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Vehicle registration plates of British overseas territories

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vehicle registration plates, commonly known as number plates, are the mandatory alphanumeric or numeric plates used to display the registration mark of a vehicle.

A Gibraltar number plate, featuring the GBZ country identifier
A Gibraltar number plate, featuring the GBZ country identifier

Some of the British overseas territories, including Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands, use number plates similar to those of the UK, with the same colours and typeface. Some former British colonies which adopted British style number plates have continued with those customs, notable examples are Brunei, Cyprus, Guyana, Hong Kong, Kenya, Malaysia, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago and Tanzania.

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Welcome to the Great nation of Holland: where the tulips grow, the windmills turn, the breakfast is chocolatey, the people industrious, and the sea tries to drown it all. Except, this country isn't Holland. It's time for: The Difference Between Holland, the Netherlands (and a whole lot more) The correct name for this tulip growing, windmill building hagelslag eating, container ship moving, ocean conquering nation is the Netherlands. But confusion is understandable -- the general region been renamed a lot over a thousand including as: The Dutch Republic, The United States of Belgium, and The Kingdom of Hollande But it's not just history that makes this country's name confusing because the Netherlands is divided into twelve provinces: * Groningen * Drenthe * Overijssel * Gelderland * Limburg * Brabant * Zeeland (Which, by the way, is the Zeeland that makes this Zeeland, new) * Friesland (With adorable little hearts on its flag) * Flevoland * Utrecht, and here's the confusion: * Noord (North) Holland and * Zuid (South) Holland These provinces make calling the Netherlands 'Holland' like calling the United States 'Dakota'. Though unlike the Dakotas, which are mostly empty, save for the occasional Jackalope, the two Hollands are the most populated provinces and have some of the biggest attractions like, Amsterdam and Keukenhof. Chances are if it's Dutch, and you've heard of it, it's in one of the Hollands. Even the government's travel website for the country is -- officially because it sounds friendlier, but unofficially it's probably what people are actually searching for. Confusion continues because: People who live in the Hollands are called Hollanders, but all citizens of the Netherlands are called Dutch as is their language. But in Dutch they say: Nederlands sprekende Nederlanders in Nederland which sounds like they'd rather we call them Netherlanders speaking Netherlandish. Meanwhile, next door in Germany, they're Deutsche sprechen Deutsch in Deutschland. Which sounds like they'd rather be called Dutch. This linguistic confusion is why Americans call the Pennsylvania Dutch Dutch even though they're Germans. To review: this country is the Netherlands, its people are Dutch, they speak Dutch. There is no country called Holland, but there are provinces of North and South Holland. Got it? Great, because it's about to get more complicated. The Netherlands is part of a Kingdom with the same name: The Kingdom of the Netherlands -- which is headed by the Dutch Royal Family. The Kingdom of the Netherlands contains three more countries and to find them we must sail from the icy North Sea to the Caribbean and Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten. These are no territories, but self-governing countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and as such they have their own governments, and their own currencies. Geography geek side note here: While Aruba and Curaçao are islands, Sint Maarten is just the Southern Half of a tiny island also named Saint Martin the other half of which is occupied by France and also named Saint Martin. So despite being separated by Belgium on the European map, The Kingdom of the Netherlands and the French Republic share a border on the other side of the world on an island so nice they named it thrice. But why does the Kingdom of the Netherlands reach to the Caribbean anyway? Because, Empire. In the 1600s the Dutch, always looking to expand business, laid their hands on every valuable port they could. For a time, America's East Coast was 'New Netherland' with its capital city of New Amsterdam. There was New Zealand, as mentioned previously, and nearby, the king of the islands, New Holland. Though the empire is gone, these three Caribbean nations remain. And while four countries in one kingdom, isn't unheard of, it doesn't stop there, because the country of the Netherlands, also extends its borders to the Caribbean and three more islands: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. These are not countries in a Kingdom, but are cities of the Country of the Netherlands and they look the part. Residents of these far-flung cities vote in elections for the Dutch government just as any Hollander would. Though, weirdly, they don't belong to any province and they don't use the Dutch currency of Euros, they use Dollars instead. It's kind of like if Hawaii wasn't a state, but technically part of the District of Columbia, all the while using the Yen. These cities of the Country of the Netherlands and these countries in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, are together are known as the Dutch Caribbean. And their citizens are Dutch citizens. Which, because the Kingdom of the Netherlands is a member of the European Union, means these Dutch Caribbeans are also Europeans. So in the end, there are 6 Caribbean islands, four countries, twelve provinces, two Hollands, two Netherlands and one kingdom, all Dutch.



