Vehicle registration plates of Australia

Australian vehicle number plates are issued by the states and territories, the Commonwealth government, and the armed forces of Australia. The plates are associated with a vehicle and generally last for the time the vehicle remains registered in the state, though as they become unreadable (or for other reasons) they may be recalled or replaced with newer ones. From the 1970s until the late 1990s, most Australian plates were of the form xxx·xxx (with x being either letters or numbers)—for example, aaa·nnn in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory; naa.nnn in Western Australia, where the starting number was between six and nine; and in Queensland. More recently as these series have reached the limit of their capacity, different states and territories have chosen different continuations, so the commonality with respect to format is at an end. The most recent adoption of a new sequence plate is in the state of Victoria, which from 2013 issues plates in the format naa.naa. Nevertheless, standard issue plates have the same dimensions regardless of their state-of-issue so there remains an element of consistency between them.

Summary of current standard issue plates


State/territory Text/background colour Format Size Current slogan Current series Notes
Australian Capital Territory blue/white Yaa·nna 372 mm × 134 mm ACT Canberra – The Nation's Capital or
ACT Canberra – Heart of the Nation
YLS·00A Slogan embossed on plate
ACT Canberra - An Age Friendly City YLP·00A Slogan embossed on plate
ACT – Celebration of a Century 2013 YIQ·00A Slogan screenprinted on plate
New South Wales black/yellow aa·nn·aa New South Wales CK·00·MC No slogan
black/white aaa·nna 372 mm × 84 mm (front)
372 mm × 107 mm (rear)
NSW DKY·00A "Premium" slimline; no slogan
Northern Territory ochre/white Ca·nn·aa 372 mm × 134 mm NT – Outback Australia CC·50·AA Slogan embossed on plate
Queensland maroon/white nnn·aaa Queensland – Sunshine State 000·WZR Slogan embossed on plate
South Australia black/white Snnn·aaa South Australia S000·BNR black/white
Sa·nn·aa SA Heavy Vehicle SB·00·ME Slogan screen printed
Tasmania blue/white a nn aa Tasmania – Explore the possibilities F 00 NT Background screenprinting of state logo (a thylacine walking through reeds)
Victoria blue/white naa·naa Victoria – The Education State 1JE-1AA Slogan screenprinted on plate
white/black aaa·nnn 372 mm × 100 mm Vic ALL-000 Slimline; no slogan
Western Australia blue/white 1aaa·nnn 372 mm × 134 mm Western Australia 1GEO·000 Decorative motif of desert sun and blue skyline along top of plate.


State/territory Text/background colour Format Current slogan Current series Notes
Australian Capital Territory blue/white T nnnn a ACT T 0000 G No slogan
New South Wales black/yellow Ta·nn·aa New South Wales TC·00·TC NSW-TRAILER – Commenced December 2014
black/white TR·nn·aa NSW TR·00·GA No slogan. New series commenced August 2014
Northern Territory ochre/white Ta·nnnn NT – Outback Australia TK·0000 Slogan embossed on plate
Queensland maroon/white nnn·Uaa Queensland – Sunshine State 000·UEA Slogan embossed on plate
maroon/white aa·nnnn Qld EL·0000 No slogan
South Australia black/white Snnn·Taa South Australia S000·TFH No slogan
Tasmania blue/white Y nn aa Tasmania – Explore the possibilities Y 00 CC Background screen printed of state logo (a thylacine walking through reeds)
Victoria blue/white ann·nnn Victoria – The Education State X65·000 Both the state logo decal in top centre (Southern Cross in a blue triangle)
Western Australia blue/white 1Taa·nnn Western Australia 1TSA·000 Decorative motif of desert sun and blue skyline along top of plate. Only the serials are embossed.


State/territory Text/background colour Format Current slogan Current series Notes
Australian Capital Territory blue/white nn·nnn ACT 96·000 No slogan
New South Wales black/yellow aaa·nn NSW LZA·00 No slogan
black/white aaa·nn NSW CCQ·00 No slogan
Northern Territory ochre/white a·nnnn NT B·3000 No slogan
Queensland maroon/white nnn·aa Qld 000·PC No slogan. TMR confirms reissuing cancelled NA-QZ
South Australia black/white Snn·aaa SA S00·BAD No slogan
Tasmania blue/white a nnn a Tas A 000 Z No slogan
Victoria blue/white na·naa Vic 1X·5AA No slogan
Western Australia blue/white 1aa·nnn WA 1II·000 No slogan

Federal numbering scheme

From 1951–2, Australian automobiles were to adopt a broad scheme across all states and territories for vehicle number plates. Both NSW and Victoria had previously issued plates with 2-letter, 3-digits, white on a black background. However, while implemented, this was not entirely popular as some states and territories preferred their own identity reflected on their vehicles instead. They were 'meant' to use the following proposed scheme:

Western Australia deemed itself too large to fit into the proposed scheme and adhered to one of its own devising; plates in the Iaa-nnn series were to be skipped (as a capital I was believed to be easily mistaken for a number 1). This allowed the two populous states with greater registrations of vehicles 6 letter-series each (NSW had A-F, Victoria G-H and J-M), and others with 3 letter-series (Queensland N-Q, South Australia R-T, Western Australia was allocated U-V). Tasmania was only given one, W, due to its size, and the ACT Y. Z was for federal government department use Australia-wide, the 2nd letter reflecting the commonwealth department.

Since 1936, Australian plates were to be uniform in size and embossing in standard Australian dies, beginning with NSW, FCT (now ACT) and Victoria. By 1956 the remaining states and terrorties moved into standard Australian embossing from either pressed or enamel, standardising in dimensions as 372 mm (14.6 in) × 134 mm (5.3 in).

NSW adopted yellow background and black lettering, ACT white background and blue lettering, Victoria adopted a black background with white lettering for its initial scheme allocation. Once this overflowed, Victoria began using from AAA-000 to FZZ-999 on white background and green lettering (later blue commencing at NAA-000). Queensland used a black background with white lettering, Tasmania a white background with blue lettering, SA white background and black lettering, and WA white background (later changed to yellow) and black lettering. NT kept to their white background and all-numbers in ochre that the all numerics ended in June 2011 and began using CA-00-AB onwards.

However, this system was not as popular as expected: the Northern Territory refused and continued its previous all-number system. Western Australia soon adopted the scheme, taking charge of the previously NT allocated XAA-000 to XZZ-999 (WAG-000 to WAG-999 they reserved for WA Government vehicles, then extending to XZZ-999). However many WA rural shires chose to issue their own series plates, with initial letters being Shire abbreviations followed by digits, in the WA colour scheme.

Queensland, after initially skipping the O-series (as a capital-O was often confused for a number 0), were left with too few combinations for a growing number of registrations. The Q series plates were reserved for Queensland government use. In 1978, having exhausted Naa-nnn to Paa-nnn combinations Queensland reversed the format, starting at 000-NAA continuing through to 999-PZZ in 1987, when plates commencing at 000-AAA were issued. Colours were white reflective background and green lettering (later maroon). There are still a number of vehicles in Queensland with the old white-on-black Q and six black on white digits at this time. Only one of these was issued, for display at the rear.

All the remaining states and territories stuck to their initial allocations, until the number of registrations became too large for each state and "overflowed" into series otherwise allocated to another state. NSW overflowed from FZZ-999 to GAA-000 (otherwise issued to Victoria) in 1972, Victoria (having reserved the Maa-nnn series for state government registrations) overflowed from LZZ-999 to IAA-000 (previously skipped) in 1974, and then from IZZ-999 to AAA-000 (otherwise issued to NSW) in 1977. South Australia did similar, overflowing from SZZ-999 to UAA-000 etc. (having reserved the Taa-nnn series for trailer registrations).

