Vehicle registration plates of the Netherlands

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Current Dutch vehicle registration plate
Country codeNL
Current series
Size520 mm × 110 mm
20.5 in × 4.3 in
Serial formatA-001-AA, AA-001-A, 00-AAA-1, 0-AAA-01, AAA-01-A, A-01-AAA & 0-AA-001
Colour (front)Black on yellow
Colour (rear)Black on yellow
First issued1898

Vehicle registration plates of the Netherlands are vehicle registration plates issued by the RDW (Dutch Vehicle Authority) [nl].[1]

RDW vehicle registration plates are assigned bearing the same "number" which is a sequence of characters composed of letters and digits as that is shown on the vehicle's registration document. The numbering scheme used bears no relation to the place of a vehicle's registration or ownership, and numbers – which are issued in strict time order – identify the vehicle, not its owner. Thus, if a vehicle changes ownership, the registration number remains unchanged.

If the car is a taxi or built before 1977, it will have a blue number plate. Taxis will have a blue number plate because they pay a different amount of tax to let people into the car legally. If a taxi does not have a blue number plate on it, it is an illegal taxi and the driver will charge a lesser fare to the person in the car.

A trade plate is a temporary number plate used by motor traders or vehicle testers to save them the cost and time to register and tax every vehicle temporarily in their possession. If somebody has a trade plate on their vehicle, that number plate will be green.

Earlier schemes[edit]

The Netherlands introduced a system of vehicle registration plates on 26 April 1898 – the third country in the world to do so, after France in 1893 and Germany in 1896.[2] A plate bearing the number 1 was issued to one J. van Dam, who purchased the first Dutch-built motorcar, which was manufactured at his own Groninger Motor-Rijtuigen Fabriek.[3] Plate numbers stayed with the owner, unlike the present system. From 1906, a new system used the format xx-ddddd, where xx was a province code and ddddd a serial number. This system lasted until 1951 when the current system was introduced.

Province codes[edit]

Numbering schemes[edit]

The current Dutch license plate system uses black letters on a light-reflecting yellow background, although white reflecting letters on a dark-blue background are allowed for vehicles built before 1977. Since 2000, the blue band with the European flag and NL has been mandatory for all vehicles except vehicles built before 1977.

Dutch license plates can be formatted as follows:

Year Format Format (Sidecode) Comment First license plate (private cars)
1951–1965 1 This series is currently in use for imported oldtimers (pre-1973), using leftover serial letters not originally issued. The series DE, DH, DL, DM, DR, AE, AH, AL, AM, AR, DZ, and PM are used for cars, ZM, ZF, and NM for motorcycles, and BE (and from June 2021 BH) for oldtimer commercial vehicles. No xx-00-00. ND-00-01
1965–1973 2 This series is currently in use for special permit vehicles (ZZ). No 00-00-xx. 00-01-AD
1973–1978 3 Yellow plates were first introduced in 1975. These were initially optional but became mandatory from 1st January 1978, a few months before this series ended. This series is currently in use for imported "youngtimers" (1973 - 1977 vehicles), starting with Y (YA, YB, YD and YE are currently issued) No 00-xx-00. 00-AD-01
1978–1991 4 The letters K and Y were used as serial letters in this series.

This series is currently issued to semi-trailers (O). No double zero allowed.

1991–1999 5 The letter K was not used as a serial letter in this series. No double zero. DB-BB-01
1999–2008 6 In 2000, the Controlled Issuance and Intake of Licence Plates (GAIK; Gecontroleerde Afgave en Inname van Kentekenplaten) license style started with the F series in this series. All license plates except some oldtimer registrations were mandated to change to GAIK plates.

This series is currently in use for motorcycles (M). No double zero allowed.

