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.

Example of a licence plate in Austria used since 2002 ("K" for Klagenfurt), with the Carinthian coat of arms
Example of a licence plate in Austria without the EU symbol used 1990–2002

Appearance edit

Moped plate

The licence 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 colours 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 licence 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 edit

Licence plate issued in Vienna ("W" for Wien)
A FF plate from former Fürstenfeld district, with the lowest digits 10 and Styrian arms

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.
  • the coat of arms of the Austrian 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.
Chilean ambassador in Vienna
  • 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)
    • IBK Stadt Innsbruck (municipal vehicles of Innsbruck)
    • 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 edit

Personalised plate from Dornbirn, with Vorarlberg arms

In Austria, it is possible to obtain a customized registration plate by payment of €228.30 for registration and €21.00 for the plates themselves.[1] An example of a customized plate is XX ∇ ABC 1. In general, the alphanumeric combination that goes after the coat of arms must consist of at least three characters and begin with a letter and end with a number. The letters and numbers must each be grouped together in a block. This makes such plates easily distinguishable from standard ones.

Electric plates edit

Electric plate from Feldkirch

Since 2017, electric plates have been introduced in Austria,[2] these special plates are given only to electric vehicles and are exempt from parking charges in Vienna, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Wels, Linz, Graz, Mödling, Zell am See, Klosterneuburg and Krems.

Other plates edit

Export transit plates edit

Export transit plates

Export transit plates are vehicle plates that are issued to vehicles that are being exported, the plate is used for vehicles that need to get to their desired export destination, but are not allowed to use regular licence plates because they have been deregistered abroad. For motor vehicles the cost of an export transit plate is €197.3.[3] The export transit plates are valid for 3 to 21 days.

Provisional plates edit

Provisional plates

Prefixes edit

Code City, District and official vehicles Notes
A Federal officials   Federal president's plate
AM Amstetten
B Bregenz, Burgenland official
BA Bad Aussee sub-district Suspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with LI.
BB Bundesbahnen (Federal Railways) Obsolete, ÖBB vehicles now use W ∇ XXX BB plates
BD Kraftfahrlinien Bundesbus (Bus Service)   Since 2008 for Postbus coaches only, until 1997 also for ÖBB coaches
BG Bundesgendarmerie (Federal gendarmerie)   Obsolete since July 2005, when Gendarmerie and police merged
BH Bundesheer (Federal Army)  
BL Bruck an der Leitha
BM Bruck-Mürzzuschlag Since 2013, Bruck an der Mur until 2012.
BN Baden
BP Bundespolizei (Federal police)   Since July 2005 for all new registered police cars
BR Braunau am Inn
BZ Bludenz
DL Deutschlandsberg
DO Dornbirn
E Eisenstadt Also for the city of Rust, Burgenland.
EF Eferding
EU Eisenstadt-Umgebung Eisenstadt surrounding area
FB Feldbach Suspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with SO.
FE Feldkirchen
FF Fürstenfeld Suspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with HF.
FK Feldkirch
FR Freistadt
FV Finanzverwaltung (Financial Administration)   since 2005
FW Feuerwehr (Fire brigade)   since February 2020
G Graz
GB Gröbming sub-district
GD Gmünd
GF Gänserndorf
GK Consular corps in Styria
GM Gmunden
GR Grieskirchen
GS Güssing
GU Graz-Umgebung Graz surrounding area.
HA Hallein
HB Hartberg Suspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with HF.
HE Hermagor
HF Hartberg-Fürstenfeld Since July 1, 2013.
HL Hollabrunn
HO Horn
I Innsbruck
IL Innsbruck-Land Innsbruck countryside area.
IM Imst
JE Jennersdorf
JO St. Johann im Pongau
JU Judenburg Suspended on July 1, 2012; replaced with MT.
JW Justizwache (Justice police)
K Klagenfurt
KB Kitzbühel
KG Klosterneuburg
KI Kirchdorf an der Krems
KF Knittelfeld Suspended on July 1, 2012; replaced with MT.
KK Consular corps in Carinthia
KL Klagenfurt-Land
KO Korneuburg
KR Krems-Land Krems countryside area.
KS Krems City
KU Kufstein
L Linz
LA Landeck
LB Leibnitz
LE Leoben City
LF Lilienfeld
LI Liezen
LL Linz-Land Linz countryside area.
LN Leoben (district) Leoben countryside area.
LZ Lienz
MA Mattersburg
MD Mödling
ME Melk
MI Mistelbach
MT Murtal Since July 1, 2012.
MU Murau
MZ Mürzzuschlag Suspended on July 1, 2012; replaced with BM.
N Lower Austria official
ND Neusiedl am See
NK Neunkirchen
O Upper Austria official
OP Oberpullendorf
OW Oberwart
P St. Pölten
PE Perg
PL St. Pölten-Land St. Pölten countryside area.
PT Post & Telekom Austria (national mail and phone company) Actually for postal cars only.
RA Bad Radkersburg Suspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with SO
RE Reutte
RI Ried im Innkreis
RO Rohrbach
S Salzburg City and official
SB Scheibbs
SD Schärding, Diplomatic corps in Salzburg
SE Steyr-Land Steyr countryside area.
SK Consular corps in Salzburg
SL Salzburg-Umgebung Salzburg countryside area.
SP Spittal an der Drau
SO Südoststeiermark Since July 1, 2013.
SR Steyr City
ST Styria official
SV St. Veit an der Glan
SW Schwechat City
SZ Schwaz
T Tirol official
TA Tamsweg
TD Diplomatic corps in Tirol
TK Consular corps in Tirol
TU Tulln
UU Urfahr-Umgebung
V Vorarlberg official
VB Vöcklabruck
VD Diplomatic corps in Vorarlberg
VI Villach City
VK Völkermarkt, Consular corps in Vorarlberg
VL Villach-Land Villach countryside area.
VO Voitsberg
W Vienna (Wien)
WB Wiener Neustadt-Land Wiener Neustadt countryside area
WD Diplomatic corps in Vienna
WK Consular corps in Vienna
WE Wels City
WL Wels-Land Wels countryside area
WN Wiener Neustadt City
WO Wolfsberg
WT Waidhofen an der Thaya
WU Wien-Umgebung Vienna surrounding area; suspended on January 1, 2017; replaced with BL, KO, PL, TU
WY Waidhofen an der Ybbs
WZ Weiz
ZE Zell am See
ZT Zwettl
ZW Zollwache (Customs officials) Obsolete since 2005 when Zollwache merged with federal police

History edit

1954 occupation licence plate

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 letter followed by five digits. (e.g. B 12345) The thousands of digits encoded the districts.[clarification needed]

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[4] edit

Code Country
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
39 Sovereign 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
68 Comprehensive 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
84   United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
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
92 International Organization for Migration
93   United Arab Emirates
94   Senegal
95   Jordan
96   OPEC Fund for International Development
97   Arab League
98   European Union
99 ?
247 Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
515   Slovakia
532 Organization 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
854   Belarus
858   Kazakhstan
859   Georgia
872   China?
891   Angola
982   Cyprus
995   Bolivia

References edit

  1. ^ "Wunschkennzeichen". Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Innovation und Technologie.
  2. ^ "Green license plates now also available for e-trucks in Austria". Österreichische Verkehrszeitung. 10 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Überstellungskennzeichen".
  4. ^ "Codes, Austria, diplomatic codes". Dutch Numberplate Archives. Herman Hallo. Retrieved 4 May 2016.

External links edit