Common features

Plates tend to bear the State or Territory name and perhaps a state motto or slogan at the top and/or bottom of the plate. Recent issues of plates (since the 1990s) also often use the state's colours and may include some imagery related to the state (such thing as the state's logo as the dot separating the groups of numbers).

Vehicles running on autogas or compressed natural gas must have a metal diamond with a white lettering LPG on a retro-reflective red background or metal disc with white lettering CNG on red background. The tag must be mechanically fixed (and is usually riveted) onto both of the registration plates. If multiple gas tanks are fitted to vehicle, multiple tags are required – one tag for each tank installed. Subsequently, vehicle manufacturers who manufacture cars with LPG as standard fitting, provide LPG stickers already stuck to the vehicle's registration plate areas, and some state and territory registration authorities also are producing plastic "flat" printed registration plates, and therefore need to provide LPG stickers to avoid damage to the plates if drilled for pop rivets.

All hybrid electric vehicles must have a green diamond sticker with the word "Hybrid" written in white letters. This became a mandatory requirement on all hybrid vehicles registered in Victoria from 1 April 2009, and is designed to warn emergency services in the case of an accident that the vehicle contains high voltage cabling throughout the vehicle.

New South Wales

Issuing authorities

Standalone departments/agencies:

  • Roads & Traffic Authority (2009–2011)
  • Transport and Infrastructure NSW (2009–2010)
  • Transport New South Wales (2010–2011)
  • Department of Transport (January 2011 – October 2011)

Previous general series

Allocated series

General issue combinations at the start of each year (cars and trucks). As it is, approximate blocks were issued.
1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
ZZ-999 AAA-000 AEK-000 ALY-000 APB-000 AUG-000 BCC-000 BKC-000 BSA-000 BWA-000
1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
CAA-000 CLL-000 CTA-000 DAA-000 DKA-000 DOJ-000 EDA-000 EMA-000 AAA-000 BAJ-000
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
AIA-000 CWI-000 DXI-000 GEA-000 GQA-000 HEA-000 HQA-000 JCA-050 JPE-050 KBH-050
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
FOA-000 LCZ-050 LOS-050 MBE-050 MOZ-050 NEA-050 NTZ-050 OFE-050 OSA-050 PHA-050
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
RGZ-050 RQB-050 SAA-000 SPF-050 TCM-050 TOA-050 UCW-050 QUA-050 UWA-050 VOD-050
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
WKA-050 XCA-050 XQD-050 YFA-050 ZBM-050 AC-00-MA AI-00-ZZ AN-00-NZ AT-00-WB AZ-00-CE
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
BC-00-CE BH-00-AA BM-00-HG BT-00-TA BY-00-VB CC-00-CC CG-00-NA

Note: between 1958 and 1980, road tax plates for trucks were allocated from FOZ-050 to FZZ-999 skipping the FU-series due to the explicit nature. From 1968 to 1970, after reaching the end of the E-series block, there was attempt to reissue cancelled combinations from AAA-000 to the B-series. By 1970, this undertaking was modified to fill in "I" and "Q" blocks previously skipped, for example, AIA, AQA, etc. After this, NSW commenced issuing allocations of other jurisdictions, starting with GAA-000 in 1972. In January 1980, the FOA to FPZ blocks from trucks were allocated to cars before reverting from KOA-050 onwards. Combinations between PKG-050 and QLZ-999 were allocated to the then optional New South Wales legend between March 1989 to September 1996. In September 1994, the standard slogan changed to NSW – Towards 2000. This slogan ended midway through the U-series in September 1996 when the New South Wales legend was standardised from QMA-050, reverting to UMM-050 in June 1997 to continue the series .

Registration labels

From 1932, registration labels were introduced which corresponded to the vehicle's the registration plate, and were displayed on the windscreen or side-windows of vehicles.
The label was a wet application type soaked in cold water which was then applied to the glass, then squeegeed with a clean sponge to remove remaining gum on the label. It was time consuming.
1932 to 1953 – Non standard annual colours were used
1953 to 2012 – Annual cyclic colours of red, purple, brown, green, orange and light blue.

Design changes

Information on previous general series

From 1910 to 1937, registration plates were in numerals only. Prior to 1924, these were issued with black lettering on a white background, until recalled and subsequently replaced with the reverse colour format: white lettering on a black background. All contained an "NSW" insert from 1912. In 1937, letters in registration plates were first introduced, using an aa-nnn format. This ran until 1951 with the "NSW" insert on the top of the plate. It is the beginning of Page embossed dies.

From 1951, plates were 3 characters and three numbers (as per the Federal scheme): AAA-000 to FZZ-999, issued on a yellow background with black lettering, with "NSW" insert on the top of the plate. From 1968, cancelled numbers in that range were reissued, but this did not last long, so the Department of Motor Transport DMT needed to fill in unissued plates containing I and Q on the 2nd and 3rd letter characters (e.g.: AIA-123, AMQ-123).

By 1972, NSW had reached the limit imposed by the Federal scheme: a new series started at GAA-000 and ran to ZLF-999 in July 2004,having skipped the plates series from IAA-000 to IRZ-000, ITA-000 to IZZ-999 and ZLG-000 to ZZY-999

Reflective black-on-yellow plates began from October 1980 at which time the "NSW" insert was struck from the top of the plate to be replaced by a state based slogan at the bottom of the plate, except when it was briefly reinstated in 1988/89.

In 1989, combinations went straight from "P" to "R", bypassing "Q" altogether. Q-series plates were later released circa 1992 (QA-series) and continued into 1993 (until around the QI-series). Then in 1996 the Q-series recommenced and finished at QZ.

NSW plates attracted the following slogans, usually located at the bottom of the plate:

By July 2004, combinations of the old 3-letter, 3-number series was exhausted therefore, a replacement series starting at AA-00-AA continuing the current reflective black-on-yellow plates and New South Wales legend.

Trailers and caravans Prior to 1951, trailers used standard general series plates. From 1951 until 1981, trailers used black-on-white plates in the format aa-nnnn, starting as T, R then A, B, C series until these were no longer generally issued. This aa-nnnn format was reallocated to personalised plates for cars and later, trailers. Prior to full use, these combinations in the 2000 to 4999 blocks were reserved for personalised use. From August 1981 until December 2014, trailer plates had the "NSW" top legend and used the one-letter, five-number (a-nnnnn) format excluding the I, O and T letters. The final block, H-00000 to H-19999, was issued after Z-99999. Since 11 December 2014, black-on-yellow trailer plates in the TA-nn-aa format were released with embossed legend NSW – TRAILER. The white-on-black issues are now issued in the series starting with TR-nn-aa with a NSW legend.

Motorcycles were numerics until 1937 when it changed to an alphanumeric format as aa-nn. Then in 1951, this changed from white-on-black to black-on-yellow aa-nnn. By August 1989, it was taken off after exhausting in Z-series by December 1985 and restarting at AA-050 until EE-999 and replaced by the new series ZZZ-99 issued in reverse. In 2009, a black-on-reflective white series was released from ABA-00 onwards that is issued forwards.

When a black on yellow plate is judged to be in need of replacement, the Roads and Maritime Services are required to manufacture a replacement at no cost to the owner, hence it is quite common to see plates from older series in the current format. Registration plates, both personalised and standard, are able to be transferred between vehicles. A number of Sydney bus operators still recycle old plates including Forest Coach Lines and Punchbowl Bus Company.[1]

Year Plate style Year Plate style
Original yellow series, note colour difference
1980 to 1988
NSW – The Premier State
NSW – The First State
NSW – Towards 2000
New South Wales
New South Wales

Current general series

NSW "Premium" registration plate, since 1991

For information regarding skipped combinations please refer to Skipped Combinations section

Skipped combinations:

Other allocations:

MyPlates range

NSW – Centenary of Federation, special edition, 2001
Euro Plate NSW, 2002–present

"MyPlates" range is a product of the Plate Marketing Pty Ltd on behalf of the NSW Roads and Maritime Services. It offers personalisation of registration plates including plate colour and content. Since 2009, all non-reflective bases have been converted to reflective. As of 1 October 2010, Plate Marketing Pty Ltd (formerly part of the LicenSys group) has been appointed to manage and operate the myPlates business under a 15-year partnering arrangement.