2006–present 7 At mopeds (D/F); no double zero allowed. This series is currently issued for heavy goods vehicles (B) and trailers above 750 kg (W). No single zero allowed. 01-GBB-1
8 In this series, the first letters B, D, F, G, H, J, M, N, P, and R are not used, not to clash with export license plates. Therefore, the first letters in car plates can be only K, S, T, X, and Z. V is used for light commercial vehicles. W will probably be used for trailers in the future. No single zero. 1-KBB-00
9 The letter L is reserved for agricultural vehicles. No SD-001-B to SD-999-Z and no SS-001-B to SS-999-Z. No triple zero. GB-001-B
2011–present 10 This series is currently issued for private vehicles, starting at G-001-BB. No x-001-SD to x-999-SD and no x-001-SS to x-999-SS. Also no S-001-DB to S-999-DZ. No triple zero. G-001-BB
2015–present 11 This series is currently issued to mopeds (D/F) and light commercial vehicles (V), no VVD[4] No VVD-01-B till VVD-99-Z,[5] And since 1 January 2021 also for agricultural vehicles (L) and tractors (T) [6] No double zero. GBB-01-B (future)
2021-present 12 Since 31 December 2021 in use by tractors from T-01-BBB and since 8 januari 2024 also in use by light commercial vehicles from V-01-BBB. In both series no double zero. -
2016–present 13 This series is currently issued for fast motorboats (Y) and was used for tractors (0-GV-001 to 9-GV-999) between 2016 and 2020. From 2021 side code 11 and 12 are issued for tractors. 0-GV-000 to 9-GV-000 are not used. -
2016-2020 14 This series was used for tractors to 456-GV-4 and 000-GV-0 to 000-GV-4 is not used. From 2021 side code 11 and 12 are issued for tractors. -

Nowadays the letters used do not include vowels, to avoid profane or obscene language. To avoid confusion with a zero, the letters C and Q are also omitted and letters M and W are not used because they are too wide. Letters and numbers are issued in strict alphabetical/numeric order. Thus a Dutch license plate indicates the date of registration of a car, but no information about where in the country the car comes from, or to whom it belongs.

Other formats[edit]

With the introduction of the GAIK series, several other formats have been introduced as well. All background colors used are retroreflective.

Format Comment
Taxi plates are mandatory since December 2000 for vehicles used to transport people, but which are not part of the public transportation system.
Trader plates, used by automotive companies to register current stock under their insurance, these plates are to be used if the car is used for a test drive and has no insurance on its license plate. It is forbidden to park a car on the public road with trader plates fitted.
Used for trailers with a maximum weight of less than 750 kg, registration matches the vehicle pulling the trailer. Also used for export, temporary and provisional (single coded, H for 1 month and Z for 1 week) vehicles.

Recent changes[edit]

Dutch license plate with duplicate code 1

License plates subtly changed shape in 2002 when a new font was introduced, amongst other changes.

  • Combatting fraudulent reports of stolen license plates, license plates are replaced immediately but using the same number. The new license plate is tagged with a small number 1 over the first dash, which is increased with each new plate.
  • A blue background is used for taxis.
  • White letters on a blue or black background are used for classic cars older than 1 January 1978 and with a registration number in sidecode 1, 2, or 3.
  • Black letters on a white background are used for small trailers that hide the car's actual license plate.
  • Large trailers, caravans, etc. now have black/yellow license plates.
  • The letter Y is no longer used for cars, but instead for fast motorboats.
  • The letter combinations SDB to SDZ as well as SSB to SSZ are not issued as SD, SS and SA continue to have fascist connotations in the Netherlands. Registrations with the letter combination NSB were issued in 2010, although these were recalled because these were the initials of the Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging.[7]

Current series[edit]

Motor cars[edit]

