Austrian car number plates are mandatory vehicle registration plates displaying the registration mark (German: Kennzeichen) of motor vehicles in Austria. They are used to verify street legality, proof of a valid liability insurance and to identify and recognise the vehicle.
The licence plates are made of metal; the imprinted text is in black letters and digits on a white background. Since November 1, 2002 the common design comprises a blue section on the left with the EU circle of stars and the country code ('A') like other vehicle registration plates of the European Union. On the top and bottom, there are red-white-red tribands, the national colours of Austria. Two plates have to be present on each car (front and rear). Dealer plates show white letters on a green background, temporary plates show white letters on a cyan background, and foreign trailers show white letters on a red background. For motorbikes and cars with smaller areas for plates, smaller licence plates are available with two lines of text. Moped plates are in different appearance and shape, they show white letters on a red background.
The alphanumeric format for registration plates is "XX ∇=provincial emblem number+letter(s)" or "XX ∇=provincial emblem personalised letters+number";
- XX - one or two letters which indicate the local registration office (district where the registered possessor resides). As a general rule, State capitals have one letter; other districts have two letters.
- heraldic emblem of the federal state the district belongs to (here shown as "∇"); diplomatic vehicles have a dash (–) instead, federal official vehicles wear the Austrian Federal Eagle.
- A three to six-letter/number sequence which uniquely distinguishes each of the vehicles displaying the same initial area code. The letter Q is excluded from all sequences.
There are several lettering schemes:
- The letter/number sequence must contain at least three characters (at least one digit and one letter). In countryside districts, the maximum is five characters. Regular plates start with a digit and end with a letter. Personalized plates, which can be obtained by paying an extra fee, are ordered vice versa. (exceptions: see below)
- The letter/number sequence of state capitals contains up to six characters (at least one digit one letter with a minimum of four characters) (e.g.
W ∇ 12345 A).
- Until the year 2000 the plates were issued by the district administrations, who used a variety of lettering schemes, e.g. one digit and three letters (e.g.
FK ∇ 1 ABCin the Feldkirch district), two digits and two letters (e.g.
WL ∇ 12 ABin the Wels-Land district) or three digits and one letter.
- Since 2000 the vehicle registration have been carried out by car insurance companies on behalf of the government. The branch offices of these companies issue the plates, which show three digits and two letters (e.g.
XX ∇ 123 AB) in each district or four digits and two letters in state capitals respectively.
- Army, diplomats, police etc. have a number up to five digits only (starting with 1, incrementing)
- There are standardized abbreviations for special types of cars. But most of them are in use in Vienna only:
BBBundesbahnen (Federal Railways), only with Index "W", e.g.
W ∇ 1234 BB
BEBestattung (funeral services)
EWE-Werk (electric power company)
FFFreiwillige Feuerwehr (volunteer firemen)
GWGaswerk (gas power company)
GTGütertransport (vehicles transporting goods)
KTKleintransport (private vehicles transporting parcels)
LOLinienomnibus (public service buses)
LRLandesregierung (Local government of Niederösterreich)
LVLandesregierung (Local government of Tyrol)
MAMagistrat Wien (Local government of Vienna)
MWMietwagen (private hire car or bus service [with driver])
RDRettungsdienst (ambulance vehicles)
RKRotes Kreuz (Red Cross)
In Austria, it is possible to obtain a customized registration plate by payment of 228,30 Euros for registration and 21,00 Euros for the plates themselves. The alphanumeric format is
XX ∇ ABC 1, which makes them easily distinguishable from standard plates (e.g.
I ∇ TOMMY 1)
Since 2017, electric plates have been introduced in Austria, these special plates are given only to electric vehicles and are exempt from parking charges in Vienna, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Wels, Linz, Graz, Mödling, Zell am See, Klosterneuburg and Krems.
Export transit plates
Export transit plates are vehicle plates that are issued to vehicles that are being exported, the plate is used for vehicles that need to get to its desired export destination, but aren't allowed to use regular licence plates because they have been deregistered abroad. For motor vehicles the cost of an export transit plate is €385 excluding VAT, and the cost for trailers is €295. The export transit plates are valid for 21 days.