Light vehicles options: aa-nnn, aa-nnnn, aaa-nnn, aaa-nna, aa-nn-aa,nnn-aaa, nn-aaa, nn-aaaa,cccccc (where c can be a numeral, letter or space)
Motorcycle format options: aa-nn, aa-nnn, aaa-nn, nn-aaa, ccccc
Trailer format options: a-nnnnn, aa-nnnn, cccccc
Heavy Vehicles options: aaa-nnn, aa-nnn, aa-nnnn, cccccc

History of plates launches

centres and wingers. The auction has since been completed.

NSW alternative plate

Offered in colours are:
Colour on black: AAA·nnn AAA·nnn AAA·nnn AAA·nnn AAA·nnn AAA·nnn AAA-nnn
Black on colour: AAA·nnn AAA·nnn AAA·nnn AAA·nnn AAA·nnn AAA·nnn
Coloured on white: AAA·nnn AAA·nnA AA·nnn AA·nnnn nn·AAA nn·AAAA nnn·AAA cccccc
Coloured range: AAA·nnn AAA·nnA AA·nnn AA·nnnn nn·AAA nn·AAAA nnn·AAA cccccc AAA·nnn AAA·nnn AAA·nnn AAA·nnn
Premium Range: AAA·nnn AA·nnnn AAA·nnn AAA·nnn AAA·nnn AAA·nnn

Exclusions & choices: Motorists can choose any combined letters and numbers including solely letters (max 6 characters). Plate customisation has also been added into the coloured, premium range and recently motorcycles (7 March). Certain restrictions about combinations have been put in place to prevent people from designing plates which appear too-much like numeral-only plates which are auctioned off separately (e.g. 9I2 would not be allowed as it is too similar to 912). There are also restrictions preventing people from picking combinations that are too similar to special plates issued by the Authority (for instance, HC-nnn and HC-nnnn combinations are reserved only for accredited hire-car operators).

Special purpose vehicles

Vehicles with particular purposes in New South Wales have been introduced with numberplates specific to their type.

NSW tourist vehicle registration plate
nnnn-A/nnn-B Colour A-nnnn/B-nnn Colour
2004 nnnn·A 2005 A·nnnn
2006 nnnn·A 2007 A·nnnn
2008 nnnn·A 2009 A·nnnn
2010 nnnn·A 2011 A·nnnn
2012 nnnn·A 2013 A·nnnn
2014 nnnn·A 2015 – Perm
  • A0000 to A9999 for vehicles
  • 0000A to 5999A for trailers
  • 6000A to 9999A for motorcycles
  • This clarifies the allocation of trailer and motorcycle plates as B-series motorcycle trade plates have been discontinued and replaced by the allocation of 6000A to 9999A series. Trailers have moved to 0000A to 5999A replacing the three numeric blocks. This previous permanent arrangement existed from 1991 to 2003 in colour as shown: A·nnnn.

Discontinued plates


Issuing authorities

Previous general series

General series

Registration plates have been issued in Victoria since 1910. Like other Australian plates, these are usually particular to a vehicle, changing hands with it, and are generally permanent (yearly registration is required, however). Victorian registration plates are manufactured at Hopkins Correctional Centre in Ararat, Victoria.[6]

Initial Victorian plates, issued from 1910 to 1939, were in numerals only, from 1 to 285-000. From 1930, "Vic" inserts were added vertically down the left-hand side of the plate.

In 1939, Victoria switched to a two-letter, three-number scheme (AA-000 to ZZ-999) of which also bear "Vic" down the left-hand side. This format was later used for motorcycles. In 1972, the two-letter, three-number scheme was reintroduced as an optional, personalised plate style for cars. These had an embossed "Vic" above the plate's embossed characters in full length.

From January 1953, owing to the Federal number plate system, Victorian plates switched to the three-letter, three-number standard: GAA-000 to HZZ-999, and JAA-000 to LZZ-999, coloured white lettering on a black background, and a "Vic" insert on the top of the plate. The first three-lettered plate, GAA-000 was issued on 27 January 1953.[7] The letters "I" and "Q" were not issued in any combinations, due to these being easily mistaken for "1" and "O" or "0". For the same reason, Victoria skipped the I-prefix series and went straight from HZZ-999 to JAA-000. However, having reached the end of their Federal allotment of letters, Victoria in 1974 commenced from LZZ-999 to IAA-000 (ensuring the capital I had noticeable staves to tell them apart from the number 1). This was only a temporary measure, naturally, as Victoria faced the same problem having proceeded through the I-series three years later.

Victoria – Garden State (1977–1994)

Having exhausted the I-series plates, in November 1977, reflective green-on-white plates were introduced, beginning at AAA-000 and running to FZZ-999, and then skipping to a brief run of RAA-000 to RBZ-999 in 1994.[8][9] These bore the insert Victoria – Garden State at the bottom of the plate.[9] In the early 1990s, it was discovered that the reflective properties of many registration plates in the range from AAA-000 to EZZ-999, and principally the C-series, were defective and this had coincided with the rapid introduction of traffic enforcement cameras in Victoria. Due to the number of plates which were unidentifiable in photographs, all defective plates were recalled and new plates issued free of charge. This caused the rapid consumption of the plate stocks especially late in the F-series and some plates (those starting with FVA-000 to FVZ-999 and FYA-000 to FYZ-999) were produced in Queensland to meet demand. These plates are identifiable by their different embossed dies and vertical diamond separator (as opposed to Victoria's horizontal diamond). It is a popular myth that the defective paint was caused by prisoners manufacturing the plates urinating in the paint mixture.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of European settlement in Victoria, plates from late 1984 to 1985 bore the slogan Victoria – 150 Years across the bottom. These plates were issued for the CBK-000 to CDZ-999 range and were the same green colour. In 1985, some of the CGI-000 to CGZ-999 series plates bore the slogan Vic – Nuclear Free State across the bottom, also in green. For the Australian Bicentenary in 1988, plates in the DJE-000 to DRZ-999 range bore the "Vic" insert horizontally down the left-hand side and the slogan Australia 1788 – 1988 in green across the bottom. In 1992, the EWA-000 to EYF-999 plates were produced with the slogan Victoria – Drive Safely across the bottom in green.

Victoria – On the Move (1994–2000)

In September 1994, in an initiative by the then Liberal Premier, Jeff Kennett, reflective blue-on-white plates were introduced, beginning at NAA-000 and ending at QDZ-999.[8][9] The diamond-dot in the middle was changed to the state logo of a blue St Edward's Crown over an upside-down blue triangle with the Victorian Southern Cross in white inside. These plates bore the slogan Victoria – On the Move across the bottom. In 1996, shorter slimline plates which bear the "Vic" insert vertically down the left-hand-side, and use a different font were issued. These are usually the same width as regular plates and were offered as remakes of existing plates in either blue or green on white, all with the Victoria – On the Move slogan.[10] Unlike slimline or premium plates used in other states, Victorian premium plates follow the same numbering as standard plates, meaning a slimline plate can be matched with a full-sized equivalent.

