Honduran check-out

April 14, 2017

Friends having been persuaded to invest in the Honduran island of Roatan, south of Cuba, invited the Brumbys to visit in March 2017.    Having little knowledge of the Central American region, save for Costa Rica and Puerto Rico, if that counts, we took them up and flew United Airlines London-Houston where one must overnight at the massive airport before taking another 2-hour island flight next morning.    On arrival, the airport carpark gave up a prize immediately, with 3 of the International Mission (also titled elsewhere Aid/Non-Government Org.) MI plates.    Brown rim and lettering rather than the red suggested in the guides.    They must be batch-coded, as there would not be 4463 such vehicles, even in Honduras!   MI 4463

(HON 99~)(aid)_MI 4463_cu_(b.br.w)_2017VB


Though I have always favoured pictures of plates mounted naturally on their vehicles, I find that photographing plates in countries which use small detail in their plates is seldom successful when reviewing them later.      Nowadays, aided by the free-use digital cameras and phones, we can take both distance AND close-up shots.

I used to be able to then create a ‘comp’ – a composite picture for display, using Photoshop – but I have forgotten how to do it!

This is an comp. example, from a 1996 visit to an Egyptian fire station

(ET 96)(mun)(fire)_LU 4&5_comp_1996VB


Therefore, the Honduran photos shown here tend to be portraits, so that the reader can see the detail.



Another plate type first seen at the airport, was this National Government plate using an ‘N’ prefix.  N 11905(HON 99~)(gv)_N_11905_cur_(b.bl.w)_KIA ute1.2017VB

These National plates use the colours of the current private vehicles issue and are used by the regular police and other state offices.   N 11905 is an undercover  police ‘ute’ (or pick-up truck), photographed from the safety of our hire-car, as they had more guns than we..

(HON 99~)(gv)_N_11905_r_(b.bl.w)_KIA ute3.2017VB

The alpha system uses two forms of the letter ‘N’ and perhaps Honduras could be the only country to use Ñ….

PDÑ 9676 has the Private vehicle prefix P and the Dx serial was current during our visit, changing to PEA just as we left, pursued by swarms of sandflies and mosquitos, two of the islands’ most successful breeding fauna, alongside the poor but jolly villagers.

(HON 99~)_P DN 9676_(bl.w)_.Roatan2017VB


Duty-Free Imports

There are two colours of PP plates, which were thought to be for rental cars – but they use normal plates.     I was told by a Thpanish-thpeaking local that the PP abbreviates ‘Placa Pimiente’ or Temporary Plate, and later,  by an American whose car carried a set of them, that, to encourage retirement settlers from US and Canada to Honduras, their household equipment and cars may  be brought in free of import duties, providing they are not sold within five years.

Costa Rica has a similar privilege plate for retirees.

Our esteemed Editor, Señor Barragan, who knows a good bit of Thpanish tells me there is no  such word as Pimiente – so it seems that my first source spoke with forked tongue.

Anyway, most PPs are all-red but a few light pick-ups (utes) had black lettering.     Why?

A new discovery was a trailer system, with a leading ‘R’ as usua;, for Remorque or similar, and a serial letter.     They are uncommon, yet they have reached C as a serial.   Trailer R C 1429,  adjuring all to ‘Protect our Forests’.   The English word ‘bosky’ is a relative of this Latinate word Bosques….

(HON 99~)(tlr)_R C 1429_(bl.w)_trailer.Roatan2017VB

and trailer R A 8536

(HON 99~)(tlr)_R A 8536_cu_(bl.w)_trailer.Roatan2017VB

Motorcycles are  as expected, prefixed M …

(HON 99~)(mc)_M AB 7049_(b.bl.w)_mc.2017VB


The Fire Brigade seems to have freedom of choice about what it displays!

(HON gv)(fire)_HRB-00146_f_(r.y)_Nissan ute.Roatan2017VB

(HON gv)(fire)_HRB-2409_(y.r)_mc.Roatan2017VB

(HON gv)(fire)_HRB-2401_c_(y.r)_Roatan2017VB

Ambulances enjoy a similar freedom.   Same plate front and back.



A lengthy chase following a high-speed turn-round  enabled the photo-capture of an unknown military plate type, Repubblica Honduras Fuerzas Navales, as I judge it to mean, and we may rely on the Placamundi contingent to bring accuracy where there is only inspired guesswork.


(HON gv)(mil-navy)_RHFN 5718_cu_(bl.w)_Roatan2017VB


Several small cars carried the plate below and were hired to tourists.   It’s not exactly a plate, is it?




A special police group travel with blue plates, unlike any others and are tricky to photograph, for reasons you will understand.    This is as close as my survival instinct permitted me to get to white on blue, stencilled UD 11-001….


….from which my editing software gleans this:

(HON)(pol)_UD 11-001_ute.Roatan2017VB



The only non-Honduran plates on the island were from Guatemala.   It seems that there is paid work for GCA workers if they come to the island.     The authorities are still issuing 2004-dated plates!

(GCA 2004)_P 947PWS_Roatan2017VB

This GCA ute was dumped.   Its  P947 DWS plates were secured by self-tapping screws and are no longer attached.     A brand-new ute (still 2004)  P767 GJJ is seen below.