  • 01-DB-BB, registration 1999/2000
  • 01-FB-BB, registration 2000
  • 01-GB-BB, registration 2000/2001
  • 01-HB-BB, registration 2001/2002
  • 01-JB-BB, registration 2002
  • 01-LB-BB, registration 2002/2003
  • 01-NB-BB, registration 2003/2004
  • 01-PB-BB, registration 2004/2005
  • 01-RB-BB, registration 2005
  • 01-SB-BB, registration 2005/2006
  • 01-TB-BB, registration 2006/2007
  • 01-XB-BB, registration 2007
  • 01-ZB-BB, registration 2007/2008 till 76-ZS-KB
  • 01-GBB-1, registration 2008 (no 00-GBB-1 and no 00-GBB-2) (no GVD)
  • 00-HBB-1, registration 2008/2009
  • 00-JBB-1, registration 2009
  • 00-KBB-1, registration 2009/2010 (no KKK)
  • 00-LBB-1, registration 2010 (no LPF)
  • 00-NBB-1, registration 2010/2011 (no NSB)
  • 00-PBB-1, registration 2011 (no PKK and no PSV and no PVV)
  • 00-RBB-1, registration 2011
  • 00-SBB-1, registration 2011 (no SGP and no SDB - SDZ and no SSB - SSZ)
  • 00-TBB-1, registration 2012 (no TBS)
  • 00-XBB-1, registration 2012
  • 00-ZBB-1, registration 2012/2013 till 79-ZXT-2
  • 1-KBB-00, registration 2013 (no KKK and no KVT)
  • 1-SBB-00, registration 2013 (no SGP and no SDB - SDZ and no SSB - SSZ)
  • 1-TBB-00, registration 2013/2014 (no TBS)
  • 1-XBB-00, registration 2014
  • 1-ZBB-00, registration 2014/2015 till 8-ZVK-67
  • GB-001-B, registration 2015
  • HB-001-B, registration 2015/2016
  • JB-001-B, registration 2016
  • KB-001-B, registration 2016
  • (L was reserved for agricultural vehicles but was not used after the Tweede kamer voted against a proposal for agricultural licence plates. Sidecode 11 has been used for this purpose since 1-1-2021)
  • NB-001-B, registration 2016/2017
  • PB-001-B, registration 2017
  • RB-001-B, registration 2017/2018
  • SB-001-B, registration 2018 (SP only SP-001-B till SP-154-P)
  • TB-001-B, registration 2018
  • XB-001-B, registration 2018/2019
  • ZB-001-B, registration 2019 till ZV-183-Z
  • G-001-BB, registration 2019
  • H-001-BB, registration 2019/2020
  • J-001-BB, registration 2020
  • K-001-BB, registration 2020/2021
  • L-001-BB, registration 2021
  • N-001-BB, registration 2021/2022
  • P-001-BB, registration 2022
  • R-001-BB, registration 2022
  • S-001-BB, registration 2022/2023 No S-001-DB to S-999-DZ
  • T-001-BB, registration 2023
  • X-001-BB, registration 2023/2024
  • Z-001-BB, registration 2024 (current series, now Z-PD)


  • MB-01-BB, registration 1979/1998
  • MB-BB-01, registration 1998/2011
  • 01-MB-BB, registration 2011/present (current series, now MV-GH)


  • 01-DBB-1, registration 2005/2006
  • 01-FBB-1, registration 2006
  • DB-001-B, registration 2006
  • FB-001-B, registration 2006/2008
  • D-001-BB, registration 2008/2011
  • F-001-BB, registration 2011/2015
  • DBB-01-B, registration 2015/2020
  • FBB-01-B, registration 2020/present (current series, now FSF-D)

D/FBS-01-D to D/FBS-99-D and D/FBS-01-S to D/FBS-99-S is not used, to avoid SD and SS combinations. Also, D/FxS-01-D to D/FxS-99-D and D/FxS-01-S to D/FxS-99-S (x is the second letter, D till Z) will not be used; and this also for D/FSD-01-B till D/FSD-99-Z and D/FSS-01-B till D/FSS-99-Z for the same reason.

Trucks/Lorries (payload 3.5 tons or more)[edit]

  • BB-BB-01, registration 1994/2012
  • 00-BBB-1, registration 2012/present (current series, now BXT) BSD and BSS are both not used to avoid SD and SS combinations.

Trucks/Lorries (payload less than 3.5 tons)[edit]

  • 01-VB-BB, registration 1998/2002
  • 01-BB-BB, registration 2002/2006
  • 01-VBB-1, registration 2006/2009 (no 00-VSB-1 to 99-VSZ-9)
  • 1-VBB-00, registration 2009/2012 (no 1-VVD-00 to 9-VVD-99)
  • VB-001-B, registration 2012/2016
  • V-001-BB, registration 2016/2019
  • VBB-01-B, registration 2019/2024 No VVD-01-B to VVD-99-Z read just below.
  • V-01-BBB, registration 2024 till nowadays (now V-FPN)

VBS-01-D to VBS-99-D and VBS-01-S to VBS-99-S is not used, to avoid SD and SS combinations. Also VxS-01-D to VxS-99-D and VxS-01-S to VxS-99-S (x is the second letter, D till Z) will not be used for the same reason. Also VSD-01-B to VSD-99-Z and VSS-01-B to VSS-99-Z is not be used for the same reason. No VVD-01-B to VVD-99-Z because VVD is a political party.[8]

On 8 January 2024 after V-42-BBB follows immediately V-01-DBB because BBB is a political party. [9] To avoid SD and SS combinations V-01-xSD till V-99-xSD and V-01-xSS till V-99-xSS is/will not used, x is D t/m Z.


