Vehicle registration plates of South Africa


Vehicle registration plates of South Africa

South African number plates are unique in each of the provinces. Each province has their own number plate design and colours, as well as numbering scheme.

The nine provinces

Key:
* UPPER CASE LETTERS: Literal letters in the numberplate
* a: compulsory letter (A - Z)
* b: letter (A - Z) or nothing
* x: compulsory character (A - Z, 0 - 9)
* z: character (A - Z, 0 - 9) or nothing
* #: an integer number (1 - 999,999)
* +: a compulsory digit (0 - 9)

Western Cape and Kwazulu-Natal

After 1988, the Western Cape Province and KwaZulu-Natal Province are the only two provinces where the registration can be still linked to specific towns and cities. i.e. the pre-1980 system has largely been retained in these areas, so the first two or three letters at the start of each number plate identify where the vehicle was licensed.

Western Cape Province

In 1994, the Cape Province was subdivided into three provinces (Western, Eastern and Northern Cape Provinces). The Eastern Cape and Northern Cape changed their licensing system and thus some former Cape Province registration prefixes, such as CB (Port Elizabeth), have been dropped. The current Western Province list is essentially an abbreviation of the pre-1980 Cape Province list, following the changes to the political boundaries that saw some towns shift provinces completely (Kokstad), and one change country (Walvis Bay).

* CA - Cape Town
* CAG - Barkly West
* CAM - Caledon & Kleinmond
* CAR - Clanwilliam & Lambert's Bay
* CAW - George
* CBL - Ladismith
* CBM - Laingsburg
* CBN - Mafikeng
* CBO - Hofmeyr
* CBP - Middelburg
* CBR - Montagu
* CBS - Mossel Bay & Hartenbos
* CBT - Murraysburg
* CBU - Springbok
* CBV - Pearston
* CBW - Peddie
* CBX - Philipstown, Petrusville & Vanderkloof
* CBY - Piketberg
* CBZ - Prieska
* CCA - Prince Albert
* CCB - Richmond
* CCC - Riverdale & Still Bay
* CCD - Robertson & McGregor
* CCE - Somerset East
* CCF - Steynsburg
* CCG - Steytlerville
* CCH - Seymour
* CCJ - Sutherland
* CCK - Swellendam & Barrydale
* CCL - Tarkastad
* CCM - Tulbagh
* CCO - Uniondale
* CCP - Vanrhynsdorp & Klawer
* CCR - Victoria West, Loxton & Vosburg
* CCS - Vryburg & Reivilo
* CCT - Willowmore
* CCU - Dordrecht
* CDA - Elliot
* CDL - Maclear
* CDX - Middledrift
* CDZ - Venderstad
* CEA - Moorresburg
* CEB - Kirkwood
* CEC - Garies
* CED - Hankey
* CEE - Warrenton
* CEF - Whittlesea
* CEG - Heidelberg
* CEH - Jamestown
* CEJ - Lady Grey
* CEK - Pofadder
* CEL - Noupoort
* CEM - Hermanus, Gans Bay, Onrus River & Stanford
* CEN - Indwa
* CEO - Grabouw
* CEP - Strekstroom
* CER - Bonnievale
* CES - Albertinia
* CET - Joubertine
* CEU - Hartswater & Jan Kempdorf
* CEV - Postmasburg & Daniëlskuil
* CEW - Olifantshoek, Sishen & Kathu
* CEX - Porterville
* CEY - Strand & Gordon's Bay
* CEZ - Williston
* CF - Kuilsrivier & Brackenfell [Since approx 2000; "formerly Grahamstown (Eastern Cape)"]
* CFA - Wolseley
* CFB - Molteno
* CFC - Stutterheim
* CFD - Alice
* CFG - Vredenburg & St Helena Bay
* CFH - Kokamas
* CFG - Adelaide
* CFK - Keiskammahoek
* CFM - Somerset West
* CFO - Keimoes
* CFP - Velddrif (formerly used for Laaiplek)
* CFR - Kuilsrivier & Brackenfell
* CFS - Groblershoop
* CG - Oudtshoorn
* CH - Queenstown
* CJ - Paarl & Franschhoek
* CK - Malmesbury & Darling
* CL - Stellenbosch
* CM - De Aar
* CN - Wellington
* CO - Calitzdorp
* CR - Hopefield & Langebaan
* CS - Bredasdorp & Napier
* CT - Ceres
* CU - Port Nolloth
* CV - Vredendal
* CW - Worcester, De Doorns & Touwsrivier
* CX - Knysna, Sedgefield & Plettenberg Bay
* CY - Bellville, Durbanville & Kraaifontein
* CZ - Beaufort West

KwaZulu-Natal Province

Unchanged from pre-1980 (see Natal Province section below)

Costs

The annual licence fee for personalised number plates can be as high as R10,000 for a single character licence plate (e.g. "1 WP") but the standard licence fee is between R200 and R600, depending on the province in which the vehicle is registered.

