Unknown African and French IT plates

In the 1970s, a much-travelled pal of mine, Murray Bailey, photographed this yellow on green IT plate 008-IT-22, but he forgets where, only that it was in West Africa.       It may be Senegal, but confirmation welcomed!     What a shame the moped behind is not in full picture, to give us a clue…

Senegal – or elsewhere??

About 1963, I saw this American car in London, IT 0623.    It could have been from any of the overseas French territories of the period – but which??

IT=Importation Temporaire

Unidentified temporary Importation plate for a French territory-1960We used to think that all the green IT plates we  saw were French Diplomatics, and only learned much later that they were given out to any category of foreigner who was in a country temporarily (possibly with the vehicle let in without payment of import taxes).    Aid personnel and non-diplomatic embassy staff were among the groups registered so.




If they really were diplomats or consular officials, they would carry a separate oval plate or even have the letters CD or CC made into their IT plate.       (Were the French IT plates coded for the users’ country of origin, then

French Temporary Import of Diplomatic vehicle, in Paris, 1960s.    The zeroes probably indicate the ambassadorial car…  The boot/trunk  label on this American-made 1950s Ford Sedan tells us that this was a manual gearbox car with an optional overdrive, before automatic transmission became standard on all US cars.

A non-diplomatic temporary importation to France, in  1964 London, on a then-ubiquitous Renault 4L.

And finally, just for interest….

The R-R Silver Shadow of the British Ambassador in Paris 1970s.

4 Responses to Unknown African and French IT plates

  1. yves LAUSSUCQ says:

    Just a word about the translation, because very often IT is (was ?) translated by Importation Temporaire (Temporary Importation), which is NOT always right
    Actually, often, you should decoded by Immatriculation Temporaire (Temporary Registration) not the same translation at all !!!
    example, the nice Renault 4L registred 75IT37657 is not IMPORTED in france, but REGISTRED in France

    • Thanks, Yves – but why was the above Renault 4L registered in France in the green IT system, if it was not destined to be taken abroad, or had been temporarily brought to France from abroad? (Indeed, if it had been bought for export, it would have been given a red TT plate….) So I am still not clear – any more thoughts?

  2. Thierry Baudin says:

    I can provide information about IT green plates… I would not either comment about the meaning of IT (even if Importation Temporaire seems appropriate).
    The green IT series has been used between 1954 and 1964/65 for vehicles used on a tax free basis by diplomats and assimilated people. As anytime in such case, the vehicles could be imported into or bought in France (what is likely the case of the Renault 4L). The CD was in addition for differentiating members of Diplomatic Corps from other categories. No blocking, no country coding.

    During the same time, red TT plates were used for (i) a vehicle temporarily imported by a tourist on a tax free basis – even if the application of TT plates in that segment diminished a lot thanks to the application of Conventions on road traffic (ii) a vehicle bought by a foreigner on a tax free basis with a view to export it himself – taxes would be paid at the arrival in the home country (iii) a vehicle hired on a tax free basis by a foreigner for a limited time as a vacation – taxes would never been paid on it and the vehicle would be resold in France as a used car after the vacation.
    Vic, your comment about the use of TT plates refered to categoy (ii) was right, in that particular use.

    Today, almost all TT plates belong to the category (iii), for non European Community members visiting France and adjoining countries.

    There are articles about these series in Newsletters, I can recommend them.

  3. I don’t know if this is helpful to know, but the blue moped above is a Simson Schwalbe, built in German Democratic Republic (East Germany), a country which was heavy engaged in Angola, Somalia and Ethiopia.

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