Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)

Registration plates

When a vehicle is registered at an NCTS centre, you will be given your registration number. You will then be able to get your number plates. These must be displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle and clearly visible at all times. Vehicles with only one wheel at the front, such as motorcycles may only display a plate at the rear.

Registration plates are not supplied by Revenue. They can be acquired from any source once they are to the required standards.

Note that there is a very specific format and size for the registration plates. It is illegal to display plates on a vehicle that do not comply with the law. You could be fined up to €5,000 if you display plates that do not meet the required standards.

Reserving a registration number

For €1,000 you can apply to Revenue for a particular registration number for the current year.

To reserve a number, you must apply to the National VRT Service. Applications must be made on or after 1 November in the year before it is intended to first register the vehicle.

If your application is not successful, your payment of €1,000 will be refunded to you.

The number and county chosen must:

  • be in the normal registration number format
  • correspond with the year and half year in which the vehicle is first registered. An application to reserve 181-D-2:
    • may only be made for a vehicle to be first registered in 2018
    • and
    • correspond with the place where the applicant normally resides.

The registered owner must be the person in whose name the number was reserved. Reserved numbers are not transferable.

All registration numbers are available for reservation except the number ‘1’ in:

  • Cork (161-C-1 and 162-C-1)
  • Dublin (161-D-1 and 162-D-1)
  • Limerick (161-L-1 and 162-L-1)
  • Waterford (161-W-1 and 162-W-1).

A reserved registration number can only be assigned to a vehicle when it is reached in the normal sequence. It may not be displayed on a vehicle before it has been formally assigned by Revenue.

A reserved registration number will only be assigned in the year to which it relates.

Applications for reservation of registration numbers should be sent via MyEnquiries, to the National VRT Service.

Next: ZZ registrations, vintage vehicles and ZV plates