Old German district codes in use again

Since November 2012, we’ve seen new German number plates with long-forgotten district codes, not seen on the road for 20 years or more. These are codes which were abolished when local government was reorganised. West Germany merged many small districts in the 1970s; in former East Germany the same happened from 1993 onwards. The original number plates remained valid, but disappeared rapidly with the introduction in 1997 of tax-reduced “H” plates for historic vehicles, to the great sorrow of nostalgic plate-spotters like myself.

Under the 2012 law, each local government (Landkreis or district) can decide whether it wants to reintroduce the codes that were formerly issued on its territory.  The state (Bundesland) sends all requests from its districts to the federal government in Berlin. Once Berlin has approved the request, a revived old code becomes optional in the current district where the old district (or the major part thereof) was located. For example, a resident of Vogtlandkreis in Saxony can choose either the current code V or (for an extra fee) any of the old codes AE, OVL, PL and RC.  Of course the plates have to be in the current “FE” style of lettering. The classic 1956-2000 “DIN” style is not coming back.

The Europlate and AKS newsletters have covered the German reform in detail, so here I just list the old codes reissued so far, and when each code became available. I’ve grouped the codes by Bundesland to help plate-spotters watch out for interesting plates in the part of Germany they are touring. This also highlights the contrast between, on one hand, the states in eastern Germany that chose to reintroduce nearly everything, and on the other hand those where only a few districts have opted to allow the abolished codes, often after lengthy public debates.  Bavaria (Bayern) has yet to decide which, if any, old codes to revive.

state reissued old codes available from
Baden-Württemberg BCH, GD, HCH, LEO 25 February 2013
Bayern     to be announced           July 2013 ??        
Berlin     none  
Bremen     none  
Brandenburg CA, FRW, KY, NP, SEE, SFB, SRB, WK 18 March 2013
BER, EW, FOR, GUB, SPB 19 March 2013
FI 2 April 2013
Hamburg      none  
Hessen BID, BÜD, DI, GN, HOG, SLÜ, USI, WEL, WOH 2 January 2013
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern RÜG 2 February 2013
ANK, GW, PW, SBG, UEMWLG   14 March 2013
GMN, NVP, RDG 15 March 2013
AT, BÜZ, DBR, DM, , MC, MST, MÜR, NZ, RM, ROS, TET, WRN 18 March 2013
GDB, GVM, WIS 2 April 2013
Niedersachsen ALF, BRL, BRV, CLZ, DUD, EIN, GAN, HMÜ, NOR, RI 15 November 2012
Nordrhein-Westfalen BLB, CAS, GLA 13 November 2012
WAT, WIT 14 November 2012
JÜL 19 November 2012
LÜN 24 November 2012
DIN, LP, MO 3 December 2012
WAN 12 December 2012
AH, BOH 1 February 2013
SLE 20 February 2013
Rheinland-Pfalz PRÜ, ZEL 13 November 2012
BIN, GOA 14 November 2012
SAB 19 November 2012
BKS 26 November 2012
MY 6 May 2013
Saarland       none  
Sachsen AE, ANA, ASZ, AU, BED, BIW, BNA, DL, DW, DZ, EB, FLÖ, FTL, GC, GHA, GRH, GRM, HC, HOT, HY, KM, LÖB, MAB, MEK, MTL, MW, NOL, NY, OVL, OZ, PL, RC, RG, RIE, RL, SEB, STL, SZB, TG, TO, WDA, WSW, WUR, ZI, ZP   9 November 2012
Sachsen-Anhalt ASL, AZE, BBG, , BRG, BTF, EIL, GA, GHC, GNT, HBS, HDL, HET, HHM, HV, JE, KLZ, KÖT, MER, ML, MQ, NEB, NMB, OBG, OC, OK, QFT, QLB, RSL, SBK, SFT, SGH, WMS, WR, WSF, WZL, ZE, ZZ 27 November 2012
Schleswig-Holstein ECK 15 November 2012
Thüringen APD, ARN, ART, EIS, HIG, IL, LBS, LSZ, MGN, MHL, NH, PN, RU, SCZ, SDH, SLN, SLZ, SRO, WBS, ZR   29 November 2012

My sources are Wikipedia,  http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_aller_Kfz-Kennzeichen_der_Bundesrepublik_Deutschland    and Reiko Pflug’s excellent web site   http://www.kennzeichen-guide.de/

As an example here’s a new PRÜ plate, snapped last week in Prüm, a town that lost its status as a district capital already in 1969.

DSC_7342

For comparison, a “real” PRÜ plate from 1969 or older, on an old tractor that I saw six years ago in the village of Feuerscheid.

D_07_Feuerscheid1 D_07_Feuerscheid2

Alexander Kavka

Eu.575

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2 Responses to Old German district codes in use again

  1. aista01 says:

    Thank you, Alexander! A very useful table, I planned to make something of the kind myself, but I am getting too lazy .. you work is welcome

  2. rogerkimbell says:

    Victor,

    On last nights TV an episode of Miss Marple was playing set on a Caribbean Island somewhere. At first I thought it was a studio generated set but the vehicle, roads and scenery looked genuine.

    All vehicle had silver/white letters and numbers on black backgrounds and all started with SK.

    Where is that in the world, pray?

    Many thanks

    R

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