After the Labor Party headed by Steve Bracks was elected at the September 1999 state election,[11] the Premier by press release on 4 January 2000 announced a public campaign to choose a new slogan that ended on 21 January.[12] This was done because of the affiliation of the old design and slogan to previous government.[11] The old state logo and motto were phased out in February 2000 to prepare for the introduction of a new one.[13] Until the new design was finalised, interim plates in the QDR-000 or QEA-000 to QNF-999 series reverted to the old diamond-dot with just Victoria stated across the bottom (for the regular size) and "Vic" vertically printed on the left-hand side for the slimline design.[10][13]

Victoria – The Place to Be (2000–2013)

On 18 May 2000, Bracks announced the winning slogan to be Victoria – The Place to Be, as nominated by three contestants.[12] This was controversial as it was later learned that the government had paid an advertising firm associated with the Labor Party A$87,000 to assist with the slogan and updated plate design despite it being presented as a public competition.[14] The first plates were issued on 17 October 2000 to the three winning entrants.[12] Starting with QNG-100,[8] these plates dispensed the diamond-dot separator for the new state logo—an enlarged blue triangle containing the Victorian Southern Cross—the top of which merging with the upper border of the plate.[14] The slimline version retained the previous interim design, which remains the current style.

Vic – Stay Alert Stay Alive (2013–2015)

In December 2010, the new Ted Baillieu Liberal government announced its intent to drop The Place to Be slogan from the regular sized plates.[15] On 10 June 2013, the Victorian government announced that the current series was exhausted with the final plate ZZZ-999 already purchased. The new series utilises the format naa-naa starting from 1AA-1AA and was launched on 19 August 2013 using the slogan Vic – Stay Alert Stay Alive.[16][17][18] The new format is estimated to last for 50 years.[6] During the transitional period, Z-series stocks will still be available for motorists who lose or damage their plates, while the new series will be for general everyday issue.[19] This combination with four separate sequences (number, two letters, number, two letters) is one of the most complex structure adopted for a vehicle registration plate around the world. It has also been suggested that the "1" at the front of the combination followed by two letters might be confused with "I", for example, making 1CE look like ICE. Another issue with the new series is that the letter "O" and the number "0" are the same shape in the font used on Victorian plates, so the combination ending in "4OW" for example, is more likely to be read as "40W". This mistake was less likely to be made on the older series as the letters and numbers were isolated by a separator.

Plates in the AAA-000 to AZZ-999 range that have been cancelled/expired, have been reissued to the public and dealers on a limited scale since June 2013. These plates are only available with white stamped slimline dies letters on a black slimline base. Particular combinations cannot be pre-ordered; buyers receive the next combination in stock over the counter. As of December 2016, this numbering scheme has reached the ALL-000 combination.

Victoria – The Education State version 1 (2015–2016)

As part of Labor's campaign for the November 2014 state election, the Daniel Andrews-led party announced its intention if winning office to replace the Vic – Stay Alert Stay Alive with the slogan Victoria – The Education State.[20] After winning this election, the Andrews government honoured this pledge, with the new plates released on 16 October 2015,[21] starting at 1GA-1AA. Unlike previous combinations, the "1G" combination was only produced in standard dimensions with the Victoria – The Education State slogan. Slimline plates continued under the "1F" series. In circa February 2016, the slimline plates progressed to the "1I" series, skipping "1H" which was allocated to the standard size plates from circa March 2016. Once VicRoads exhausted the "1H" combinations in early August 2016, the standard size plates recommenced from "1IE" onwards (with 1IA to 1ID used for slim plates). Starting 1 September 2016, plates bearing the new Victorian state logo replaced the previous Southern Cross design starting at combination 1IL-1AA.[22][23] The Victorian government had earlier unveiled this logo on 12 August 2015.[24]

General issue combinations at the start of each year (cars and trucks)[17]
1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
HCK-620 HHK-501 HMG-525 HSH-114 HXU-733 JDS-007 JKH-768 JRD-884 JXE-287 KEB-500
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
KMD-422 KUC-214 LBD-967 LKC-042 LTE-459 IBU-000 IJD-445 ITA-643 ABF-325 AJL-467
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
ARN-000 AZL-000 BGS-000 BPY-000 BYM-000 CBX-931 CSG-007 DAV-000 DGE-555 DRS-002
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
ECT-525 EMH-000 EUB-000 FCJ-400 FLR-000 NEI-000 NRA-000 OET-650 OUU-000 PLH-000
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
QAU-000 QSA-000 RLA-000 SCZ-999 SRR-989 TIM-959 TZH-877 UPG-951 WFK-999 WYA-000
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
XRA-000 YIA-000 ZAA-000 ZSA-000 1BA-1AA 1DX-6UF 1GP-4AA

Personalised plates

Format options (in any colour): a, aa, aaa, aaaa, aaaaa, aaaaaa, a-n,a-nn, aa-n, aa-nn, aa-nnn, aa-nnnn, aaa-n, aaa-nn, aaaa-n, aaaa-nn, aaaaa-n, nnn-nnn, ccc–ccc, n-aaaaa, nn-aaaa, n-aaaa, nn-aaa, nnn-aaa, n-aaa, nnn-aa, nnnn-aa, nn-aa, n-aa, n-a, and the number series 300-000 to 999-999. The 100 to 285-000 range is reserved for the exclusive, handmade "Heritage" series plates.[25] Three (100-999), four (1000-9999) and five-digit (10000-99999) combinations can only be purchased via public auction.[25]

There are a number of custom plate options in Victoria, issued by V Plates on behalf of VicRoads. Custom or personalised plates come with the optional purchase of a contract. This contract allows the plate holder to retain the plates whether on a vehicle or not. Holding a contract on certain plates, means that when the plates are no longer registered they cannot be resold/issued to another person unless the contract holder sells the contract. VicRoads (who own V Plates) do not know the cumulative figure of the total number of custom registration plates sold since they were first launched in 1986. This is because many personalised plates are not on vehicles, or they are held on self-retention, or have been handed back to VicRoads. However, VicRoads do know that around 30,000 sets of custom registration plates are made every year, and they estimate 10 percent of registered vehicles have custom registration plates.[26]

Sometimes car importers or dealerships reserve a range of plates to put on their cars, the contracts for which are often sold on to customers with the purchase of a car. For example, Subaru bought STI-000 to STI-999 and WRX-000 to WRX-999 for their Subaru Impreza WRX and STI models.

Victorian Euro plate

There are two types of plates (standard and mini) designed specifically to look like European registration plates, called Euro plates. The standard Euro plates, introduced in 2005 are 520 millimetres (20.5 in) wide and 112 millimetres (4.4 in) high and the mini ones are 372 millimetres (14.6 in) wide and 100 millimetres (3.9 in) high. Euro plates have a blue section to the left containing "Vic" vertically above a Victorian Southern Cross, and in the main section contain the letter "V", a full-coloured Victorian coat of arms, and two letters, a space and three numbers (V aa-nnn). These plates use the FE-Schrift font and look like German plates. The general series range from VAA-000 to VZZ-999 are reserved for Euro plates.

In 2006, to commemorate the 2006 Commonwealth Games being held in Melbourne, VicRoads offered a limited edition of 1,000 series of plates in the format M06-nnn. These had the slogan Melbourne 2006 and featured a red-tailed black cockatoo (the official mascot of the 2006 Commonwealth Games). The proceeds were donated to the Department of Sustainability to raise funds to preserve this bird. All official vehicles actually used in the Commonwealth Games were supplied by Toyota Australia and used general issue XAA-nnn plates. The following year, VicRoads issued a similar limited edition Penny the Penguin series in the format M07-nnn, to commemorate the 2007 FINA Swimming World Cup. In 2008, AFL Premiership plates were released. The Hawthorn Football Club won the premiership in that year and hence the registration plate format was HH-08-aa (HH for Hawthorn Hawks, and 08 designating the year they won the premiership). The customer was able to choose the last two characters. The plate was brown on reflective white and featured a watermark of the club's logo in the centre of the plate.

Recently some prestige plates have been issued, which consist of four numbers or two groups of three numbers. Plates using the format B-nnnnn has been released for vehicles registered in Bendigo (B-0001 to B-4999) and Ballarat (B-5001 to B-9999). These have a customised insert of their town, and are usually blue lettering on a reflective yellow background; slogans vary. Since 1993, those also registered to horse studs across Victoria can reserve a V-nnnn series, usually brown lettering on a yellow background and stating Victorian Thoroughbred as a slogan. Others are designed after football teams, and a limited edition Grand Prix series (GP-001 to GP-999) was authorised when Melbourne first hosted the Australian Grand Prix in 1996. Slimline editions of these plates have also been produced.