  • WB-00-01, registration 1963/1977
  • 00-01-WB, registration 1977/1983
  • 00-WB-01, registration 1983/1989
  • WB-01-BB, registration 1989/2000
  • WB-BB-01, registration 2000/2008
  • 01-WB-BB, registration 2008/2021
  • 00-WBB-1, registration 2021/present (current series, now WLD)


  • OB-00-01, registration 1963/1988
  • OB-01-BB, registration 1988/present (current series, now OV-HZ)

Agricultural Vehicles[edit]

  • LBB-01-B, registration 2021/present (current series, now LRR-F)

LBS-01-D to LBS-99-D and LBS-01-S to LBS-99-S is not used to avoid SD and SS combinations. Also in the future, LxS-01-D to LxS-99-D and LxS-01-S to LxS-99-S (x is the second letter, D till Z) will not be used for the same reason. LPF is not used.


  • TBB-01-B, registration 2021. TBS is not used. TSD and TSS are both not used to avoid SD and SS combinations. TDS-01-D to TDS-99-D and TDS-01-S to TDS-99-S is not used, to avoid SD and SS combinations. Also TxS-01-D to TxS-99-D and TxS-01-S to TxS-99-S (x is the second letter, F to Z) is not be used, for the same reason. Also TSD-01-B to TSD-99-Z and TSS-01-B to TSS-99-Z is not be used for the same reason.
  • T-01-BBB, registration 31 December 2021/present (current series, now T-GFX) No T-..-xSD and no T-..-xSS, x is the second letter B to Z, to avoid SD and SS combinations.

And see now also

Special-use license plates[edit]

