Vehicle registration plates of Austria

Austrian car number plates are mandatory vehicle registration plates displaying the registration mark (German: Kennzeichen) of motor vehicles in Austria. They are used to verify street legality, proof of a valid liability insurance and to identify and recognise the vehicle.

Appearance

The license plates are made of metal; the imprinted text is in black letters and digits on a white background. Since November 1, 2002 the common design comprises a blue section on the left with the EU circle of stars and the country code ('A') like other vehicle registration plates of the European Union. On the top and bottom, there are red-white-red tribands, the national colors of Austria. Two plates have to be present on each car (front and rear). Dealer plates show white letters on a green background, temporary plates show white letters on a cyan background, and foreign trailers show white letters on a red background. For motorbikes and cars with smaller areas for plates, smaller license plates are available with two lines of text. Moped plates are in different appearance and shape, they show white letters on a red background.

Lettering system

The alphanumeric format for registration plates is "XX ∇=provincial emblem number+letter(s)" or "XX ∇=provincial emblem personalised letters+number";

  • XX - one or two letters which indicate the local registration office (district where the registered possessor resides). As a general rule, State capitals have one letter; other districts have two letters.
  • heraldic emblem of the federal state the district belongs to (here shown as "∇"); diplomatic vehicles have a dash () instead, federal official vehicles wear the Austrian Federal Eagle.
  • A three to six-letter/number sequence which uniquely distinguishes each of the vehicles displaying the same initial area code. The letter Q is excluded from all sequences.

There are several lettering schemes:

  • The letter/number sequence must contain at least three characters (at least one digit and one letter). In countryside districts, the maximum is five characters. Regular plates start with a digit and end with a letter. Personalized plates, which can be obtained by paying an extra fee, are ordered vice versa. (exceptions: see below)
  • The letter/number sequence of state capitals contains up to six characters (at least one digit one letter with a minimum of four characters) (e.g. W  12345 A).
  • Until the year 2000 the plates were issued by the district administrations, who used a variety of lettering schemes, e.g. one digit and three letters (e.g. FK  1 ABC in the Feldkirch district), two digits and two letters (e.g. WL  12 AB in the Wels-Land district) or three digits and one letter.
  • Since 2000 the vehicle registration have been carried out by car insurance companies on behalf of the government. The branch offices of these companies issue the plates, which show three digits and two letters (e.g. XX  123 AB) in each district or four digits and two letters in state capitals respectively.
  • Army, diplomats, police etc. have a number up to five digits only (starting with 1, incrementing)
  • There are standardized abbreviations for special types of cars. But most of them are in use in Vienna only:
    • BB Bundesbahnen (Federal Railways), only with Index "W", e.g. W  1234 BB
    • BE Bestattung (funeral services)
    • EW E-Werk (electric power company)
    • FF Freiwillige Feuerwehr (volunteer firemen)
    • FW Feuerwehr (firemen)
    • GW Gaswerk (gas power company)
    • GT Gütertransport (vehicles transporting goods)
    • KT Kleintransport (private vehicles transporting parcels)
    • LO Linienomnibus (public service buses)
    • LR Landesregierung (Local government of Niederösterreich)
    • LV Landesregierung (Local government of Tyrol)
    • MA Magistrat Wien (Local government of Vienna)
    • MW Mietwagen (private hire car or bus service [with driver])
    • RD Rettungsdienst (ambulance vehicles)
    • RK Rotes Kreuz (Red Cross)
    • TX Taxi (taxis)

Personalised plates

In Austria, it is possible to obtain a customized registration plate by payment of 228,30 Euros for registration and 21,00 Euros for the plates themselves[1]. The alphanumeric format is XX  ABC 1, which makes them easily distinguishable from standard plates (e.g. I  TOMMY 1)

