Spocanian Archives

NUMBER PLATES: vehicle registration
Related files
List with registration codes
Vehicle registration certificates
Road users (categories)

See also
Listed number plates

This file
A. Old systems
B. New system
     1. Motor vehicles: permanent
     2. Motor vehicles: temporary
     3. Tractors and other agricultural vehicles
     4. Royal House and Corps Diplomatique
     5. Rural estates (Šarkdomenns)
     6. Government
     7. Armed Forces and Police
     8. Trailers
     9. Formats

A. Old systems

1909 - 1927

The first numberplates were introduced in 1909. Black plates with white digits were used. The first number (before the hyphen) indicated the rigts˙rt (the legal district) where the number had been registered. After the hyphen was a serial number. There was no distinction between various categories (passenger cars, lorries, buses). In 1920, there were approx. 10,000 cars in Spocania.
The nummeral codes for the rigts˙rts seem rather arbitrary. The first town where a car was registered, received number 1 (that was Hirdo). The next town was number 2 (Minde). In 1912, as 26 rigts˙rts had a number, the remaining legal districts have been numbered alphabetically. See list with rigts˙rts from 1927 .

1.Example of a passenger car, registered in Sinto-Hanâ (number 84)
There is still a photograph showing an accident with this car.
2.Example of a passenger car(?) from Manes-Sjeny (number 67)

Car from Sinto-Hanâ had an accident in Hoggebim. 1923.

1927 - 1950

Between 1927 and 1950, there was a new system, in which not a rigts˙rt number, but rather an island code was used. The plates were dark blue with white digits. After the hyphen was a serial number. Still, a distinction between various categories (passenger cars, lorries, buses) was not yet made. Up to and including the serial number 9999, the dot in the number was lacking. From 10.000, a dot was inserted after the thousands. In 1950, a new system was introduced, in which also the various categories of road users was incorporated.

1.Example of a passenger car from the island of Liftka (LY)
2.Example of a passenger car from the island of Liftka (LY)

1950 - 1972

From March 1950 until 31 December 1972, all number plates (except those for agricultural vehicles) contained a two-letter island code and a serial number consisting of digits and letters. The distribution of digits and letters in this serial number was as follows:

1.Passenger cars: 4 digits and 1 letter (permanent number plate) or 3 digits and 1 letter (temporary number plate)
2.Scooters and motorcycles: 5 digits (permanent) or 4 digits

3.Lorries and buses: 2 digits and 3 letters (permanent) or 1 digit and 3 letters (temporary)
4.Tractors and other agricultural verhicles: 1 letter, 2 digits and 1 letter
5.Royal House and government: 3 letters
6.Rural estates (šarkdomenns): 4 letters
7.Armed forces: 1 letter and 2 digits, or 2 letters and 1 digit (plus a one-letter code for the army unit)
Some army units trifled with the official number plates, and sometimes people in maintenance shops painted their own plates (example below).

8.Police: 1 letter and 2 digits, or 2 letters and 1 digit (plus a one-letter code for the category: national, municipal, military, harbour police, customs)

For all categories, except 4., 5. and 6., the digits and letters in the serial number and the two-letter island code could have any order. For instance, if all possibilities in the sequence island code--digits--letters were used (cf. LY-4839-K), a new series with island code--letters--digits was introduced (LY-K-4839). Theoretically, the other 4 possibilities were digits--letters--island code (4839-K-LY), letters--digits--island code (K-4839-LY), digits--island code--letters (4839-LY-K) and letters--island code--digits (K-LY-4839). In the latter two series, the serial number (4839-K or K-4839) was "split" because the island code is between the digits and the letters. Because of the limited number of cars in Spocania, these 4 series have never been used.

In serial numbers, I and O were not used and C, X, Y and Z were reserved for special purposes. Thus, 20 letters remained. The numbers ranged from 0001 to 9999 and 6 sequences were possible. This means that for passenger vehicles, each island could have 20 × 9999 × 6 = 1,199,880 different registration numbers. On 31 December 1972, the biggest island (Berref) had approximately 3 million inhabitants and only 170,000 passenger cars. One series of registration numbers (20 × 9999 = 199,980) could have been sufficient for 170,000 cars. However, obsolete numbers were not immediately used for new cars, so in April 1966, the highest number in the first series (BF-9999-W) was used, and the next registration number became BF-A-0001 (the second series).

Used colours:

1. 2. 3.dark red on blue (permanent) or dark red on white (temporary)
4. dark red on yellow
5. 6. light blue on dark red
7. 8. black on light green

See also the list with issued registration numbers.