Letters Description
B, E, S
Caribbean Netherlands. License plates are North American standard size and do not carry an EU flag. License plates start with one letter: B for Bonaire, E for St. Eustatius, and S for Saba, followed by three or four digits. The color of the plate differs per island. Some plates start with different letters, sometimes similar to that of the European Netherlands: V for commercial vehicles, TX for the taxi, D for governmental vehicles, AB for buses.
Used for vehicles registered to the Dutch royal family. (AA-??) or (AA-???).
B, V The B in the first letter position is used to refer to a "Bedrijfswagen" (commercial vehicle): special status for cars that are exclusively used for commercial purposes. Commercial license registrations have a separate taxation class, though some 10% of the cars are registered as commercial. A commercial license is often called "grijs kenteken" (grey registration), referring to the previous color of the car's registration papers, which is now, like commercial vehicles, green.
BE, BH Classic commercial vehicles. Sidecode 1. BE until June 2021, BH after it. Current high BH-03-20 (15 June 2022).
Imported classic cars 40 years or older. Sidecode 1. PM since August 2020. Current high PM-42-12 (15 June 2022).
ZM, ZF, NM Secondhands motorbikes. Sidecode 1. NM since November 2017. Current high NM-28-67 (15 June 2022).
YA, YB, and YD Imported classic cars younger than 40 years. Sidecode 3. YD since July 2014. Current high 96-YD-97 (15 June 2022).
KL to KZ & LM, LO, LU, DM
Military Vehicles: (KL, KN to KZ: Royal Army, KM: Koninklijke Marine's(Royal Navy), LM: Luchtmacht (Air Force), KP: Regular car from the Koninklijke landmacht (Royal Army), KV: Koninklijke Marechaussee (Royal Constabulary). Example: (KL-??-??) and (??-KL-??) which are used by Royal Army. Also, DM but only in the sidecodes 7, 9, and 10. The third letter is B to Z but not an A, C, E, I, M, O, Q, U, W, or Y.
"Corps Diplomatique" and is used for diplomats (CD-??-??) or (??-CD-??).
Lawyers or Diplomats working for the International Court of Justice (CDJ-???).
Used for private vehicles of Dutch and German military servants working for British Forces Germany/NATO. They are issued by the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Military Police in Driebergen. They carry a different font, similar to that of the German license plates, to allow them to be produced in Germany if necessary.[10]
NATO vehicles. RC stands for "Région Centrale", dating from when NATO headquarters were located in France. Currently in use by Joint Force Command Brunssum. Newer license plates are yellow, look like the regular ones, and have dashes between the letters and numbers and in the middle of the numbers (similar to sidecode 1, but yellow plates).
Motorcycles. Several letters in sidecode 1. After that (MX-??-XX) to (??-MX-XX). M is only used as the first letter!
BN or GN
For vehicles whose owner is not liable to taxation such as staff from embassies without diplomatic status, consulates or international organisations such as ESA, ICC, UN-ICJ or OPCW (BN or GN-??-??), (??-??-BN or GN), (??-BN or GN-??).
For agricultural vehicles that within the Netherlands, do not need a license plate but may cross national borders with countries where they do (i.e. Belgium) (grensverkeer/border traffic) (GV-??-??).
For car merchants, e.g. for test-drives with unregistered cars (green plate) (HA or HF or HH or FH-??-??). For mopeds HC in sidecode, 1 is used.
Dutch mopeds abroad (has been abolished with the introduction of registration plates for mopeds in 2005) (HH-??-??).
For vehicles with a special exemption to enter public roads, such as cranes. Vehicles with these | license plates do not need a periodic check-up. The extra-long, double articulated buses in Utrecht also carry ZZ license plates (ZZ-??-??) and (??-??-ZZ). Sidecode 1 until December 2016, sidecode 2 thereafter. Sidecode 2 is divided into three subseries: "open" series from 00-01-ZZ to 03-73-ZZ (not issued after 5 July 2018), test vehicles from 10-00-ZZ to 10-06-ZZ, and normal ZZ-vehicles from 20-00-ZZ to 28-60-ZZ (updated 15 June 2022).
Heavy trailers ('O'pleggers). (OX-??-?? or OX-??-XX) O is only used as the first letter!
Medium-light trailers and caravans having own registration. Currently in sidecode 7 (??-WXX-?). W is used only as the first letter!
AF Used by Allied Forces Northern Europe vehicles. (AF-XX-??)
MM-BS and LBT in sidecode 8 Used for cars which have a limited speed 25 or 40 km/h[11]

This list is not exhaustive. The Dutch Wikipedia article Nederlands kenteken contains more exceptions.

Vehicle registration[edit]

Vehicle registration card

Since January 1, 2014, the Netherlands has had an all-plastic vehicle registration in credit card format. This and the driving license (which is the same size) are the only things needed to bring along while driving in the Netherlands. This registration has the same green appearance for every vehicle category, only the information on the card differs. It has a chip with more detailed information about the vehicle. All previously issued vehicle registrations will remain valid until the car changes ownership, or until the owner requests replacement vehicle registration documents. While a so-called overschrijvingsbewijs (a separate document that came with the vehicle registration) was needed previously to sell the vehicle, this has now been replaced with a code. The registration card and the correct code are enough to sell the vehicle, even without the original letter stating the code as issued during the new car registration.


  1. ^ "About RDW". Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Geschiedenis van de kentekenplaat". Retrieved 1 April 2009.
  3. ^ "Groninger Motorrijtuigen Fabriek". Retrieved 1 April 2009.
  4. ^ "Start nieuwe kentekencombinatie lichte bedrijfswagens | RDW". 6 March 2021. Retrieved 21 April 2024.
  5. ^ "Kenteken met letters VVD gratis omruilen". Retrieved 21 April 2024.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Dutch call back car licence plates with 'Nazi' initials". Daily Telegraph. 2 November 2010.
  8. ^ Eisma (13 January 2010). "Kenteken met letters VVD gratis omruilen •". (in Dutch). Retrieved 21 April 2024.
  9. ^ Lemkes, Jan (12 January 2024). "'BBB' toch snel geschrapt bij bedrijfswagenkentekens". AutoWeek (in Dutch). Retrieved 21 April 2024.
  10. ^ Archived 24 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^

External links[edit]