Motor vehicle license plates; information

The vehicle registration plate (Kfz-Kennzeichen), colloquially also called license plate, is assigned to the vehicle by the registration authority (Kfz-Zulassungsstelle).


The motor vehicle license plate consists of a distinguishing sign for the administrative district and an identification number. Vehicles of federal and state organs, the diplomatic corps and privileged international organizations receive special license plates.

The license plate can be written in the registration certificate with or without a hyphen. Both spellings are equally valid.

The distinguishing signs and identification numbers are applied to a license plate with black lettering on a white background with black borders ("normal" license plates).

The license plates may not be mirrored, obscured or soiled. In addition, they may not be additionally covered with glass, foils or similar covers. License plates must be reflective and bear the inspection and monitoring mark with the associated registration number on the front.

The dimensions of the license plates are for:

  • single-line license plates: Maximum width: 520 mm, height: 110 mm,
  • two-line license plates: Largest dimension of width: 340 mm, for two- and three-wheeled motor vehicles 280 mm, height: 200 mm,
  • motorcycle license plates: Minimum/major width: 180 mm/220 mm, height: 200 mm and
  • reduced two-line license plates: Maximum width: 255 mm, height: 130 mm.

Reduced two-line license plates are intended only for light motorcycles, as well as for lof tractors according to Directive 2003/37/EC or Regulation (EU) 167/2013 and their trailers. So-called quads do not receive reduced license plates, because even if they are coded as lof tractors, they do not comply with Directive 2003/37/EC or Regulation (EU) 167/2013.

License plates must be firmly attached to the front and rear of the motor vehicle. For single-axle tractors, the license plate on the front is sufficient; for trailers and motorcycles, the license plate on the rear is sufficient. Rear license plates must be illuminated.

For further information on special license plates (e.g. classic car license plates, short-term license plates, seasonal license plates, insurance license plates, interchangeable license plates, export license plates, red and green license plates), see "Related topics".


Responsible for editing:Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wohnen, Bau und Verkehr

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