Format of Vehicle Registration Plates

1. Introduction

The format, dimensions and technical specifications of registration plates to be displayed on motor vehicles are laid down by law in the Vehicle Registration and Taxation Regulations 1992 (Statutory Instrument (S.I.) 318/1992 as amended, and Statutory Instrument (S.I.) 542/2012).

The main requirements are:

  • the assigned registration number comprising numbers and letter/s in black on a white reflective background;
  • the name of the county of registration in Irish at the top of the plate;
  • the flag of the European Communities and the letters "IRL" on the left-hand side of the plate, the flag comprising twelve gold stars in a circle, the letters in white beneath it, all on a blue reflective background.

Acceptable plate formats are shown in the sections below.

2. Vehicles first brought into use on or before 31 December, 2012

This Registration plate format applies to all vehicles that were first registered, on or before 31 December 2012, either in Ireland or in another state.

Vehicles first registered in another state prior to 1 January 2013, and then imported into Ireland and registered, will be given a number plate of the format outlined below. The appropriate year index, applicable to the vehicle’s date of first registration in the other state, will be assigned.

Diagram 1:

first image of acceptable plate formats

Diagram 2:

second image of acceptable plate formats

No other numbers, letters or marks, etc. should appear on the plate.

3. Vehicles first brought into use on or after 1 January, 2013

This Registration plate format applies to all vehicles that were first registered, on or after 1 January 2013, either in Ireland or in another state.

Vehicles first registered in another state on or after 1 January 2013, and then imported into Ireland and registered, will be given a number plate of the format outlined below. The appropriate year index, applicable to the vehicle’s date of first registration in the other state, will be assigned.

As part of the Year index, an additional character, either '1' or '2', has been added.

The '1' indicates that the vehicle was first registered during the period 1 January to 30 June, in the year of registration.

The '2' indicates that the vehicle was first registered during the period 1 July to 31 December, in the year of registration.

Diagram 3:

third image of acceptable plate formats

Diagram 4:

fourth image of acceptable plate formats

Diagram 5:

fifth image of acceptable plate formats

Diagram 6:

sixth image of acceptable plate formats

No other numbers, letters or marks, etc. should appear on the plate.

4. Exceptions

The Registration Plate formats above do not apply to vehicles registered prior to 1 January, 1993, or to vehicles registered in the "ZV", "ZZ" or Trade Licence series.

5. Penalties

The use of Registration Plates in a format other than those shown in Diagrams 1-6 above, is Prohibited by Law, and vehicle owners who use them may incur fines of up to €5,000.

 

December 2012

Back to Top


Print this page