In July 2014, the old general issue Garden State and On the Move slogans have been reintroduced as a "Retro" option.[9] The plates come in green for "Victoria – Garden State" starting from AAA-000 to FZZ-999, plus RAA-000 to RBZ-999, and Victoria – On the Move in blue on reflective white bases starting from NAA-000 to QDZ-999.[9] These are produced in screen-printed slogans (rather than embossed when they were originally issued) and all features are only an approximation of the original dies.[9]

Other vehicles

  • Tow trucks: TOW-000 to TOW-999
  • Tow trucks: 0000-TT to 9999-TT
  • Heavy tow trucks: 000-HTT to 999-HTT. A batch of plates was produced in error with the letters reading HHT (rather than HTT) and the On the Move slogan; these were unused and sold to collectors.
  • Recreational: Vic – Recreation (red on yellow) 0000-A to 9999-G then starts again at 0000-I to 9999-U. The 0000-H series is used for historic motorcycles.
  • Farm: Vic – Farm Bike (brown on white), 0000-V to 9999-Z, commenced 1 January 2011.
General issue combinations at the start of each year (motorcycles)[17]
1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
CO-026 CT-086 CW-290 CZ-402 DC-262 DF-180 DH-177 DL-086 DP-958 DV-121
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
GB-227 GL-663 HA-365 HR-023 JJ-029 JY-244 KN-280 LA-172 LN-138 MA-000
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
MP-300 NL-010 OG-171 PD-135 PX-000 RJ-650 SA-500 SS-900 TD-450 TQ-625
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
UF-100 US-045 VE-705 VQ-725 WC-820 WO-995 XC-460 XR YH YY
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
ZQ-000 AP-000 BG-000 BZ-000 CS-000 EA-000 FK-000 FU-000 HA-000 IA-000
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
JA-000 1A-1AA 1D-7AA 1J-7AA 1O-1AA 1Q-8BY 1U-6LO
Melbourne taxi plate
Victorian Government plates

Discontinued plates


Issuing authorities

General series

Vehicles: 000·Waa

Motorcycles: 000·Oa

Large trailers (over 1.02t ATM): 000·UBa

Small trailers (up to 1.02t ATM): Ea·0000

Starting on 1 July 1955, plates were manufactured in the format aaa-nnn with white text on a black base.[33] The block used was NAA·000 to PZZ·999, starting at NAA-000, with the O-series initially skipped and used last.[33]

Queensland – The Sunshine State in green-on-white, as issued between 1977 and 2001

Once the aaa-nnn format between NAA-000 and PZZ-999 was exhausted, Queensland reversed the order to nnn-aaa, starting 1 July 1977.[33] These plates were issued with green text on a white reflective background and bore the slogan Queensland – The Sunshine State.[33] As such Queensland became the second jurisdiction in Australia to issue sloganised plates.[33] This series started at 000·NAA and spanned through to 999·PZZ.[34] After exhausting this initial allocation, in late 1987, Queensland began issuing combinations from 000·AAA onwards.

On 28 September 2001, the last plate with green text was manufactured—999·GKJ.[33]

Queensland – The Sunshine State in maroon-on-white, as issued since 2001

In October 2001, Queensland's then Premier, Peter Beattie announced in the state would be switching to maroon-on-white plates embossed with the slogan Queensland – The Smart State.[35][36] The Premier stated that idea for the change came from a member of the public.[35] This was to demonstrate the state government's efforts to promote education, research and development within Queensland.[35][36] Due to backlash from tourism operators and the public, Beattie rescinded his decision on 30 October, instead allowing motorists to select between either the old or new slogans with maroon text.[35][36][37][38] However, it adopted as policy that all government owned motor vehicles, including privately plated vehicles use the Smart State slogan, except where the Premier otherwise agrees.[39] The first of the new maroon plates were manufactured on 14 November 2001.[33] This started at 000·GKK for the Sunshine State plates and 000·HAA for Smart State versions.[33] The Smart State slogan was allocated the combinations 000-HAA to 999-HFU, 000-HOY to 999-HQQ, 000-JAA to 999-JDZ, 000-JKA to 999-JKT, 000-KAA to 999-KAZ, 000-KFA to 999-KGK, 000-KOA to 999-KPD, 000-KWS to 999-KXG, 000-LFA to 999-LFU, 000-LOA to 999-LOZ, 000-LZI to 999-LZZ, and 000-MAA to 999-MFM. All others have Sunshine State slogans.

In late May 2010, after 999·MZZ was reached, the series skipped to 000·RAA, due to standard-issue plates in the 000-NAA to 999-PZZ remaining in circulation, and 000-QAA to 999-QZZ combinations being used and reserved for large trailers and government vehicles.

On 22 April 2012, the recently elected Campbell Newman-led LNP government announced that it would stop manufacturing the Smart State plates as a cost cutting measure, noting that nine-out-of-10 customers chose the Sunshine State slogan.[40][41]

Starting on 19 August 2013, limited edition Queenslander! – 8 in a Row slogan plates starting at 000·UAA were issued to celebrate the recent eighth consecutive State of Origin win for Queensland.[42]

In July 2014, when the combination 999·TZZ was reached, the 000-UAA to 999-UZZ series were skipped, recommencing from 000·VAA. The U-series plates are reserved for large trailers and special applications, such as the limited edition Queenslander! – 8 in a Row plates.

General issue combinations at the start of each year (cars and trucks)[33]
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
012-NDI 452-NJU
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
913-NQY 400-NYA* 100-OEH* 000-OPA* 000-OWM* 000-PEE*

* Approximate combination only

Other vehicles

State Government-owned vehicles' plates have the format QGa·nnn from 1955 to 1980 in white on black base then in an interim arrangement in 1979 allocated QHA until the Bjelke-Petersen government made a clear decision, to issue newer plates from May 1980 using nnn-QGa.

1955–1980 – QGA·000
1980–1989 – 000·QGA
1989–1993 – QGA·000
1993–1999 – 000·QGA
1993–2002 – QGA·000
2002–2007 – 000·QGA
2007–Current – QG·AA00

Previously, State Government vehicles bear the "Smart State" slogan ("QG", of course, standing for "Queensland Government"). As of October 2012 QG plates have moved to the Sunshine State slogan starting from QG-KA01. Government trailer format in both reverse formats are QZA-QZZ and smaller trailer as QG. They are no longer issued. Queensland Fire and Rescue fire appliances have plates in the series nnnn-QF, QF being an abbreviation of Queensland Fire and nnnn being the appliance's fleet number, padded to 4 digits where necessary.

Between 1955 and 1991 ambulance vehicles in Queensland were registered with plates in the series QAV·000 to QAY·999.

There are many special blocks of plates allocated to different vehicles with specific uses:

Personalised plates

Tropical Queensland personalised plate

PPQ – Personalised Plates Queensland is a personalised plate product of the Queensland Transport and Main Roads Department and they have a dedicated website in use.[43]

Queensland motorists have a choice of nearly 100 different types of personalised plates. Personalised plates are very popular amongst Queenslanders and often sell for a premium via classifieds or various online portals such as eBay.

In addition, PPQ offers customers 'retro' plates, which are essentially general-issue plates that may be retained if customers change vehicles. As vintage general issue 'Q' plates, white-on-black plates and green-on-white plates will eventually attract a relatively high price among classic car collectors and restorers, PPQ has made retro plates essentially non-transferable; that is, they may be attached to many different vehicles, but the listed owner(s) must stay the same with each registration and can only be transferred to direct relations.

