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European and American Number Plates

Updated on October 15, 2014

American number plates, English, French and German, you will find them all on this site with a little bit of their history.

Number plates have been around long enough now to have established an interesting history. This hub takes a look at how registration plates have evolved since their initial introduction and how they are configured in several European countries and the USA.

By the way if you like the idea of creating your own single page website like this then all you have to do is click on I want to make my own HubPages Hub

Also if you want to travel through Europe to see all those different plates check out Euro Traveller UK for all your travel options for Europe.

License Plates and Accessories on Amazon


A full set of USA plates for each state, all the plates are genuine and have actually been used on real vehicles. The numbers may be different to those shown in the image.


American Number Plates

The style and standards of American number plates changes and varies from state to state so make sure you chose the right product for your state.

If you want a little bit of American history then take a look at these plates, one from each state, mounted on a display board ready for your wall. is the top number plate manufacturer of American Number Plates in the UK

The Way We Were Back Then

English Number Plates

Number plates have been around in the UK since 1903 and the first registration number was A1. It was issued in London and utilised what was to be the first of many numbering systems that have been introduced over the last 100 years or so.

The registration mark is made up of seven characters. There are three parts to the registration mark, each with a separate meaning.

  • The first two letters show where the vehicle was registered, the local memory tag (area identifier)
  • The two numbers indicate the age of the vehicle (age identifier)
  • The last three letters give a unique identity to a vehicle, using 3 random letters

Current plates have black characters on white reflective material (for the front plate) or on yellow reflective material (for the rear plate).

Older British plates had white, grey or silver characters on a black background. This style of plate was phased out in 1972, and can only be used on vehicles built prior to 1 January 1973.

Click on the number plate below to go and make a purchase

Lets not forget our biker friends either, need a plate or two then click on the banner below and you will be sorted before you can blink.

Overtaking Moves in F1 Races

In the UK you must not alter, rearrange or misrepresent the letters or numbers

French Number Plates

Click on the banner below to go and make a purchase

From 2008 the number system is changing and it will be composed of a serial of 7 alphanumeric characters, made up of 2 letters maximum, 3 numbers maximum, and then 2 letters maximum (for instance: DA 456 BC). The department code that used to be included as the last 2 numbers on the plate will be discontinued, as an alternative the owner will be able to add a further blue strip on the right with a regional logo and department number.

The number will be allocated to a car and will not change, even if the car is sold or the owner relocates.

So here we are 2009 has arrived and the colour scheme has changed to black on white front and rear, until 2009 the legislation was that the rear plate was black on yellow the same as the UK but that has all changed now as has the numbering system as described.

German Number Plates

To find out more about German number plates or to make a purchase click on the banner below

German car number plates display the place where the car is registered. If a person changes their main place of residence in Germany, or buys a new car, they need to buy new number plates.

The present format uses black print on a white background, a D (for Deutschland=Germany) is in a blue strip on the left, along with the European Union's flag, 12 golden stars in a circle on blue ground.

After that, there are between one and three letters which show the city or region where the car is registered, such as B for Berlin.

After the location name there are the emission test and vehicle safety test stickers followed by one or two usually random letters and one to four usually random numbers. The total quantity of letters and numbers on the plate is never more than eight.

Personalized Car Number Plates

Would you buy a personalized car number plate?

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    • BrianRS profile image

      Brian Stephens 8 years ago from France

      [in reply to Daniel] The guy on the motorbike is my father during the war.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 8 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      great idea brian, wonderful presentation. 5* for your creativity. lensrolled this page in some of my pages.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I like the formual 1 videos, especially the crashes.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Who's the guy on the motorbike, the picture looks really old and so does the one of the car. Interesting though I like them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Who's the guy on the motorbike, the picture looks really old and so does the one of the car. Interesting though I like them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Really like the Lewis Hamilton video, very amusing.

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 9 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      I never realised that number plates could be interesting before. 5*

    • faithcreations profile image

      faithcreations 9 years ago

      Nice Lens! Welcome to the "SHOP AT HOME" group! Faith

    • The Homeopath profile image

      The Homeopath 9 years ago

      Where I live it's fashionable to have the circular country stickers on your car (like UK or GER, or FR, etc.). I see many cars with multiple countries on them and some novelty ones as well.