B. New system

From 1 January 1973

As of 1 January 1973, a new system has been introduced: the vehicle categories have been revised and municipal codes and district codes have been introduced.
All vehicles appearing on public roads after this date should have been registered according to the new system. Older vehicles are allowed to retain their old number plates, but the owner may also decide to switch over to the new system.

All number plates contain a registration number, consisting of a serial number and a municipal code (in some cases a district code). The serial number contains letters and digits. Each vehicle category has its specific number of letters. The number of digits varies from one to four; the lowest value is 0, the highest value is 9999. A registration number can never have more than 7 positions (letters and digits). For passenger cars this means for instance, that if a municipal code consists of 3 letters, no more than 2 digits can follow (because two administrative letters are required, too; e.g. JTU-80-FT - passenger car from Jentu). On a number plate containing a one-letter municipal code, 4 digits (plus 2 administrative letters) are possible, e.g. H-2504-RS (passenger car from Hirdo).

A municipal code consists of 1, 2 or 3 letters, as follows:

1 letter national capital (Hirdo) and all island capitals
(exceptions: GI = Girdesef and GS = Garos, because G has already been assigned to Gasky)
2 lettersdistrict capitals and municipalities with a special administrative and juridical status (the so called "legal districts" (rigts˙rts)
3 lettersall other municipalities

Restrictions and exclusions:
In serial numbers, the letters I and O are not used (in order to avoid confusion with the numerals 1 and 0). Two-letter serial numbers range from AA, AB, AC, ..., AZ, BA, BB, ..., ZZ.
Several combinations in the old system may also appear in the new one, however with a different meaning. For instance, in the old system, registration number BNU-12-TN means: bus from the island of Teujan (TN). But according to the new system this number would mean: passenger car from the municipality of Benû (BNU), where "TN" is a random administrative combination. In order to prevent such duplications, all combinations in the new system are excluded that have already been used in the old system. Old registration numbers that are withdrawn, can be used in the new system after two years (until 1997 after one year).

See also the list with issued registration numbers.

In the new system, vehicle number registration is done by a so called State Bureau, situated in a rigts˙rt (Legal Seat). In the old system, vehicle number registration was a task of the Hôzesys (Island Governments).
Not all State Bureaus check carefully whether a specific registration number is still in use according to the old system. That is why various motor vehicles may bear identical number plates (only the colours differ!). Police, tax authorities and insurance companies add an "L" (liftkar = "old") to registration numbers according to the old system, in order to prevent any confusion (cf. G-57-D (L) = agricultural vehicle (old system) and G-57-D = motorcycle from Gasky (new system)).
Of course, the number of vehicles with an old number plate (before 1973) decreases every year; the confusion with new number plates will deminish as well.

Reuse and changing of registration numbers
In the new system, registration numbers which are withdrawn (e.g. because the car has been demolished), may be reused after five years. Authorities consider a five years' period sufficient in order to have the administrative files of the "old" motor vehicle cleared. Here, we may think on insurances. taxes, fines, theft and other administrative issues related to the registration number, where any confusion with the "new" car, bearing the identical number, should be avoided.

Owners of motor vehicles, tractors and agricultural vehicles,, moving to a different municipality, may have their vehicle's number changed or not. There are three possibilities:

  1. People moving within their rigts˙rt-area, basically keep their old registration number. That is because a new registration number will be issued by the same Stat-buro, so a different municipal code is not relevant for the administration.
  2. People moving within their rigts˙rt-area, may also choose for applying for a new number, with the code related to the municipality where they live now. As this is a free choice (see also number 1.), this change will be extra charged.
  3. People moving to a different rigts˙rt-area, are allowed to use their old number plate for another year. After this year they will have to apply for a new registration number, at the Stat-buro in the rigts˙rt one belongs to. Have in mind that for all administrative operations, one has to visit the Stat-buro of the former municipality, which is not always convenient if one has moved to the other side of te country. Nowadays, as communication is easier to be done digitally, a physical visit to the Stat-buro is not always necessary.

If a motor vehicle is being sold (or more precisely: will be made out in somebody else's name), one has always to apply for a new registration certificate with the letter code of the municipality where the new owner lives.

Above mentioned rules do not apply to vehicles belonging to the Royal House, the armed forces and police, since these vehicles' registration numbers do not have a municipal code (see categories 4. and 7. below).
Vehicles of which the owner lives on a rural estate šarkdomenn, have a registration number with a district code (category 5.), since these estates do not come under a particular municipality or are situated within a specific rigts˙rt-area. The administrative work for vehicle registration is done by the Stat-buro in the district's capital. If these vehicles get a new owner in a different district, one will have to apply for a new registration certificate.