Formats comes in: nn-aaa, aaa-nn, nnn-aaa or aaa-nnn, Qaa-nnZ and Qaa-nnY (for Euro combinations) and custom combinations as cccccc. 7-letter combinations are auctioned off from time to time and for limited periods between 2007 and 2009, PPQ made 7-letter combinations available for sale online.
Queensland plates are manufactured by LicenSys in Brisbane.

September 2010 – PPQ released 7 letter/number combinations that were not already issued for a limited period of 7 days at the fixed price of $2995 but by 2012 it is now permanent.

November 2010 – PPQ launched the Q Signature Series plates: Qaann

March 2011: PPQ launched the NRL footy plates range covering all of these NRL teams and incorporates Qld based NRL teams.

October 2012 – PPQ launched the A Plate Series: Aaaaaa retailed from $2,500.00.

Discontinued plates

Western Australia

Pre-1978 general issue
General issue, 1978–1997
General issue, 1997–present
General issue (regional), 1997–present
Euro series
Consular Corps

Number plates are issued either as a general plate or as non-metropolitan local government area (LGA) specific plate. LGA specific plates can only be requested when the owner of the vehicle is resident within that LGA. In addition to plates for on-road use Western Australia also has a plate series for vehicles designated for off-road use only.

Issuing authorities

General plates

Outside metropolitan Perth


WA Home of the America's Cup
External image
Western Australia plates

Western Australia also offers the largest number of characters in a personalised registration plate, offering up to nine characters.[49] Western Australian government plates are the same pattern as standard issue, however the colours are inverted, as depicted in the image.

Slogans on Western Australian registration plates changed a number of times in the 1980s, and included "State of Excitement", "Home of the America's Cup" and "The Golden State". However, slogans were abandoned at the beginning of the 1990s.

South Australia

SA – The Festival State
An X-series SA Registration. Note the differences in embossed dies compared to the V-series one above. It is a change of manufacturer as the previous manufacturer of V plates in Adelaide has closed down.
Current South Australia registration plate

General series

Vehicles and trailers: S000·ABC

Motorcycles: S00·ABC

In South Australia, until October 2008, standard registration plates followed the 3-letter, 3-number (aaa-nnn) standard used by New South Wales and Victoria: their series, introduced in 1966 started with RAA-000 an finished at XUN-299.[50]

Since October 2008, South Australian general issue plates follow the format Snnn-aaa, the S signifying South Australia. No slogan is printed on these plates, rather they contain the words 'South Australia'.[51]

Up until 1966 South Australian plates were all numerical, and were subject to re-issue, in either nn-nnn or nnn-nnn format, white on black background. These plates are available for re-issue at a fee.[52]

Post 1966 motorcycles were initially issued with RA-000 to SZ-999 then TAA-000 to TIZ-999. Trailers were issued TJA-000 to TZZ-999. When the Taa-nnn issues were exhausted, motorcycles were issued with high end YYA-000 to YZZ-999,then started at YKA-000 to YKA-799, and trailers issued YAA-000 to YIL-999. Since 2008, newly issued plates are in the form S000-AAA and motorcycles as S00-AAA, while trailers start at S000-TAA.


EzyPlates is administrated by the Department of Transport Infrastructure and Energy SA.

Since 1995, "Premium" registration plates can be purchased which are much more compact in size, in the format aa-nnna: the letter is usually repeated (e.g.: AA-nnna, BB-nnna, current series DD-nnna). These seem to follow the New South Wales Premium format, using black lettering on a white background on a noticeably slimmer plate. South Australian "Premium" registration plates feature black characters on a white base, and the letters "SA" down the side, in the same format as NSW "Premium" registration plates. As of 28 September 2009, there is a new addition to the premium range – white on black base, from XX-000A onwards.

SA Government

Special purpose plates

Heavy vehicle registration plate number
Taxicab registration plate

Government and police vehicles has SA Government plates in blue text on white background as S000·AQA (or previously XQA-000), with a Q as the second letter signifying "Queen" or representative of the government. Older systems were allocated SAA-000 to SZZ-999 to government services as well. The legend is embossed as SA Government.

Ambulances belonging to SA Ambulance Service have plates in the form AMB-nnn, however some vehicles now have standard SA Government plates due to leasing agreements with the State Government (Fleet SA).

Metropolitan taxis have plates with the word TAXI in a smaller size followed by three or four numbers, separated by the current tourism logo for South Australia – SA, A Brilliant Blend. More recently a new country taxi plate has been introduced in black on reflective yellow replacing general issue plates on SA country taxis. Other chauffeured vehicles have a different style plate with a blue outline.

Since September 2007, The heavy vehicle series commenced and the format used is SB·00·AB with the legend SA – HEAVY VEHICLE,the Trailers start at SY 00 AA

General notes

No general issue SA registration plates (other than Government) are issued with the letter Q anywhere in the combination. The only exception is the series VPQ-nnn and WSQ-nnn – both of which were the first set issued by a new manufacturer.

Between 1981 and October 2008, all general issue SA plates contained the slogan "SA – The Festival State", for the Adelaide Festival of Arts. Between 1997 and October 2008, other slogans were available for an additional fee, including: South Australia – Gateway to the Outback; South Australia – The Defence State; South Australia – The Wine State; South Australia – the Creative State; South Australia – The Rose State; and South Australia – The Electronics State. All slogan plates are discontinued, as at October 2008.[51]

It is also possible to obtain a wide variety of personalised registration plates that feature full-colour illustrations and customised logos or slogans.[53]

Discontinued plates


Issuing authorities

General series

Current Tasmanian registration plate design (2008–present)
Older Tasmanian registration plates

Between 1930 and 1954, Tasmanian plates were issued in the format 3 L0000, where the first numeral represented the year, and the letter the month of issue.

In 1954, the style was updated to the W-series plates that ran until 1970. The format and range was WAA·000 to WZZ·999, continuing with the month and year allocations, with the second letter representing the year, and the third letter the month. Originally, from 1954 to 1956, there was a year tab between the state identifier, for example "19 TAS 54" for 1954. This was replaced by a registration label after 1956, resulting in plate design modifications to omit the year between the state identifier.

In 1970, the W-series plates were replaced by the AA·0000 to FS 9999 series with blue lettering on a white background. From 1970 to 1976 these had the slogan TAS and from 1976 to 1998, Tasmania – Holiday Isle. Between 1998 and 2004, the border colour switched to turquoise with the slogan Tasmania – Your Natural State, with a coloured decal of the Tasmanian state logo in the background (a stylised thylacine prowling through reeds on a riverbank). The update started at DS 0000. In 2004, the series reverted to the original blue borders, while retaining the other 1998 revisions.

On 24 February 2008, the Tasmanian Government issued a new registration plate design in the format A 00 AA. After the first letter appears the Tasmanian state logo with the slogan Tasmania – Explore the possibilities. Tasmanian plates are manufactured by LicenSys in Brisbane.

In the illustration of older Tasmanian registration plates, the three plates on the left side from top to bottom are EN-1113 (1998–2004 issue), CO-7984 (1970–1998 issue), WYG-734 (1954 to 1970 issue, non-reflective). The plates on the right side are domestic or semi trailer as indicated by the second character "T". The red plate is a Tasmanian interstate plate, issued before the birth of the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme.

TasPlates range

Tasmanian personalised registration plate

Since 2007, personalised plates are offered only through the TasPlates scheme. A wider range of coloured, prestige and themed plates are available for a one-off fee. Prior to 2007, personalised plates were offered directly through the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources in previous slogan formats and colour options.

Other vehicles

Government plates: from 1970, these plates were in the GT-nnnn or GV-nnnn formats, but in the 1990s this was replaced by the G-nnnnn format. Both of these designs featured red lettering with blue or green numbers. With the introduction of the new standard design in 2008, the format G-00-AA is used. The lettering and numbering on the plates is green instead of the standard blue.