Gibraltar's number plates originally consisted of the letter 'G' and up to five digits. When G 99999 was reached in 2001, a new system was introduced, consisting of 'G' followed by four digits and a serial letter. The European flag is now featured on these plates, along with the territory's international vehicle identifier GBZ. Military vehicles use the letters 'RN' preceded and followed by two digits, while the Governor's official car displays a silver crown on a black plate.

G 1234 A
G 1234 A
G 1234 A G 1234 A
G 12345 G 12345
12RN34 12RN34
GG 12345 GG 12345
DLR 1234 DLR 1234

Falkland Islands

Falkland Islands vehicle registration plate front and rear
Falkland Islands vehicle registration plate front and rear

In the Falkland Islands, the format is 'F' followed by up to three digits and a letter registered in a strict sequence. Plates should be black-on-yellow for the rear of the vehicle and black-on-white for the front of the vehicle although black-on-yellow is not unknown. Government vehicles are registered with 'F' followed by four digits. White on black was previously used.

F 123 A F 123 A
F 1234 F 1234
F 123 F 123


A standard Bermudian number plate
A standard Bermudian number plate
Bermuda license plate graphic.png

From 1975 Bermuda licence plates issued to general passenger vehicles have five black digits on a plain white background (both front and rear), and have a size similar to UK plates. Non-private vehicles have licence plates with two preceding letters followed by three numbers.

Personalised plates have recently become available that allow motorists to choose any seven letters, overlaid on a map of the island with "Bermuda" printed across the top, on a plate of North American standard 6 × 12 inches (152 × 300 mm). Similar sized plates are used for classic cars, designated by a preceding 'CL'.

US Forces in Bermuda have used black plates with white characters since 1975, a letter followed by four numbers.

Before 1975, Bermudian number plates were similar to the plates used by US Forces. A preceding 'P' denoted a private vehicle; it was followed by four digits and was white-on-black.[1][2]

12345 12345
AA123 AA123
CL123 CL123
A 1234 A 1234

Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Saint Helena

Saint Helena number plates just have digits on them, with government vehicles having a prefix of 'SHG'. Plates are black-on-white for the front of the vehicle, and black-on-yellow for the rear and use UK dimensions. The Governor's car has a crown on a white plate.

1234 1234
SHG 123 SHG 123
Crown of Saint Edward (Heraldry).svg
Crown of Saint Edward (Heraldry).svg

Ascension Island

Ascension Island plates are similar to those of Saint Helena but start with an 'A'.[3]

A 1234 A 1234

Tristan da Cunha

Tristan da Cunha number plates have up to three digits following prefix 'T.D.C.' or 'TDC'. Plates are white-on-black and have not changed format since 1969. Black-on-white and black-on-yellow are also seen.[4]

T.D.C. 123 T.D.C. 123
T.D.C. 123 T.D.C. 123
T.D.C. 123 T.D.C. 123


Anguilla has an 'A' followed by four digits, with a 'G' on the end for a government vehicle, a 'H' for a hire vehicle/taxi and an 'R' for a rental vehicle.[5] The Governor's car has a crown on a black plate.

Plates were changed in 2007. They are now North American standard sized and have a blue and white background with black letters. The Anguillan shield-of-arms is shown next to the number with 'Anguilla' and 'Rainbow City' above and below the plate respectively. The letter denoting the type of vehicle has been moved to the front and 'P' is now shown for personal vehicles.