1. Motor vehicles: permanent

Motorcycles (with or without a sidecar), scooters, passenger cars, delivery vans, buses, coaches, lorries etcetera, for private of business use.

EXAMPLE passenger car from Amahagge
passenger car from Moques (square model)
On square models, the digit string may be split over two lines. In this example, the registration number is: MO-418-ER.
lorrie from Jajes
motorcycle from Duji (small model)
PATTERN X-1234-LLblack letters on light yellow

Xone-, two- or three-letter municipal code see list with registration codes
LLone-letter serial number (A -- W) vehicles on 2 or 3 wheels
two-letter serial number (first letter A -- Z; second letter A -- W) vehicles on 4 wheels
two-letter serial number (first letter A -- Z; second letter X, Y or Z) vehicles on more than 4 wheels

2. Motor vehicles: temporary

Temporary registration numbers will be issued: (1) for vehicles that have not yet a vehicle registration document, (2) for vehicles whose owner is not a permanent resident in Spocania, (3) for specially constructed vehicles (parade floats etc.), or (4) for vehicles which, because of their specific character, do not comply with all legal regulations (veteran cars etc.). For temporary numberplates, no distinction is made with respect to the vehicle's category (number of wheels).

EXAMPLE motor vehicle from Hirdo
motor vehicle from Falebo
PATTERNX-1234-L red letters on light yellow

Xone-, two- or three-letter municipal code see list with registration codes
Lone-letter serial number (always X, Y or Z) -

3. Tractors and other agricultural vehicles

Motorized vehicles and machines with a maximum (allowed or possible) speed of 30 km/h.

EXAMPLE tractor from Kiven
PATTERN X-12345black letters on light yellow

Xone-, two- or three-letter municipal code see list with registration codes

4. Royal House and Corps Diplomatique

EXAMPLE passenger car of the Royal House
motorcycle of the Royal House
diplomat's passenger car
PATTERNX-123-LL dark red letters on light blue

X one-letter code K = Kindisiy (Royal House)
CD = Corps Diplomatique
LLone-letter serial number (A -- V) vehicles on 2 or 3 wheels
two-letter serial number (first letter A -- Z; second letter A -- W) vehicles on 4 wheels
two-letter serial number (first letter A -- Z; second letter X, Y or Z) vehicles on more than 4 wheels

5. Rural estates (Šarkdomenns) Šarkdomenns are big rural estates with an independent status. They do not belong to a municipality, and therefore, vehicle registration numbers do not include a municipal code, but show a district ("county") code.

EXAMPLE passenger car of a rural estate in the district of Ales
tractor of a rural estate in the district of Tjemp (square model)
PATTERNXXX-12-LL dark red letters on light blue

XXXthree-letter district code see list with registration codes
LLone-letter serial number (A -- V) vehicles on 2 or 3 wheels
one-letter serial number (W -- Z) tractors and other agricultural vehicles
two-letter serial number (first letter A -- Z; second letter A -- W) vehicles on 4 wheels
two-letter serial number (first letter A -- Z; second letter X, Y or Z) vehicles on more than 4 wheels

6. Government

Public service vehicles belonging to municipalities or district, island or national governments. Irrespective of the owner, public service vehicles are registered in a municipality. District-owned vehicles will be registered in the district capital, island-owned vehicles will be registered in the island capital, and state-owned vehicles will be registered in Hirdo or any island capital.

EXAMPLE public service lorry registered in Papije
tractor owned by the municipality of Aschen
PATTERN123-L-X dark red letters on light blue

Xone-, two- or three-letter municipal code See list with registration codes
Lone-letter serial number (Y and Z)tractors and other agricultural vehicles
one-letter serial number (W and X) vehicles on 2 or 3 wheels
one-letter serial number (A -- N)vehicles on 4 wheels
one-letter serial number (P -- V)vehicles on more than 4 wheels

7. Armed Forces and Police

EXAMPLE lorry of the navy
jeep of the air force (square model)
tank of the land force (not complying all legal regulations)
passenger car of the national police
motorcycle of the military police
motorcycle of the national police (small model)
PATTERN123-L-XX white letters on dark green

Lone-letter serial number (Y and Z)tractors and other agricultural vehicles
one-letter serial number (W and X)vehicles on 2 or 3 wheels
one-letter serial number (A -- N)vehicles on 4 wheels
one-letter serial number (P -- V)vehicles on more than 4 wheels
XXtwo-letter army or police code BA = bas-ayr (airforce)
BS = bas-šark (army, land force)
BE = bas-zé (navy)
SP = stat-polišo (national police)
ZP = zomar-polišo (municipal police)
ZY = zykr˙ntôm (military police)
PZ = port-zykr˙ntôm (harbour police and coast guard)
DU = đûann (customs)
QA t/m QZ = special services
  (fire brigade, ambulance, breakdown-
  trucks, combat vehicles, etc.)