(GCA 2004)_P 767GJJ_cr_Roatan2017VB

A couple of odd US plates varied the diet:

(USA-Tex 2016)_transit_Roatan2017VB

(USA-Tex)(disabled)_68KBJ_(bl.w)_Chrysler SUV.Roatan2017VB

I suspect the driver of the Texas vehicle was laid low by the sandflies, the heat and the ghastly food of the island and was issued a handicapped plate by his hospital back home. Odd thing is, he went back to Honduras for more……       We won’t.

Victor Brumby, April 2017


For three weeks I have been dismantling the pages of Karel Stoel’s German albums and the period 1895-1945 is at last complete.      A plate I cannot identify presents your chance to show us your skill as a xeno-autonumerologist:     D 7090

(D 40s).q_D-7079_(l.d)_mil car.vbKS



More early German shots will appear in the next posts plus some of the Protectorates seized from the surrounding countries when Adolf got the bit between his teeth.

Here are two cars of senior government personnel, parked outside a great meeting hall in Vienna some time during 39-45.    Early vanity plates!   Nd 1 and W 101 are from Lower Austria and Vienna Protectorate…      Vienna/Wien used white plates during the occupation.

Less exotic IIB 57022 is from Upper Bavaria (Oberbayern).    How about identifying the three cars?

(D 39-45).Prot.Niederdonau-Lower Danube(A)_Nd-1 + W-101_vbKS

Now get back to work.




Kosovo numberplate riddle — platesite

April 4, 2016

taken April 2016 in Vienna, doesn´t look like a fake. Why the old series are 2015 still issued (I´ve already seen 2011), although there are new series since 2010 ?

via Kosovo numberplate riddle — platesite


September 18, 2015

Thanks all for the identification of my previous photo from British India.      I have another old photograph in my collection that I can’t identify, N 64545.       Maybe it’s glaringly obvious to the trained eye, as to where it was registered – any ideas?

EU 871




More plates to identify

September 11, 2015

No Hints given at this stage!

Identify the vehicles, too, if you can, and date the set of pictures…..

(TG 56-75)(A62-4)_RT-6952-A_VBmb1970s

Two countries shown here. And evidence of a damaged negative.

(TG 56-75)(A62-4)_RT 7006-A_VBmb

Togo-registered Datsun Bluebird, 410 Series, made from 64 to 67, between two new Peugeot 404 estates awaiting permanent registration, but bearing identical temporary International Aid plates at time of picture.

(TG 56-75)(transit)_RT WJ_slide1_VB

Togo temporary transit RT WJ, seen near Mopti, Mali in 1973. in a desert airfield stop between Bamako and Timbuktu.

Mystery motorcycle plate

January 15, 2013

201203687DW.unknown pe

Does anyone know what this is? I shot it on the front fender/mudguard of a (fairly modern, if I remember correctly, but I’m no bike expert) motorcycle in Bangkok at the end of April 2012. It was stuffed into a market stall, whether parked there for the day or permanently enconced, I had no idea. The stall-man and I traded smiles as he seemed to enjoy my interest in the machine, but the language barrier permitted little else. The rear was totally inaccessible so I never saw the rear plate; it was one of those hit-and-run moments, and this picture is all I was left with.    from David Wilson


Roger, Bernt & Alex quickly ran this display plate to earth!    See comments below:

Pemberton quiz

December 19, 2012

Member John Pemberton saw a Jeep in Piccadilly, London, in the 1950s, and having no camera, transcribed its Bengali/Nepali/w.h.y. script.     Can one of our specialists identify that plate?

John Pemberton's unidentified spotting.

John Pemberton’s unidentified spotting.

Nepal has been suggested.    A Nepali looked like this:

(NEP4)(p Lv)_Ba1Pa6509_cuf_VBjb (NEP3to4)(commv)_U.Kaa.A530_cu_VB19651208 (NEP3a)_BaA5126_cu_ITpl-vb



Surprisingly, at March 2013, no readers have ventured any more suggestions – where are those accumulated years of experience???? (VB)

Now see a good suggestion from EU 575 below….


added 30/8/2015:

J&K 68  --  The dual-plated lorry on which the writer hitch-hiked from Patna to Kathmandu in 1965, carried Nepali and Jammu & Kashmir commercial plates.

J&K 6831 — The dual-plated lorry on which the writer hitch-hiked from Patna to Kathmandu in 1965, carried Nepali and Jammu & Kashmir commercial plates.

AQ failed photo of a Jowett Javelin in New Delhi in 1965 shows Hindi script, then most unusual.    VB archive

A failed photo of a Jowett Javelin in New Delhi in 1965 shows Hindi script, then most unusual.                           VB archive


More Mystery

October 13, 2011

This BMW2000S coupé was parked in Queens Gate, London for about a year during the 1970s, bearing this unexplained plate.    Next to it was an Austin Mini with similar plates, which I didn’t photograph, it seems!    Once I saw the driver and he claimed that the cars were from Burundi – but I have never believed it….   What do YOU think?

BH-423-H-12-CD      What is it??     Brumby archive

BH-423-H-12-CD What is it??                                  Brumby archive

The BMW was seen and photographed by another Europlate member, Simon Brazel, by coincidence.    Do you still have your photo, Simon?