1. Normal series (for cars, trucks, busses, coaches, ambulances, hearses, cranes, etc.)
A. From 1953 to 1962: one letter and four digits
– Code 1: type "X.1111"
– Code 3: type "11.X.11"
– Code 4: type "111.X.1"
– Code 5: type "1111.X"
Notes:B. From 1962 to 1973: two letters and three digits
• For these five codes, X stands for any letter except A, I, O, P and Q, and 1 stands for any digit, although it could not occur four times on a plate (e.g. there was no such plates as K.0000, 0.M.000, 00.G.00, 000.C.0 or 0000.Z).
• However, plates ranging from 000.P.1 to 999.P.9 and from 0001.P to 9999.P were used on public services vehicles (e.g. postal services, public transports, etc.).
– Code 6: type "XX.111"
– Code 7: type "1.XX.11"
– Code 9: type "111.XX"
Notes:C. From 1973 onwards: three letters and three digits
• As for codes 6 to 9, 'XX' stands for a combination of all letters but I, O and Q, except:
– AA, KK ('caca' means 'shit' in French), SS (reference to the nazi soldiers) and WC ('water closet').
– series between EA and EZ, GA and GZ, LA and LZ, MA and MZ, PA and PZ (series formerly used for motorcycle plates)
– three times 0 (e.g. there were no such plates as KP.000, 0.SL.00, 00.TD.0 or 000.BE ever issued; now it is possible to have such combinations thanks to a 874 € personalized plate)
• As for code 10, X stands for any letter except I, O and Q; besides, plates were issued as of C.001.A up to X.999.Z.
– Code 11: type "XXX·111"
Between 1973 and 2000, 'XXX' stood for a combination of any three letters excluding I, M, O, Q and W (e.g. there were no such series as EIQ, FAW, LWB, etc.). '111' stands for any combination of three digits, with the exception of '000', which means that 999 plates were issued for each series (even including '666', which is forbidden in several countries).
Between 1973 and 1997 the DIV issued plates ranging from AAA·001 to PLL·999 (in 1973 style), sometimes re-issuing older numbers. Unfortunately I started observing licence plates as of September 1999, which implies I do not know how the series were issued, and when older numbers were re-issued.
In 1997 the DIV issued plates ranging from PLN-001 to PZZ-999, then re-issued older numbers (in 1998), before issuing plates starting with an 'R', from RAA-001 to RVJ-999 (roughly from January to August 1999).
With the introduction of the 1999 style plate in August 1999, the DIV skipped to the SAA series, continuing up to SRZ-999, with the noticeable addition of the SPW and SRW series, maybe as a test.
As of 1 August 2000 the DIV issued plates with I, M, Q and W by starting over again with the AAI plates, then AAM plates, AAQ, AAW, ABI, and so on. However, no plates starting with an I were issued, which means there are no plates ranging between IAA-001 and IZZ-999 – unless they are personalized numbers. Instead, the DIV directly jumped from HZW-999 to JAI-001. Similarly, there were no plates starting with M (because that series was used for motorcycles), nor plates starting with O (because that series was used by oldtimers), nor plates starting with Q (because that series was used by trailers).
By 2006 the DIV had issued the RUW series, but since the RVI, RVM, RVQ, RVW, etc. had already been issued, the DIV jumped to the SAI series, then SAM, SAQ, SAW, etc. up to SPQ, then SQA to SQZ (since the SPW plates had been given out earlier as a test – or by mistake?), then SRI, SRM and finally SRQ – SRW plates had also been given out earlier as a test.
The DIV then issued plates ranging from SSA-001 to SZZ-999, skipping no series at all (except those containing an O, of course), then series from TAA-001 to TZZ-999, with the exception of the series between TXA-001 and TXZ-999 which are reserved for taxis. Then the U series was skipped because it was used by trailers, and started again with VAA-001 op to VZZ-999, then from XAA-001 to XZZ-999 and finally from YAA-001 to YZZ-999. The W series was skipped because it was reserved for motorcycles, and the Z series as well since it is used by dealers.