8. Trailers

In the Spocanian language, a lajâfoto is a "semi-trailer" (US terminology) and a jukâklo is an ordinary trailer (separate device on its own wheels). A lajâfoto is hauled by a tractor (US), a truck (UK, Canada, New Zealand), a tractor unit (Ireland) or a prime mover (Australia). A jukâklo is hauled by a truck (US) or a lorry (UK) (Yes, English is a universal language...).
Smaller trailers (also caravans) may be hauled by vans or passenger cars.

Trailers hauled by a lorry or by a truck (British terminology) have always number plates identical to those on the hauling vehicle. In addition, they have a so called "tax plate" with the following data: (1) a registration number; (2) the GVWR code (gross vehicle weight rating). The registration number is issued by the Road Tax Bureau in Blort, and the GVWR code denotes the trailer's gross weight (= kerb weight plus maximum allowed cargo capacity). The tax plate is for identifying the trailer and determining the trailer's road tax (for the hauling truck or lorry, separate road tax is levied; here the number plate is used for identification).

EXAMPLE registration number and GVWR code 074
PATTERNCC L CC MC white letters on red

CC L CC registration number (2 digits, 1 letter, 2 digits)
MCGVWR code (3 digits)

The GVWR code denotes, multiplied by 100, the gross weight in kilogrammes.
Example: code 009 = 900 kg; code 012 = 1200 kg; code 153 = 15300 kg. All weights are rounded to the nearest 50 kg: 50 kg or less is rounded down; 51 kg or more is rounded up (e.g. 950 kg becomes 900 kg, 2371 kg becomes 2400 kg.

9. Formats

Number plates
Between letter groups and digit groups, a hyphen is inserted. On number plates of vehicles used by the King, these hyphens are replaced by small golden crowns. Number plates on vehicles owned by the armed forces, have a Spocanian flag (5 × 4 cm) in the upper left corner, however, without sun and star. In Spocania, the typeface used on number plates is known as "H-92" and is most reminiscent of "Arial Narrow Bold".


and digits
max. lengthheightheight
oblong49 cm 11 cm 7.5 cm
square25 cm 20 cm 7.5 cm
small 20 cm 14 cm 5 cm
"Square" should not be taken too literally, because the width is in most cases only roughly equal to the height.
Small plates are always "square".

The small size is meant for scooters and motorcyles (sometimes also for agricultural tractors).
The plates' length may vary, depending on the space required by the letter and digit strings. The height is always the same.

Tax plates
The GVWR code is separated from the registration number by a vertical white line. There are no hyphens between the letter strings and digit strings.
Size of the plates: height 11 cm, length as required.
Size of the letters/digits: height 8 cm, width max. 4.5 cm.

On all number plates, an X may be added to the registration number, if the vehicle has been adapted to a special function or for a disabled driver, and hence, the vehicle does not comply any more to al legal regulations. Adding an X means that the actual registration number cannot have more than 6 positions, since the total number of letters and digits shouod not exceed 7 positions. Example: if a person living in Groje needs, because of his physical handicap, an adapted car, and the car's registration number was SG-834-ST, this cannot become SG-834-ST.X (8 positions!). That is why this adapted car will need a new registration number with only 2 digits, e.g. SG-22-ST.X. For this reason, the bureaus issuing registration numbers will always reserve a series with no more than 6 positions.

EXAMPLE >passenger car from Hirdo, adapted for a disabled driver
agricultural machine from a rural estate in the district of Bloi, with a width exceeding 2 m

The national code for Spocania is SIY. (See note below!)

Inhabitants of the regions Pegrevia (Pegrefyte) and Reeše put sometimes yellow ovals with PG or RE on their cars.

"SIY" is also the Spocanian word for "yes". In 1988, when the government proposed to increase drastically the road tax, many car drivers uttered their protest against this plan by sticking a white oval with "NOFT" ("no") on their cars.
The government's plan was cancelled indeed, and the daily newspaper Amagene published a photo of the Traffic Minister's car, on which a white oval with the word "DUS" (literary "so", but meaning "allright then") was visible. It is suggested that Amagene had published a trick photo and that the Minister never had such an oval on his car. The Minister himself has always kept silent about it.


© De Twee Hanen v.o.f. • Kimswerd • The Netherlands

DA 85-190183 • SPARC 12 apr 1996