Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)

Format of registration plates

General

The format, dimensions and technical specifications of registration plates to be displayed on motor vehicles are detailed in S.I No. 318 of 1992 (as amended).

Generally, the registration plate must consist of:

  • black numbers and letters on a white reflective background
  • the name of the county of registration in Irish at the top of the plate
  • the flag of the European Community.   This must comprise twelve gold stars in a circle with the letters IRL in white on a blue reflective background.  The flag must appear on the left-hand side of the plate.

No other numbers, letters or marks should appear on the plate.

Vehicles registered before 31 December 2012

The format YY - County - sequential number will apply to vehicles that were registered before 31 December 2012.  This applies to vehicles registered either in Ireland or another country.    

Example:  A car imported in 2017 that was first registered in the UK in 2011 will be registered as 11-xx-xxxx.

Image of acceptable pre 2013 number plate format

Image of acceptable pre 2013 number plate format

Vehicles registered since 1 January 2013

The format YY[1 or 2] - County - sequential number will apply to all vehicles registered since 1 January 2013.  This applies to vehicles registered either in Ireland or another country.    For registration purposes the year is broken into two halves.   YY1 applies to vehicles registered between 1 January and 30 June.  YY2 applies to vehicles registered between 1 July and 31 December.

Image of acceptable post 2012 number plate format

Image of acceptable post 2012 number plate format

Image of acceptable post 2012 number plate format

Image of acceptable post 2012 number plate format

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