A 1234 A 1234
A 1234 H A 1234 H
A 1234 G A 1234 G
A 1234 R A 1234 R
Crown of Saint Edward (Heraldry).svg
Crown of Saint Edward (Heraldry).svg
License Plate 2007 Anguilla.svg
License Plate 2007 Anguilla.svg

British Virgin Islands

New style number plate used in the Virgin Islands
New style number plate used in the Virgin Islands

In the British Virgin Islands private vehicles have 'PV' followed by four digits, 'VI' was used as the prefix for one year 1995–96; before 1995 only numbers were used. Commercial vehicles have 'CM' followed by four digits; rental vehicles have 'RT', and taxis have 'TX'. Government vehicles have 'GV' followed by four digits and have white letters on red. Many plates have 'Virgin Islands' and 'Nature's Little Secret' above and below the plates respectively. Before 1996, British standard sizes were used, but this has since converted to a size more familiar in the US Virgin Islands.

PV 12345 PV 12345
TX 12345 TX 12345
RT 12345 RT 12345
CM 1234 CM 1234
GV 1234 GV 1234
VI 1234 VI 1234
12345 12345

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands plate on a hired motorbike
Cayman Islands plate on a hired motorbike
Cayman Islands license plate graphic.png

Cayman Islands number plates usually have six numbers on them, separated into groups of three. Most plates have 'Cayman Islands' written beneath the numbers and are North American standard 6 × 12 inches (152 × 300 mm). Front and rear are both black-on-yellow for private cars, black-on-white for hire cars, red-on-yellow for disabled drivers, red-on-white for taxis, and black-on-orange for HGVs and trailers.[6] The Governor's car has a crown on the front only.[7]

In 2003, quincentennial plates (known as Q-plates) were issued; they had four blue numbers following a 'Q' on a background depicting a picturesque Cayman scene with celebratory logos. Initially, Q-plates were issued with white characters but these were recalled and replaced.

123 456 123 456
123 456 123 456
123 456 123 456
123 456 123 456
123 456 123 456
CI 1234 CI 1234

Turks and Caicos Islands

Turks and Caicos Islands plates have five digits on them, sometimes with the text 'Beautiful by Nature' and 'Turks and Caicos Islands', other times starting with the letters 'TC'.[8]

Different colours are used for private (red), commercial (green), government (black) and hire (yellow) cars. The Governor's cars do not display a number plate, simply a plate with a crown.

TC 1234 TC 1234
TC 1234 TC 1234
TC 1234 TC 1234
TC 1234 TC 1234


Montserrat plates start with a letter indicating the type of car ('R' for rental, 'M' for private, etc.), followed by up to four numbers. The background colour can vary but the letters and numbers are always in white.[9]

M 1234 M 1234
R 1234 R 1234
H 1234 H 1234

Akrotiri and Dhekelia

2014 style number plate for Akrotiri and Dhekelia
2014 style number plate for Akrotiri and Dhekelia

The number plates of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia all begin "SBAA" and are followed by two numbers.[citation needed] The style mirrors that of Cyprus, the colour of the rear plate changing from yellow to white in 2013. The typeface used also changed to FE-Schrift, to be in line with Cyprus. Unlike Cyprus, the date of first registration is not shown.


See also


  1. ^ "License Plates of Bermuda (Great Britain)". Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  2. ^ Mike Sells (4 October 2009). "Bermuda Y2K". Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  3. ^ [1] Archived 23 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Olav's Tristanian number plates – Photographed in Tristan da Cunha". Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  5. ^ "License Plates of Anguilla". Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  6. ^ Mike Sells (29 May 2004). "Cayman Islands Y2K". Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  7. ^ "LICENSE PLATES ON LINE! Cayman Islands". Archived from the original on 19 May 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  8. ^ "License Plates of Turks and Caicos (Great Britain)". Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  9. ^ "License Plates of Montserrat (Great Britain)". Retrieved 29 December 2010.

External links

This page was last edited on 26 October 2019, at 17:12
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