– Code 12: type "111·XXX"
These plates were issued as of 26 June 2008 for people registrating their vehicles via the Internet. The first plate, 001-AAA, was given to Mr Hassan Amdar from Anderlecht. At the same time, the remaining code 11 plates have been issued at the DIV parlours until they were out of Y plates — the last series, YZZ, was issued in Oostende. Then the code 12 plates were issued at the parlours as well. (Click here to find out which is the highest number seen to date.)
– Code 13: type "1·XXX-111"
On 16 November a brand new licence plate system was launched in Belgium, introducing the European 520 x 110 mm format with the Belgian euroband at the left side. The goal of the new system is to replace all Belgian licence plate from before November 2010 with plates made in the European format. One will have to change in the following cases:
- Whenever you want to register a vehicle
- Whenever you request such a plate yourself
- Whenever your licence plate is too used and unreadable, you cannot ask for a duplicate anymore; instead you will get a new plate
- Whenever you lose your plate or if it gets stolen
2. Motorcycle series (bicycles, tricycles and quadricycles)
A. From 1953 to 1962 (obsolete, not in use anymore)
– Code 6: type "XX.111"
– Code 7: type "1XX.11"
– Code 8: type "11.XX1"
– Code 9: type "111.XX"
The group of letters started either with an E, G, L or M. The P was also reserved but was never used.
B. From 1962 to 2006
– Code 11: type "MXX 111"
* First type (1962-1990s): sceal below letter M
C. From 2006 onwards
– Code 11: type "WXX 111"
C. From 2010 onwards
– Code 13: type "1-MXX 111"
Not yet observed.
3. Trailers series (weighing more than 500 kg, or more than 750 kg as of 2001)
A. From 1990 to 2001: code 11, type "UXX·111"
Note that there are a few trailer plates starting with the letter U that have been remade ('duplicates') in the European, black-on-white format.
B. From November 2001 to November 2010: code 11, type "QXX-111"
(Note that "QHT" reads like 'cul acheté' ('bought ass') or 'cul à jeter' ('ass to throw away') in French.)
(The euroband was hidden by a bar).
C. From 16 November 2010 onwards: code 13, type "1-QXX-111"
[Not yet observed]
II. SPECIAL SERIES
1. Royal Household
From 1 (King) to 100.
1999 style; this plate belongs to the Prime Minister — Yves Leterme when the plate was photographed on 21 July 2010.
1999 style; this plate belongs to a Minister from the Federal Government.
1999 style; this plate belongs to a State Secretary from the Federal Government.
1997 style. It also belongs to a Minister of State. (Seen in Ladeuze underground car park, Leuven. I suspect this is Louis Tobback's plate: he's the city Mayor.)
2008 style (because the dash is on the middle line); it belongs to a Minister of State.
1999 style, made in 2002. It belongs to Melchior Wathelet, Minister of State. (Seen in the professors' car park at the Université de Liège.)
1999 style; this plate belongs to Mgr André-Mutien Léonard, Belgian Cardinal; note that he had the same plate when he was still Bishop of Namur; plate A.140 is still probably used by former Cardinal, Mgr Danneels.
1999 style; this plate probably belongs to a high representative of a recognized religious cult.
2008 style; this plate belongs to a high general from the Army.
5. Diplomatic series
– 1st type (1953?-1975?): code 6, type "CD.111" (no more in use)
– 2nd type (1975?-1990): code 6B (never used on other types of plates), type "CD.1111" (no more in use). The first two digits denoted an ambassade code.
– 3rd type (1990-1997): code 11, type "CD.X111" (separating dot on the lower line)
Issued codes: CD.A111, CD.B111, CD.C111, CD.D111, CD.E111, CD.F111, CD.G111, CD.H111 (note that CDH is the name of a Belgian political party; normally all party names are forbidden on licence plates, but CD.H was not forbidden because it was issued before the party took that name).
– 4th type (1997-1999): code 11, type "CD_X111" (separating dash on the lower line)
Issued codes: CD_J111, CD_K111, CD_L111.
– 5th type (1999-2008): code 11, type "CD:X111" (separating dash on the lower line and painted CV sceal)
Issued codes: CD:N111, CD:P111, CD:Q111, CD:R111,CD:S111, CD:T111, CD:U111, CD:V111, CD:W111, CD:X111, CD:Y111, CD:Z111.
(5th style duplicate plate.)
