Number plates around the world – Iceland

Number Plates in Iceland

The Icelandic number plate system is very different to our own. They were first introduced in 1939. This early system ran until 1988; it featured silver characters on a black background and consisted of a region letter followed by a series of numbers. The plates were registered to an owner who would transfer them from their old vehicle to their new vehicle but would require a new plate if they moved from one region to another.

In 1989 a new system was introduced that is still in place today. These new number plates have a white reflective background with blue characters and are issued randomly. They have either three letters followed by two digits or two letters followed by three digits. The plates stay on the vehicle for life and cannot be changed, so sadly you can’t buy a personalised plate in Iceland. The plates themselves are manufactured in the state penitentiary. Commercial vehicles have red plates and cannot be used for personal use. If you change your vehicle in Iceland from commercial use to personal use, or the reverse, you will need a plate in the different colour, but the registration number itself won’t alter.

Photo credit: IceNineJon / / CC BY-NC-ND