The DGT does not allow vowels or certain consonants on their license plates. The reason: to be a serious country

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The September 18, 2000 It is one of those dates that deserves to enter the domestic micro-chronicle of mobility. It is already so far behind in the calendar that you may not remember it, but that day we Spaniards began to say goodbye to our old license plates, those that started with an M, CS or PO to identify the province of the vehicle and were followed by a code with a few how many digits and letters If you go down to the street it is likely that you will still find some.

The date is a curious fact, without further ado, but perhaps what does surprise you is that the vehicle that launched this new registration system, an elegant Mercedes 230-SL 1981 reregistered, did not receive plate “E 0000-AAA”as, in good logic, it would correspond to being the first.

What was included in that first license plate after that white screen-printed “E” on a blue background that identifies that the license plate comes from Spain is the code “0000-BBB”. So… what had happened to the entire previous series, which included the letter A? Was it reserved for exclusive cars?

No. The answer it is much simpler. We don’t use it.

And we don’t use it because, quite simply, the license plates we started issuing more than two decades ago don’t include vowels. Not certain consonants. The new code has banished them.

matter of decorum


Registration format that has been applied since 2000.

Provincial Letters

Provincial alphanumeric system that was used between 1971 and 2000.

The registrations released in September 2000 and that Spain adopted for converge with the European model they include a white first letter on a blue band that identifies the country, four numbers and three consonants. Together they form the peculiar DNI of each vehicle. Those considered “normal” follow a code; others, such as quads, taxis, VTC or diplomatic cars they have theirs.

The DGT specifies that its possible combinations leave sufficient margin to maintain the system for forty years without the need to go back to the starting number or change the system.

Still… Why not expand its capacity to include vowels as well?

Well, almost for a matter of decorum.

It may sound strange, but what the authorities have wanted to avoid, as they acknowledge in the DGT’s own magazineare “rude combinations and acronyms that had some kind of meaning”. In other words, the authorities have wanted to prevent us from giggling when we see that the car in front of us has ANO, PIS, PEO or similar words on the license plate. With the formula they also frustrated that today we can drive vehicles named after people, like EVA or ANA.

The reason why certain consonants have been left out is much more practical.

You will not come across license plates that include the Ñ because the authorities could confuse her where appropriate with an N. The same could happen with the Q, due to possible misunderstandings with the letter O or the number 0, require from the General Directorate of Traffic. The LL and CH are also not on the list because they incorporate two characters and are incompatible with the current license plate design.

Therefore, nine letters are excluded from the license plate club: A, CH, E, I, LL, Ñ, O, Q and U.

Those who are nostalgic for vowels, yes, always have the possibility of approaching places like Pontevedra, for example, and waiting for a registered car to pass over 22 years ago.

The September 18, 2000 It is one of those dates that deserves to enter the domestic micro-chronicle of mobility. It…

The September 18, 2000 It is one of those dates that deserves to enter the domestic micro-chronicle of mobility. It…

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