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Unique Dutch license plates

Unique Dutch license plates


10 min.

In the Netherlands, there are many different license plates. Below, we've listed the most common and distinctive license plates.

Dutch License Plate

Passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and trailers with a maximum authorized mass of more than 750 kg drive around in the Netherlands with the yellow Dutch license plate, including the EU symbol. To prevent fraud, the RDW (Netherlands Vehicle Authority) uses a security system called 'GAIK.' This system means that every license plate issuance is registered. In addition, each license plate has unique features that make fraud more difficult. GAIK stands for 'Controlled Issuance and Return of License Plates.'

Dutch Import Car License Plate

Export License Plate

When a Dutch vehicle declared for export needs to be driven abroad, a Dutch export license plate can be used. This plate consists of the export declaration (license card + part II), a Green Card (third-party liability insurance), and two white export license plates with the license series from the old Dutch license plate. The export license plate with the Green Card is valid for 14 days.

Unfortunately, the Dutch export license plate contains too little information for many foreign admission authorities to register the vehicle. Since we are also active in the field of export, it's best to contact us for more information and alternatives.

Transit License Plate

A transit license plate looks similar to an export license plate but is not the same. The transit license plate is intended for vehicles that have not had a (Dutch) license plate. The application process is completely different. The vehicle must undergo a technical inspection by the RDW, including an identity check. The transit license plate is valid worldwide, and the costs depend on the type of vehicle and the presence of foreign vehicle inspection documents. Like the export license plate, the transit license plate is valid for 14 days. You can read more about the transit license plate on the RDW website.

One-Day License Plate

If you have a vehicle that still needs to be inspected or examined, you can request a one-day license plate on the RDW website. This license plate is intended for driving to or from the inspection station and should not be used for other purposes. One-day license plates consist of a single letter (A, E, H, K, L, N, P, S, T, V, W, or X) and two groups of two numbers.

In many cases, it is much simpler and more practical to outsource the inspection. This has the great advantage that you do not have to go to the inspection station yourself, and more importantly, the vehicle is on our secured premises until the Dutch license plate is issued.

Old Blue

Historical vehicles (vintage and classic cars) with a first registration date before January 1, 1978, are allowed to use a dark blue license plate on public roads. Another requirement is that the license plate consists of two groups of two numbers and one group of two letters. This license plate has white letters and is often called "old blue" due to the vehicle's age and the blue color of the plate.

A vehicle from abroad with a first registration date before January 1, 1978, automatically receives a license plate upon import that allows the use of a blue license plate.

Special License Plates

Taxi License Plate

Since December 1, 2000, taxis are required to have a blue license plate with black letters. The procedure is as follows: a vehicle for which a taxi license plate is requested always has a regular Dutch license plate. After approval, the vehicle receives a blue license plate with the same letter and number combination.

Dealer Plate (HA, FH, or HF)

Recognized vehicle dealers usually have green license plates with the letter combination 'HA.' These are meant to allow uninsured driving of a vehicle not registered in their name, such as during a test drive.

AA License Plate

AA license plates are intended for members of the royal family. When a vehicle with an AA license plate is sold, it receives a new regular license plate.

CD License Plate

License plates with the letter combination 'CD' are reserved for foreign diplomats and members of international organizations. CD stands for 'Corps Diplomatique.' Judges and employees of the International Court of Justice drive with a similar license plate that includes the letter combination 'CDJ.'

BN/GN License Plate

Foreign personnel of embassies, consulates, and international organizations who do not have diplomatic status in the Netherlands drive with a license plate consisting of the letter combination 'BN' or 'GN,' followed by four numbers. The combination officially has no specific meaning, although it is often mistakenly thought to stand for 'Buitenlander in Nederland' (Foreigner in the Netherlands) and 'Geen Nederlander' (Not a Dutchman), respectively.

KA, KL to KZ, and LM, LO, LU, MC, DM for Defense Vehicles

Defense vehicles have special license plates. This includes license plates for vehicles of the Royal Netherlands Army (KL + KR), Royal Netherlands Air Force (LM), Royal Netherlands Navy (KM), Royal Netherlands Military Police (KV), and Corps Mobile Columns (MC). Since 2014, military license plates have also been issued, with the series starting with the letters 'DM.'

DF License Plate

Dutch military personnel stationed in Germany use a white license plate with a seven-character combination, always starting with the letters 'DF' and omitting dashes. The country code 'NL' is present.

BFG-NATO License Plate (black license plate with white letters)

Dutch and German military personnel working in a BFG-NATO context use a black license plate with white characters. The font matches the one used for German license plates and differs from the Dutch license plate font.

GV License Plate

The GV license plate is intended for motor vehicles with a limited maximum speed used in border areas. These are vehicles that do not need a license plate in the Netherlands but require one abroad, such as agricultural vehicles and forestry tractors.

RC License Plate

NATO service vehicles in the Netherlands have the letter combination 'RC,' followed by four numbers. In this case, 'RC' stands for 'Région Centrale.'

ZZ License Plate

Vehicles with a 'special' approval from the RDW are given a license plate with the letters 'ZZ.' The meaning of 'ZZ' is not official, but it is commonly believed to stand for 'Zeer Zwaar' or 'Zeer Zeldzaam,' which translates to 'Very Heavy' or 'Very Rare.' This license plate is reserved for exceptional cases, including extraordinarily high, wide, long, and heavy commercial vehicles for special transport, heavy crane trucks, and exceptionally high, wide, heavy trailers and semitrailers. The latest series of license plates have the letters ZZ at the end. Vehicles with a ZZ combination are exempt from the periodic vehicle inspection (APK).

MMBS License Plate

An MMBS (Motor Vehicle with Limited Speed) license plate was originally intended for agricultural and forestry vehicles. However, due to a legal loophole, it was possible for regular passenger cars to be converted into MMBS vehicles. This allowed these vehicles to be exempt from motor vehicle tax, eliminate the need for periodic vehicle inspections, and even operate without a driver's license. The regulations for MMBS license plates have since been tightened.

Unusual License Plate Combinations in Belgium

In Belgium, it is now possible to choose your own license plate series for a fee of €1,000. This means that you might come across some unusual license plates. A Dutch newspaper wrote an article about this, citing some fun examples such as 'BABY,' 'SCHATTEKE' (which means "darling" in Dutch), or 'GEHAAST' (which means "in a hurry" in Dutch). There are, however, some restrictions, as offensive or racist words are not allowed.

Do you have any further questions about special license plates or would you like more information? Feel free to contact us.