Trailer plates: between 1970 and 2008, the format was AT-nnnn to ZT-nnnn, then it went back to issue IT-nnnn (previously allocated to interstate trucks prior to 1987) and QT-nnnn before concluding. This style was replaced in 2008 with the current format Z 00 AA.

Tasmania Fire Service vehicles use plates in the format TFS-000, with red lettering on a white background and the TFS logo in the centre.

Members of the Consular Corps Tasmania use plates with the letters CC followed by a colour depiction of the flag of the country they represent, followed by two numbers.

Staff of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources enjoy certain diplomatic status and are issued with plates with the letters IC, followed by one or two numbers.

The Governor of Tasmania official cars are registered and insured, but in keeping with viceregal tradition, they display the St Edward's Crown, rather than registration plates. If the Governor is being conveyed, his or her personal flag will also be flown on the car.

Vintage and classic cars may carry "special interest" plates, which are black letters on white, of the format SI·nnnn. Registered owners pay a lesser amount, on condition that the cars are not used as regular transport.

Metro Tasmania buses have the prefix "MET" on their registration plates, with the number thereafter being the fleet number of the bus. A typical registration plate for Metro bus number 43 would be MET·043.

Discontinued plates

Australian Capital Territory

Previous general series

Canberra – Celebration of a Century


Up to 1968, ACT Plates were issued in numerics from 1 to 99-935 (the last one issued) in white on navy blue. From September 1968 the Yaa-nnn series commenced (in blue on reflective white) at YAB. YAA was set aside for recalls of numericals, but public pressure led to a backflip and the authorities allowed motorists to retain their existing numbers as long as they converted them into blue on reflective white, for a fee.

ACT plates were the first of any region in Australia to be reflective, this commenced at YAA-nnn.

Canberra – The Nation's Capital
Canberra – Heart of a Nation, This licence slogan is optional on most cars that are in Canberra

By November 1979, It changed with the new slogan added to "ACT- Canberra The National Capital" starting at YMA-000 as the previous block stopped at YJZ-999.

In 1983, following the change of Federal Government, blocks of YKA to YKK's in the previous style were allocated to the public as it was found in storage.

To celebrate the Bicentennial celebrations in 1988, new vehicle registrations received plates from YRS-000 to YSP-999 that had a black outline of the new Parliament House in the middle, flanked by 1788 on the left and 1988 on the right. As these special plates become evermore rarer, they are sought after and particularly valuable. Remakes have been done in current embossing style.

In early 1996, as YZZ-999 was reached, it went back to YKL to continue filling the unused allocation in the ACT- Canberra The National Capital slogan, and filled unused YAI, YBI, YCI, YDI, YEI, YFI and YAQ, YBQ, YCQ, YDQ, YEQ, YFQ before ending as YLZ-999.

Current general series


In 1998 when the previous series was exhausted, the series changed to Yaa-nna. The previous Feel the Power Slogan was replaced by the original "ACT – Canberra The Nation's Capital" and an optional slogan was offered "ACT – Canberra Heart of the Nation".

In 1999, manufacturer changes lead to the adoption of NSW Premium embossed dies on ACT plates and continues today.

Since 2007 a special series bearing the slogan "ACT-Celebration of a Century 2013" is being issued in commemoration of Canberra's centenary year in 2013. These plates were issued starting with YGA-00A, then at end of YGZ-99Z it skipped over to YIA-00A.

Since 8 July 2015, a new slogan has been offered – CANBERRA – AN AGE FRIENDLY CITY as an additional option to the existing slogans. The ranges YKQ-00A – YKQ-99Z and YLP-00A and YLP-99Z have been allocated for this new slogan.

Canberra - The Nation's Capital series has also been updated as the alpha numerics has been embossed closer rather than the wider and the ink colour changed to a slightly darker blue tone.

Motorcycle - 90·000

It has been the all numeric series since the beginning of the FCT/ACT registration, starting at 1 and continues beyond 94-999 in its current colour format – blue on reflective white, which was initially non reflective white until 1968.

Trailer - T·0000 A

The previous series T-n(nnnn as required) was used, initially in black on yellow base, later blue on reflective white base. When the number sequence reached T-99-999, plates were issued commencing at T 0000 A onwards since 2002.


Personalised plates - AA·000

In January 1984, ACT began offering personalised plates in that range from AA-000 to ZZ-999 in blue on reflective white base with the usual slogans as the general series.

Plastic flat plates started to be offered since 1987 in a printed plastic plates coming in white on different colours as red, blue, green, black and later pink, orange. Due to premature cracking of the original plastic, the manufacture changed it to plexiglass as of 1999. Comes in 12-345, AB-123, YAB-123 or YAB-12D formats.

YAA-000- YZZ-999 and YAA-00A to YZZ-99Z are also included.

Special purpose issues

Taxicab plate

Public transport vehicles are allocated distinctive codes:

ACT Government vehicles are allocated codes 2nn-nnn. The plates are red/brown on reflective white with ACT GOVERNMENT below the number.

ActewAGL vehicles are issued with plates in the format of YWE-nnn, the 'W' and 'E' standing for water and electricity.

Vehicles registered in the Jervis Bay Territory are issued ACT plates in the format of YZO-nnn until 2013 when YJJ-00A is now issued with a new format

Vintage, veteran and historic cars

Historic vehicles owned by members of registered ACT motor vehicle clubs and used only for approved events may be granted special plates at concessional registration. Plates are standard blue on reflective white with the following wording.

Discontinued plates

Northern Territory

General Series (current)

* General series: CA·00·AA

* Motorcycle: A·0000

* Trailer: TA·0000

The Northern Territory has never fully adopted the 1950s three letter, three number Federal scheme. It was proposed to receive XAA-000 to XZZ-999 that Western Australia later took up.

Prior to 1933 Registration plates in the NT was between Central Australia and Northern Australia for 5 years, as NA & CA has their own registration plates until the merger in 1933 back into Northern Territory.

1933 to 1953 Plates were made in the style similar to Q plates in Qld, with NT shown on a white band at the left and the numericals in white on black.

1953 to 1979 Registration plates in the NT were simply five numbers these being white on a black background. [e.g. 12-354], by the 1970s it reached 100-000 so a 6-digit version was added and ran until 1979 when it changed to ochre on white plates. All black-and-white plates were recalled and replaced on expiry of registration, retention fees applied if the motorist wished to keep the original number.

NT – Outback Australia. T indicates trailer

1979 to 2011 NT plates have six numbers in ochre on a white background, with the slogan "Northern Territory: Outback Australia". Motorcycle plates have five numbers. There doesn't seem to be a noticeable system to plate series, as numbers of all types appear on both halves of the plate.

NTG (Northern Territory Government) 800-000 to 899-000 and Cycles 80-000 to 85-999, has the NTG embossed at the left hand side of a standard plate, while NTG was embossed on top of motorcycle plates. It continues to be issued as a standalone numeric allocation after 2011 when the general series moved to alpha numeric.

In 1987, the embossing has changed following a change of manufacturer into a non-standard embossing.

The same year, motorcycles and trailers plates were modified to accommodate registration labels to be displayed in a box below the T letter for trailers and at the right hand side for motorcycles. It happened for a while before the change of manufacturer.

In the 1990s MVR started offering custom, or combination of alpha numerics personalised in Ochre-white base, Black-white base and black-yellow base, with slogan options N.T. - OUTBACK AUSTRALIA or N.T. - NATURE TERRITORY - or N.T. at the top.

In 1998, Vehicle general series reverted to the Australian standard embossing used before 1987.

Trailer plates used the Tnn-nnn format up it was exhausted in 1998 after which Ta-nnnn was implemented. This was previously on a black on yellow base until 1979 when the current ochre on white slogan plates were introduced.

In the early 2000s slimline plates were introduced on personalised /custom or general series via remakes only.