Prefixes

CodeCity, District and official vehiclesNotes
AFederal officials Federal president's plate
AMAmstetten
BBregenz, Burgenland official
BABad Aussee sub-districtSuspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with LI.
BBBundesbahnen (Federal Railways)Obsolete, ÖBB vehicles now use W  XXX BB plates
BDKraftfahrlinien Bundesbus (Bus Service)Since 2008 for Postbus coaches only, until 1997 also for ÖBB coaches
BGBundesgendarmerie (federal police)Obsolete since July 2005, when Gendarmerie and police merged
BHBundesheer (Federal Army)
BLBruck an der Leitha
BMBruck-MürzzuschlagSince 2013, Bruck an der Mur until 2012.
BNBaden
BPBundespolizei (federal police)Since July 2005 for all new registered police cars
BRBraunau am Inn
BZBludenz
DLDeutschlandsberg
DODornbirn
EEisenstadtAlso for the city of Rust, Burgenland.
EFEferding
EUEisenstadt-UmgebungEisenstadt surrounding area
FBFeldbachSuspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with SO.
FEFeldkirchen
FFFürstenfeldSuspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with HF.
FKFeldkirch
FRFreistadt
FVFinanzverwaltung (Financial Administration)since 2005
GGraz
GBGröbming sub-district
GDGmünd
GFGänserndorf
GKConsular corps in Styria
GMGmunden
GRGrieskirchen
GSGüssing
GUGraz-UmgebungGraz surrounding area.
HAHallein
HBHartbergSuspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with HF.
HFHartberg-FürstenfeldSince July 1, 2013.
HLHollabrunn
HOHorn
IInnsbruck
ILInnsbruck-LandInnsbruck countryside area.
IMImst
JEJennersdorf
JOSt. Johann im Pongau
JUJudenburgSuspended on July 1, 2012; replaced with MT.
JWJustizwache (Justice police)
KKlagenfurt
KBKitzbühel
KIKirchdorf an der Krems
KFKnittelfeldSuspended on July 1, 2012; replaced with MT.
KKConsular corps in Carinthia
KLKlagenfurt-Land
KOKorneuburg
KRKrems-LandKrems countryside area.
KSKrems City
KUKufstein
LLinz
LALandeck
LBLeibnitz
LELeoben City
LFLilienfeld
LILiezen
LLLinz-LandLinz countryside area.
LNLeoben (district)Leoben countryside area.
LZLienz
MAMattersburg
MDMödling
MEMelk
MIMistelbach
MTMurtalSince July 1, 2012.
MUMurau
MZMürzzuschlagSuspended on July 1, 2012; replaced with BM.
NLower Austria official
NDNeusiedl am See
NKNeunkirchen
OUpper Austria official
OPOberpullendorf
OWOberwart
PSt. Pölten
PEPerg
PLSt. Pölten-LandSt. Pölten countryside area.
PTPost & Telekom Austria (national mail and phone company)Actually for postal cars only.
RABad RadkersburgSuspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with SO
REReutte
RIRied im Innkreis
RORohrbach
SSalzburg City and official
SBScheibbs
SDSchärding, Diplomatic corps in Salzburg
SESteyr-LandSteyr countryside area.
SKConsular corps in Salzburg
SLSalzburg-UmgebungSalzburg countryside area.
SPSpittal an der Drau
SOSüdoststeiermarkSince July 1, 2013.
SRSteyr City
STStyria official
SVSt. Veit an der Glan
SWSchwechat City
SZSchwaz
TTirol official
TATamsweg
TDDiplomatic corps in Tirol
TKConsular corps in Tirol
TUTulln
UUUrfahr-Umgebung
VVorarlberg official
VBVöcklabruck
VDDiplomatic corps in Vorarlberg
VIVillach City
VKVölkermarkt, Consular corps in Vorarlberg
VLVillach-LandVillach countryside area.
VOVoitsberg
WVienna (Wien)
WBWiener Neustadt-LandWiener Neustadt countryside area
WDDiplomatic corps in Vienna
WKConsular corps in Vienna
WEWels City
WLWels-LandWels countryside area
WNWiener Neustadt City
WOWolfsberg
WTWaidhofen an der Thaya
WUWien-UmgebungVienna surrounding area; suspended on January 1, 2017; replaced with BL, KO, PL, TU
WYWaidhofen an der Ybbs
WZWeiz
ZEZell am See
ZTZwettl
ZWZollwache (Customs officials)Obsolete since 2005 when Zollwache merged with federal police

History

From 1906 until 1919, the plates always composed one letter followed by Roman numerals and three numbers (e.g. "BXV 639"). Temporary admission plates always followed by prefix. The prefixes are G= Bosnia and Herzegovina, U= Hungary, Z= All other countries.

