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A guide to Irish number plates

[Collaborative post]

You might think that a number plate is a number plate and in the most part you are right. However, depending on the country that you are living in and driving in, a number plate can be different. This difference can even be seen in the number plates for places that are not too far away. Such as in Ireland.

Whilst there are some similarities in Irish number plates and UK number plates; there are also some key differences that are worthwhile keeping in mind.

The big change in 1987

The best place to start is to look at the number plates that Irish cars have had over the years and how they have changed. The first big change came in 1987. Before this time, Irish number plates would have the set up of 3 numbers and then 3 letters.

However, during 1987 it was decided that the number plates would be changed and they were displayed in a 92-D-12345 format. This looked much more complicated, but, in actual fact these types of number plates were much easier to understand and get to grips with then you may realise.

The first 2 digits on these number plates related to the age of the vehicle. So, for example, the above number plate would show that the car was registered during 1992. The letter (or D in this case) stood for the county that the car was registered in and the numbers at the end were a sequence in which that particular make of car was registered in that particular country. Making this car the 12,345th to be registered in Dublin that year.

These number plates stuck around until 2013, when it was decided that a change (albeit minor) needed to be made.

A smaller change during 2013

It was in January of that year that it was decided to make a change to the set up of number plates. Since then, the first 3 digits of a number plate relate to when a car was registered. The first two digits are the year (so it could be 13 for 2013) and then after that there is one more number which is either going to be 1 or 2. If it is 1 then the car was registered during January of that year, if it is 2 then it is going to have been registered in June.

After that, the number plate is made up of the same format as it always has, with a letter showing just where the car was registered. You can find a list of these online, which is great if you find yourself in Ireland and you want to play a game of spot the county that the car is from!

It is also worth noting that Irish number plates also have to meet the conditions and guidelines of the European standards. This means that you will see a blue patch on the top left hand corner of the number plate. This patch will have 12 gold stars (which represents the European Union flag) and also will have IRL which is to show that it is an Irish vehicle.

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