sometimes, the code RM is used instead of Roma for the province of Rome, in postal addresses or documents.

Sardinia formed four new provinces in its territory in 2001, but this act was recognized by national authorities only in 2008; these provinces gained the right to put their codes on cars, which are VS for the Province of Medio Campidano (from its capital cities Villacidro and Sanluri), CI for the Province of Carbonia-Iglesias, OG for the Province of Ogliastra and OT for the Province of Olbia-Tempio.[3]

Province Codes 1905 to 1927[edit]

Number Province Number Province Number Province Number Province
1 Alessandria 2 Ancona 3 L'Aquila 4 Arezzo
5 Ascoli Piceno 6 Avellino 7 Bari 8 Belluno
9 Benevento 10 Bergamo 11 Bologna 12 Brescia
13 Cagliari 14 Caltanissetta 15 Campobasso 16 Caserta
17 Catania 18 Catanzaro 19 Chieti 20 Como
21 Cosenza 22 Cremona 23 Cuneo 24 Ferrara
25 Florence (Firenze) 26 Foggia 27 Forlì 28 Genoa (Genova)
29 Agrigento 30 Grosseto 31 Lecce 32 Leghorn (Livorno)
33 Lucca 34 Macerata 35 Mantua (Mantova) 36 Massa and Carrara
37 Messina 38 Milan (Milano) 39 Modena 40 Naples (Napoli)
41 Novara 42 Padua (Padova) 43 Palermo 44 Parma
45 Pavia 46 Perugia 47 Pesaro 48 Piacenza
49 Pisa 50 Imperia 51 Potenza 52 Ravenna
53 Reggio di Calabria 54 Reggio nell'Emilia 55 Rome (Roma) 56 Rovigo
57 Salerno 58 Sassari 59 Siena 60 Syracuse (Siracusa)
61 Sondrio 62 Teramo 63 Turin (Torino) 64 Trapani
65 Treviso 66 Udine 67 Venice (Venezia) 68 Verona
69 Vicenza 70 Pola 71 La Spezia 72 Taranto
73 Trent (Trento) 74 Trieste 75 Zara 76 Fiume

Province Codes which have been abandoned (post-1927)[edit]

Code Province Reason Years
AU Apuania Province renamed back to Massa-Carrara. 1939-1949
CG Castrogiovanni City renamed to Enna. 1927-1928
CU Cuneo Code changed to CN. 1927-1928
FU Fiume Code changed to FM. 1927-1930
FM Fiume City no longer in Italy. 1930-1945
FO Forlì Province renamed to Forlì-Cesena (FC). 1927-1994
GI Girgenti City renamed to Agrigento. 1927-1928
LB Lubiana City no longer in Italy. 1941-1945
PL Pola City no longer in Italy. 1927-1945
PU Perugia Code changed to PG. 1927-1933
PS Pesaro Province renamed to Pesaro and Urbino (PU). 1927-1994
ZA Zara City no longer in Italy. 1927-1945

Diplomatic Codes[4][5][edit]

Greyed out means not used. Bold means it's used. Q and U cannot be used in consular corps plates, as such they are Bold Italic.

Code Country Code Country Code Country Code Country Code Country
AA  Albania AC  Austria AE  Belgium AG  Bulgaria AK  Czech Republic
AM  Cyprus AN  Denmark AP  Finland AQ  France AU  Germany
AV  West Germany BA  East Germany BC  United Kingdom BF  Slovenia BG  Greece
BM  Ireland BN  Italy (Holy See) BP  Serbia BQ  Croatia BR  Luxembourg
BS  Malta BT  Monaco BV  Norway BX  Netherlands CA  Poland
CC  Portugal CE  Romania CG  San Marino CH  Spain CM   Switzerland
CN  Sweden CQ   Switzerland CR  Turkey CX  Hungary DA  Russia (formerly  Soviet Union)
DC  Ukraine DD  Uzbekistan DE   Vatican City (Apostolic Nunciature) DF  Slovenia DG  Macedonia
DH  Bosnia and Herzegovina DL  Slovakia DM  Armenia DN  Georgia DP  Kazakhstan
DQ  Latvia DR  Belarus DS  Lithuania DT  Moldova DV  Iceland
DZ  Azerbaijan EA  Burkina Faso EB  Dominica EC  Uganda ED  Burundi
EF  Rwanda EG  Zimbabwe EH  Qatar EL  Chad EM  Mauritania
EN  Eritrea EP  Mali ER  Belize ES  Equatorial Guinea (c/o FAO) ET  Kosovo
GA  Afghanistan GB  Saudi Arabia GC  Bangladesh GD  Myanmar GE  Taiwan
GF  China GK  Philippines GL  North Korea GM  South Korea GP  United Arab Emirates
GQ  Philippines GS  Japan GZ  Jordan HA  India HC  Indonesia
HE  Iran HF  Iraq HL  Israel HP  Iraq? HQ  Kuwait
HR  Lebanon HS  Malaysia HT  Oman HV  Pakistan HX  Syria
LA  Sri Lanka LB  Thailand LE  Vietnam LF  Yemen LH  Montenegro
LM  Timor-Leste NA  Algeria NC  Angola ND  Cameroon NF  Cape Verde
NG  Central African Republic NH  Republic of the Congo NL  Ivory Coast NM  Egypt NR  Ethiopia
NT  Gabon NX  Ghana PA  Guinea PB  Kenya PC  Lesotho
PD  Liberia PE  Libya PL  Madagascar PN  Morocco PQ  Nigeria
PS  Senegal PT  Sierra Leone PV  Mozambique PX  Somalia QA  South Africa
QC  Sudan QE  Tanzania QG  Tunisia QL  Democratic Republic of the Congo QN  Zambia
QP  Niger SA  Canada SD  Mexico SF SH SL SN SQ  United States TA  Costa Rica
TC  Cuba TE  Dominican Republic TF  Ecuador TG  Jamaica TH  Guatemala
TL  Haiti TM  Honduras TP  Nicaragua TQ  Panama TS  El Salvador
UA  Argentina UE  Bolivia UF  Brazil UH  Chile UL  Colombia
UN  Paraguay UP  Peru US  Uruguay UT  Venezuela VA  Argentina
VF  Brazil VL  Colombia VS  Uruguay XA S.M.O.M and  Palestine XC XD XE XF XH FAO,  United Nations, International organizations, and  European Union
XG   Vatican City ZA  Australia ZC  New Zealand

References[edit]

  1. ^ The use of alphabetical codes for number plates started in Italy on 28 February 1927, as prescribed by the Communication n. 3361 from Minister of Public Works (from R.D.I. n.314 13.3.1927 and the law n.2730 29.12.1927) which inaugurated a new highway code.
  2. ^ Italy's page on Worldlicenseplates.com
  3. ^ "Codice della strada - Le Nuove Sigle Provinciali Sarde" (in Italian). Quattroruote. 26 May 2008. 
  4. ^ "CD and CC registration plates". Retrieved 24 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "Diplomatic codes after 1984". Retrieved 24 April 2016. 

External links[edit]

  • Plates in Rome provides detailed coverage of Italian number plates from 1903 onwards.