By August 2008 it was reported both motorcycles and general series have reached the 9's and a new system was being looked into to replace the current system. It was reported that the MVR in the NT is looking at n-a-nnnn or aa-nnnn or the NSW aa-nn-aa format to replace it. It is expected to occur near the end of 2010.

As of 23 October 2009, the NT Government has announced the chosen new plate format Ca-nn-aa.[54] It will also replace the all numeric motorcycle series with alpha numeric series. The new series was unveiled in January 2011. It become available for issue in June 2011, with the same ochre on reflective white base and slogan slightly modified to show as NT OUTBACK AUSTRALIA without dash and full stops.


From 1953, Motorcycles had the NT insert embossed at the left hand side while the remainder is embossed as 12-345 in white on black base.

From 1979, the ochre on reflective white base was introduced, with the slogan NT-OUTBACK AUSTRALIA for a brief period at the top before reverting to N.T.

Motorcycles since March 2011, have the new format adopted as A-1234 replacing the numerics issued since it began, is the 1st version.

in 2013, with the labels abolished, motorcycles plates had the box rego label space removed and alpha numeric characters realigned to the middle, hence version 2 of the current format began but it lasted for about 2,500 before changing again.

As of October 2015, motorcycles have changed the embossing back into the standard Australian motorcycle starting from A-8900's, hence the 3rd version since the March 2011 changeover.

Special purpose plates

Special purpose plates offered are MO (Buses), MB (Mini Buses), Private Hire PH, Taxi, SUB taxi series, TV (Tourist Vehicle), SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle), LV (Limousine Vehicle), CV (Courtesy Vehicle), D - Dealer Trade series and SFV (Special Function Vehicle)

Dealer Trade series was in annual cyclic colours before changing to the yellow on black reflective base then finally into current ochre on reflective white base.

MO bus plates from 1953 until 1987 was in yellow on black base which was later reflective in the 1980s and was replaced by the current blue on mid yellow base. Initially it used wheat base but changed to mid yellow base.

Lorry plates in small L embossing and in black on white was introduced in 1953 but lasted only 3 years and was recalled & replaced by the standard general series.

in the 2010s, a new club plate scheme has replaced the VCC (Vintage Car Club) scheme, with embossed legend CLUB down left vertical and bottom legend "NT-MOTOR ENTHUSIAST" and is white on reflective red.

Commemorative plates

Discontinued plates

Commonwealth and military

A motorcade transporting senior members of the official party to an event in Canberra in November 2009. The black car at the left with the numberplate ADF1 carried the Chief of the Defence Force, the white car behind it with the numberplate C1 carried the Prime Minister and the black car second from the right carried the Governor General

Military plates were nnn-nnn with the first digit corresponding to the military district number:

However, new plates issued to the Army are now in this format: nn-nnnn, where the first two digits represent the year the vehicle was registered. r.g. 05-1832.

Current Australian Army registration plate format is Annnnn with this newer format beginning in 2003. The A represents "Army" with the next two digits representing the year the vehicle was first registered. For instance, a 2008 model Toyota Coaster used to transport army cadets might have the plate A08227. This format has also been adopted by the Defence Force, Navy, and Air Force with combinations Dnnnnn, Nnnnnn and Rnnnnn respectively.

The official cars of the three service chiefs carry plates ARMY1, NAVY1 or RAAF1.

Commonwealth of Australia

The Commonwealth Government of Australia used the Z prefix for its government owned vehicles up until 2000 when the Commonwealth Vehicle Registry was closed.

These plates were on a black on white background, usually marked with "C of A" at the top of the plate – an abbreviation of Commonwealth of Australia and the leading Z being red to further distinguish it from other state plates.

Issuance of Z prefixed plates used for same purposes was passed onto the states after 2000. ACT plates started at ZYA-000, Victorian plates started at ZED-000, Queensland plates started at ZQ-0000, NSW plates started at ZZZ-000, SA plates started at ZSA-000 and Tasmanian plates started at ZTA-000.WA plates started at ZAA-00F,

Each of the states display their state initials as seen above the numbers instead of the old "C of A" marking.

Interestingly the Northern Territory still uses the older format and same "C of A" markings at top of the plate.

Prime Ministerial Limousine with C*1 plate in 2007.

The registration plate of the Prime Ministerial Limousine is C*1 (i.e. Commonwealth No. 1) with a seven-pointed Federation Star. This has been updated in November 2015 showing C (Australian Government crest image) 1.[57] Other Commonwealth fleet cars for official transport carry "C of A" plates in the form C-nnn.

The Governor-General's official cars do not carry registration plates, but simply depict a representation of the St Edward's Crown. They tend to also have a flag mounted on the official car. Similar plates are used for vehicles carrying Queen Elizabeth II when visiting Australia.

For official visits to Australia, special plates are often put over the top of normal 'Z' plates, depicting the Australian Coat of Arms and, in red 'Visit to Australia' with a numeral. These are not strictly registration plates, but are useful for police and other officials to identify cars in official motorcades.

Federal Interstate Registration Scheme

Heavy vehicles (over 4.5 tonnes GVM) can choose to participate in FIRS.

FIRS plates are WX·00AA, and are green on a reflective yellow background.

FIRS plates are issued by state authorities on behalf of the Commonwealth, and carry the format as specified by the Interstate Road Transport Regulations 1986 – Reg 21.[58] Federal Interstate-registered vehicles are prohibited from undertaking intrastate journeys and can only be used for cross-border work.

The first character represents the state of issue:

The second character represents the type of vehicle being registered:

The remaining characters are allocated by the issuing authorities. As most interstate transport companies are based on the East Coast, the majority of FIRS plates are registered in NSW and Vic. Some issues originate in Qld or SA, with the remaining states appearing relatively rarely.

A typical plate which might be found on a semi-trailer, registered to a company in QLD would be QT·88MW.


Diplomatic vehicle in Canberra

Diplomatic plates are issued to foreign diplomats by the Government of the Australian Capital Territory. They grant diplomatic immunity to the vehicle and driver from all traffic laws, speed limits, parking infringements and tolls in all reasonable course of duty by a diplomatic officer, in compliance with UN laws. They follow the format of 'DC nnnn', 'DCnnnnn', 'DX nnnn' or 'DXnnnnn', where the first two or three numbers are the code for the home country of the diplomat, and have black text on a powder blue background. DC plates are issued to members of the diplomatic corps, whereas DX plates are issued to persons who are attached to diplomatic missions but are not themselves diplomats, e.g. household staff.

Older issues have no territory identifier, however newer plates have 'ACT' embossed at the top centre of the plate. Newer plates are also written as 'DC' and 'DX', rather than 'D.C.' and 'D.X.' to allow for the inclusion of a greater number of characters in the sequence. A substantial number of older-style plates are still in use, however.

The first two or three numbers appearing in the plate correspond to a specific country, for example 69 is issued to the United Kingdom. The following two digits are typically issued with lower numbers to higher-ranking officials, usually 01 being issued to the ambassador from that country. So DC 6901 would be found on the vehicle of the British High Commissioner to Australia.

The number issued to each country has no particular relevance, and was allocated by ballot. Countries with many vehicles (such as the USA) are allocated two numbers. Before the blue D.C. plates were introduced, diplomatic cars in Canberra carried plates which had white letters on red. The numbers then correlated to the length of time the particular diplomatic mission had been in Canberra and the British High Commissioner's car proudly carried the plate D.C. 1. The replacement arrangement is more egalitarian.

State registration authorities issue CC plates to consular representatives in their relevant state capital.

The ACT Government issues similar plates to representatives of international organisations in the Territory. These plates are also coloured black on powder blue, and follow a format of IO nnnn.

Registration labels abolition for light vehicles

States abolished rego labels since 2010 are:

Heavy vehicles GVM 14.5 or more will continue to be issued with registration labels where abolished.


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External links

Custom Plates Issuing Authorities

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