Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

New format french car number plate

New French car number plate
Whilst we were on holiday over in France I spotted for the first time a 'new style' French car number plate.

Since April 2009 newly registered cars in France have been issued with a numberplate of the format XX NNN XX with the X's and N's being issued in strict chronological sequence nationally. The department code that represents where in France the car has come from now appears in a blue box on the right (so in this case, department 56 for Morbihan - South Brittany), and no longer forms part of the number plate.

This'll reduce the amount of paperwork that the old licence plate scheme caused with cars having to be issued with a new registration number if they were bought by someone in a different department, or if you moved home you'd also have to re-register your car. The new number plates are now issued for the life of the vehicle.

Also on the right of the plate is an optional regional name, Bretagne (i.e. Brittany), the regional flag, and to doubtless keep any Brittany separatists happy, the regional name for Brittany in the Breton language - Breizh.

I first wrote about France changing the car number plate scheme back in early 2008 and even since then new scheme's introduction ended up being delayed a further year.

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  • I dislike this new French plate. I miss the Department code that was part of the registration number.

    French Course Angel

    By Blogger Catherine, at April 23, 2011  

  • What do red French number plates repesent ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 20, 2012  

  • A great question !

    According to licence plate mania (who seem quite knowledgeable on the subject), red number plates with silver letters are for temporary licence plates such as you might receive if you are exporting the vehicle.
    On the right hand side of the plate is the expiry date.


    By Blogger Geoffrey, at August 20, 2012  

  • Hi,,
    If you are still uncertain about this process then its probably a better idea to go down to your local mechanic or car body shop and offer one of the lads 20 pounds to fit the Number platesfor you. It should only take him half an hour and you will probably find that he will supply any new plastic caps or screws that may be required.

    By Blogger f.paul, at January 09, 2013  

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