– 6th type (2008): code 12, type "CD:111X" (separating dash on the lower line, painted CV seal)
Issued codes: CD:111A
– 7th code (2008-2010): code 12, type "CD:111X" (separating dash on the middle line, painted CV seal, and 2008 narrower dies)
Issued codes: CD:111B, CD:111C, CD:111D (most recent series in October 2010)
There have been so far four types of EUR plates:
1st type: the letters EUR (with a 'square R') are surrounded by nine blue stars, then followed by four digits from 0001 to 9999.
2nd type: the letters EUR (with a 'round R') are surrounded by nine blue stars, then followed by four digits from 0001 to 9999.
3rd type: the letters EUR are surrounded by twelve blue stars, followed by four digits from 0001 to 9999, and a hologram with the year of issue passes across the vertical middle line.
4th type: the letters EUR are surrounded by twelve yellow stars, followed by four digits ranging from 0001 to 9999; the official CV sceal is coloured blue and there is a hologram with the year of issue across the vertical middle line.
– 1st style (1975-1980s?): 111·EURO (separating dot on the middle line)
– 2st style (1980s?-1997): 111.EURO (separating dot on the lower line)
– 3rd style (1997-1999): 111_EURO (separating dash on the lower line) (very rare)
– 4th style (1999-2008): 111:EURO (separating dash on the lower line and blue CV sceal)
– 5th style (2008-2010): 111-EURO (separating dash on the middle line and painted CV sceal)
8. Dealers series
8.1. Car and truck dealers
– 1st type (1953 to 1990): black on yellow plates with five digits, ranging from 10.000 to 25.000. This series is no longer in use.
– 2nd type (1990 to 1997): code 11, type "ZXX·111", red on white plates. This series is no longer in use.
Issued series: ZAA, ZAB, ZAD, ZAE, ZAF, ZAG, ZAH, ZAJ, ZAL, ZAN, ZAP, ZAR, ZAS, ZBA, ZBB, ZBC, ZBD, ZBE, ZBF, ZBG, ZBH, ZBJ, ZBK, ZBL, ZBN, ZBP, ZBR, ZBS and ZBT.
– 3rd type (1997 to 2002): code 11, 1973 style plates, type "ZXX·111"
Issued series: ZBU, ZBV, ZBX, ZBY, ZCS, ZCT, ZCU, ZCV, ZCX, ZCY, ZDA, ZDB, ZDC, ZDD, ZDE, ZDF, ZDG, ZDH, ZDJ, ZDK, ZDL, ZDN, ZDP, ZDR, ZDS and ZDT (up to ZDT·500).
ZXX:111" (with painted CV sceal)
Issued series: ZDT (as of plate ZDT-501), ZDU, ZDV, ZDW, ZDX, ZDY, ZDZ, ZEA, ZEB, ZEC, ZED, ZEE, ZEF, ZEG, ZEH, ZEI, ZEJ, ZEK, ZEL (current series).
Duplicate from a plate originally issued in the 3rd type.
Duplicate from a plate originally issued in the 3rd type.
8.2. Motorcycle dealers: ZMX 111
9. Road test series
9.1. Cars and trucks
a) 1990-1997: code 11, type "ZZX·111" (black on yellow)
Issued series: ZZA, ZZB, ZZC, ZZD, ZZE, ZZF, ZZG, ZZH.
b) 1997-2002: code 11, type "ZZX·111" (green on white, separating dot)
Issued series: ZZI (first time the letter "I" was used on Belgian licence plates), ZZJ, ZZK, ZZL, ZZN, ZZP, ZZR, ZZS, ZZT, ZZV, ZZX, ZZY, ZZZ.
c) 2002-2008: code 11, type "ZZX:111" (green on white, separating dash and painted CV sceal)
Issued codes: ZZA, ZZB, ZZC, ZZD, ZZE, ZZF, ZZG, ZZH + re-issue of previously used series
c) 2008-2010: code 12, type "111-ZZX"
Issued codes: ZZA, ZZB, ZZC.
Code 11, type "ZZM 111"
Issued code: ZZM. The next one will be ZZW.
Code 11, type "ZZU·111"
Issued code: ZZU. The next one will be ZZQ.