|Code||City, District and official vehicles||Notes|
|A||Federal officials||Federal president's plate|
|B||Bregenz, Burgenland official|
|BA||Bad Aussee sub-district||Suspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with LI.|
|BB||Bundesbahnen (Federal Railways)||Obsolete, ÖBB vehicles now use |
|BD||Kraftfahrlinien Bundesbus (Bus Service)||Since 2008 for Postbus coaches only, until 1997 also for ÖBB coaches|
|BG||Bundesgendarmerie (Federal gendarmerie)||Obsolete since July 2005, when Gendarmerie and police merged|
|BH||Bundesheer (Federal Army)|
|BL||Bruck an der Leitha|
|BM||Bruck-Mürzzuschlag||Since 2013, Bruck an der Mur until 2012.|
|BP||Bundespolizei (Federal police)||Since July 2005 for all new registered police cars|
|BR||Braunau am Inn|
|E||Eisenstadt||Also for the city of Rust, Burgenland.|
|EU||Eisenstadt-Umgebung||Eisenstadt surrounding area|
|FB||Feldbach||Suspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with SO.|
|FF||Fürstenfeld||Suspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with HF.|
|FV||Finanzverwaltung (Financial Administration)||since 2005|
|FW||Feuerwehr (Fire brigade)||since February 2020|
|GK||Consular corps in Styria|
|GU||Graz-Umgebung||Graz surrounding area.|
|HB||Hartberg||Suspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with HF.|
|HF||Hartberg-Fürstenfeld||Since July 1, 2013.|
|IL||Innsbruck-Land||Innsbruck countryside area.|
|JO||St. Johann im Pongau|
|JU||Judenburg||Suspended on July 1, 2012; replaced with MT.|
|JW||Justizwache (Justice police)|
|KI||Kirchdorf an der Krems|
|KF||Knittelfeld||Suspended on July 1, 2012; replaced with MT.|
|KK||Consular corps in Carinthia|
|KR||Krems-Land||Krems countryside area.|
|LL||Linz-Land||Linz countryside area.|
|LN||Leoben (district)||Leoben countryside area.|
|MT||Murtal||Since July 1, 2012.|
|MZ||Mürzzuschlag||Suspended on July 1, 2012; replaced with BM.|
|N||Lower Austria official|
|ND||Neusiedl am See|
|O||Upper Austria official|
|PL||St. Pölten-Land||St. Pölten countryside area.|
|PT||Post & Telekom Austria (national mail and phone company)||Actually for postal cars only.|
|RA||Bad Radkersburg||Suspended on July 1, 2013; replaced with SO|
|RI||Ried im Innkreis|
|S||Salzburg City and official|
|SD||Schärding, Diplomatic corps in Salzburg|
|SE||Steyr-Land||Steyr countryside area.|
|SK||Consular corps in Salzburg|
|SL||Salzburg-Umgebung||Salzburg countryside area.|
|SP||Spittal an der Drau|
|SO||Südoststeiermark||Since July 1, 2013.|
|SV||St. Veit an der Glan|
|TD||Diplomatic corps in Tirol|
|TK||Consular corps in Tirol|
|VD||Diplomatic corps in Vorarlberg|
|VK||Völkermarkt, Consular corps in Vorarlberg|
|VL||Villach-Land||Villach countryside area.|
|WB||Wiener Neustadt-Land||Wiener Neustadt countryside area|
|WD||Diplomatic corps in Vienna|
|WK||Consular corps in Vienna|
|WL||Wels-Land||Wels countryside area|
|WN||Wiener Neustadt City|
|WT||Waidhofen an der Thaya|
|WU||Wien-Umgebung||Vienna surrounding area; suspended on January 1, 2017; replaced with BL, KO, PL, TU|
|WY||Waidhofen an der Ybbs|
|ZE||Zell am See|
|ZW||Zollwache (Customs officials)||Obsolete since 2005 when Zollwache merged with federal police|
From 1906 until 1919, the plates always composed one letter followed by Roman numerals and three numbers (e.g. "BXV 639"). Temporary admission plates always followed by prefix. The prefixes are G= Bosnia and Herzegovina, U= Hungary, Z= All other countries.
From 1919 until 1930, the plates format is the same as before but became authority supplied.
From 1930 until 1939, the plates comprised one letters followed by five digits. (e.g.
B 12345) The thousands of digits encoded the districts.[clarification needed]
From 1939 until 1945, the plates comprised two letters followed by a hyphen and seven digits. (e.g.
W-1234567) This followed the Nazi German system.
From 1945 until 1946, the plates comprised by a state coat of arms followed by maximum six numbers. They were only issued in the USSR-occupied zone.
From 1947 until 1989, the plates comprised one or two letters to indicate the state or federal code followed by up to six digits (e.g.
W 123.456), the first number block was reserved for vehicles, the second one was the serial, when they run out of serials they began to issue
XX 999.A99. The background is black with white characters for private vehicles (unknown for all other vehicles). One or two letters are the prefixes set by state and federals, they are:
BHBundesheer (Federal Army)
O-Upper Austria (the dash after the letter O prevents misunderstandings with the number 0)
PTPost & Telekom Austria (Federal Mail and Telekom)
StStyria (the only prefix with a lower case letter)
- "Wunschkennzeichen". oesterreich.gv.at. Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Innovation und Technologie.
- "Green license plates now also available for e-trucks in Austria". oevz.com. Österreichische Verkehrszeitung.
- "Austrian Plates". car-go.nl. CARGO.
- "Codes, Austria, diplomatic codes". Dutch Numberplate Archives. Herman Hallo. Retrieved 4 May 2016.