From 1919 until 1930, the plates format is the same as before but became authority supplied.

From 1930 until 1939, the plates comprised one letters followed by five digits. (e.g. B 12345) The thousands of digits encoded the districts.

From 1939 until 1945, the plates comprised two letters followed by a hyphen and seven digits. (e.g. W-1234567) This followed the Nazi German system.

From 1945 until 1946, the plates comprised by a state coat of arms followed by maximum six numbers. They were only issued in the USSR-occupied zone.

From 1947 until 1989, the plates comprised one or two letters to indicate the state or federal code followed by up to six digits (e.g. W 123.456), the first number block was reserved for vehicles, the second one was the serial, when they run out of serials they began to issue XX 999.A99. The background is black with white characters for private vehicles (unknown for all other vehicles). One or two letters are the prefixes set by state and federals, they are:

Diplomatic codes[2]

CodeCountry
1  Vatican City
2 South Africa
3 Albania
4 Germany
5 United States
6 Saudi Arabia
7 Egypt
8 Argentina
9 Australia
11 Belgium
12 Brazil
13 Bulgaria
14 Canada
15 Chile
16 Colombia
17 South Korea
18 Cuba
19 Denmark
21 Luxembourg (formerly  El Salvador?)
22 Spain
23 Finland
24 France
25 United Kingdom
26 Greece
27 Hungary
28 India
29 Indonesia
31 Iraq
32 Iran
33 Israel
34 Italy
35 Japan
36 Lebanon
37 Mexico
38 Norway
39Sovereign Military Order of Malta
41 Pakistan
42 Panama
43 Netherlands
44 Peru
45 Poland
46 Portugal
47 Romania
48 Sweden
49  Switzerland
51 Czech Republic
52 Thailand
53 Turkey
54 Russia
55 Ukraine
56 Venezuela
57 Serbia (formerly  Serbia and Montenegro?)
58 Ecuador
59 Tunisia
61 Morocco
62 Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly  Zaire)
63 Algeria (formerly  Gabon?)
64 China
65 Syria
66 Libya
67 Costa Rica
68Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (formerly  East Germany)
69 Guatemala
71 Ivory Coast
72 Malaysia
73 New Zealand
74 Philippines
75 Nigeria
76 Oman
77 Ireland
78 North Korea
79 Qatar
81 International Atomic Energy Agency
82 United Nations Industrial Development Organization
83 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
84UNCB?
85 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
86 Nicaragua
87 International Atomic Energy Agency
88 Kuwait
89 United Nations Industrial Development Organization
91 Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
92International Organization for Migration
93 United Arab Emirates
94 Senegal
95 Jordan
96 OPEC Fund for International Development
97 Arab League
98 European Union
99?
247Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
515 Slovakia
532Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
551 Vietnam
622 Kenya
623 Azerbaijan/  Namibia/  Zimbabwe???
624 Cape Verde
677 Ethiopia
678 Armenia
681?
712 Slovenia
718 North Macedonia
723 Montenegro
726 Estonia
728 Latvia
846 Malta
848?
853 Tajikistan
858 Kazakhstan
859 Georgia
872 China?
891 Angola
982 Cyprus
995 Bolivia

References

  1. "Wunschkennzeichen". oesterreich.gv.at. Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Innovation und Technologie.
  2. "Codes, Austria, diplomatic codes". Dutch Numberplate Archives. Herman Hallo. Retrieved 4 May 2016.

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