10. Temporary series
10.1. Short duration
a) Cars and trailers
– 1st style: four digits preceded by the last two digits of the year of validity
– 2nd style: five digits preceded by the last two digits of the year of validity
– 3rd style (1994-2010): six digits preceded by a blue (VAT paid) or red (VAT exempt) sticker indicating a month and the last two digits of a year. The validity of the plate ends at the end of that month.
Issued series: 011111, 111111, 411111, 511111, 611111, 711111.
Millesims (a millesim is attributed for a series of 1000 plates, which means that the millesim depends on the first three digits of the plate):
560000-560999: 04 (first 04 series)
630000-630999: 06 (probably because never spotted)
653000-653999: 07 or 08 (never spotted, but 07 seems more likely)
671000-671999: 07 or 08 (never spotted)
990000-994000 (approximation because they are very rare; I have spotted only one more than 15 years ago)
10.2. Long duration
Blue-on-white plates with a registration consisting of six digits starting with 9. A validity sticker indicates (in English) the 3 first letters of the month and year at the end of which the plate ceases to be valid. They were first introduced at the end of October 2001 and were last issued in November 2010; then, they became superseded by plates with index 8.
– Yellow-on-blue stickers: VAT paid
Valid until April 2011. Seen in November 2010.
Valid until July 2010. Seen on 20 January 2010 in Leuven.
Valid until November 2010. Seen on 16 November 2010 in Brussels.
Valid until April 2011.
Valid until April 2011.
Valid until August 2012.
Valid until October 2011. Seen on 19 January 2010 in Brussels.
Valid until June 2011. Seen on 18 October 2010 in Leuven.
– White-on-blue stickers: VAT-exempt
Valid until January 2010. Seen on 21 July 2010 in Brussels.
Valid until June 2011.
Valid until September 2010. Seen on 22 August 2010 in Spa.
Valid until March 2012. Seen on 6 September 2010 in Namur.
– EU-UE stickers: plates for European Union and NATO personnel.
Unlimited validity. Seen on 26 July 2010 in Namur.
Unlimited validity. Seen on 16 November 2010 in Brussels.
– EUROCONTROL stickers: plates for Eurocontrol (air traffic regulation) personnel.
From 980 000 to 989 999 (currently in the 982, approximately)
1997-1999: OAA-001 up to OAE-999
1999-2001: OBA-001 up to OBD-999 (1999 style)
2001-2006: OAF-001 up to OAZ-999, including OAI, OAM, OAQ and OAW (1999 style)
2006-2008: OBE-001 up to OCH-999 (1999 style)
2008-2010: OCI-001 and following (2008 style); highest seen number: OCU-148
Issued series: TXA, TXB, TXC, TXD, TXE, TXF (all in 1999 style).
First series (from 2001 until 2008): TXL-001 up to TXL-999 (L stands for 'location'):
Second series (2008-2010): TXH-001 up to TXH-999 (H stands for 'huur'):
14. Public transports and coaches
From 0001.P to 9999.P and from 000.P.1 to 999.P.9. These series were reserved for public transports vehicles such as the TEC, STIB, De lijn, SNCB/NMBS, etc. In the course of years such plates have become rarer, since the public transports systems are no longer obliged to use these plates.
They have often been remade, such as the 0678.P plate below (2008 style):
15. Military series
People working for NATO in Evere were entitled to obtain so-called "VN" licence plates which would make their vehicles look like normal vehicles, instead of using CD plates and such. Several series were reserved: VN (e.g. VN.328), AVN (e.g. AVN·300), EVN (e.g. EVN·750), FVN (e.g. FVN·843) and GVN (e.g. GVN·070). Other series containing the letters VN (BVN, CVN, DVN, HVN, JVN, KVN, LVN, NVN, PVN, RVN, SVN, TVN, VVN, XVN and YVN) were issued in the normal system and do not belong to NATO personel. These plates have now been superceded by the blue long duration temporary plates (six-digits plates starting with 9, see above), although some of them can still be spotted.
The letters 'CHB' stand for 'Casteau Hainaut Belgique'; such silver on black plates are reserved for the military policemen working at the SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters of Allied Powers in Europe). They range from CHB.9001 to CHB.9999 and have been made in diferent styles.
(Picture source: Licenceplatemania.com)
1999 style; seen in Leuven on 26 February 2010.
If you are looking for information about vanity plates, click here.