History

Before 1994, South Africa had only 4 provinces: Natal, Cape Province, Orange Free State and Transvaal.

Pre Circa 1980

White letters on a black background were used across the country, including the military. For example: CC 147

Each town had a unique registration prefix followed by a number that was allocated sequentially from 1 (the mayor's vehicle) onwards to 999 999. For trade plates, the letters and numbers were swapped.

There were no personalised number plates.

Military

Military vehicles used the letter "R" as a prefix, followed by a sequential number.For example: R54321

Cape Province

The towns in the Cape Province were originally assigned prefixes in order from largest to smallest and following the corresponding letters of the alphabet. Thus "CA" represented the largest city, Cape Town and "CB" would have represented the second largesst, Port Elizabeth and so on. The full list of Cape Province prefixes was as follows:

* CA - Cape Town
* CAB - Aberdeen (Eastern Cape)
* CAC - Burgersdorp (Eastern Cape)
* CAD - Alexandria & Paterson (Eastern Cape)
* CAE - Aliwal North (Eastern Cape)
* CAF - Barkly East (Eastern Cape)
* CAG - Barkly West
* CAH - Port Alfred & Bathurst (Eastern Cape)
* CAJ - Bedford (Eastern Cape)
* CAL - Britstown (Northern Cape)
* CAM - Caledon & Kleinmond
* CAN - Calvinia, Brandvlei & Loeriesfontein (Northern Cape)
* CAO - Carnarvon (Northern Cape)
* CAP - Cathcart (Eastern Cape)
* CAR - Clanwilliam & Lamberts Bay
* CAS - Colesberg (Northern Cape)
* CAT - Cradock (Eastern Cape)
* CAU - Fort Beaufort (Eastern Cape)
* CAV - Fraserburg (Northern Cape)
* CAW - George
* CAY - Upington (Northern Cape)
* CAZ - Graaf-Reinet & Nieu-Bethesda (Eastern Cape)
* CB - Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape)
* CBA - Hanover (Northern Cape)
* CBB - Griquatown (Northern Cape)
* CBC - Douglas (Northern Cape)
* CBE - Hopetown & Strydenburg (Northern Cape)
* CBF - Humansdorp & Jeffreys Bay (Eastern Cape)
* CBG - Jansenville (Eastern Cape)
* CBH - Kenhardt (Northern Cape)
* CBJ - Komga (Eastern Cape)
* CBK - Kuruman (Northern Cape)
* CBL - Ladismith
* CBM - Laingsburg
* CBN - Mafikeng
* CBO - Hofmeyr
* CBP - Middelburg
* CBR - Montagu
* CBS - Mossel Bay & Hartenbos
* CBT - Murraysburg
* CBU - Springbok
* CBV - Pearston
* CBW - Peddie
* CBX - Philipstown, Petrusville & Vanderkloof
* CBY - Piketberg
* CBZ - Prieska
* CC - Kimberley (Northern Cape)
* CCA - Prince Albert
* CCB - Richmond
* CCC - Riverdale & Still Bay
* CCD - Robertson & McGregor
* CCE - Somerset East
* CCF - Steynsburg
* CCG - Steytlerville
* CCH - Seymour
* CCJ - Sutherland
* CCK - Swellendam & Barrydale
* CCL - Tarkastad
* CCM - Tulbagh
* CCN - Uitenhage & Despatch (Eastern Cape)
* CCO - Uniondale
* CCP - Vanrhynsdorp & Klawer
* CCR - Victoria West, Loxton & Vosburg
* CCS - Vryburg & Reivilo
* CCT - Willowmore
* CCU - Dordrecht
* CCW - Kokstad (KwaZulu-Natal: NCW)
* CCX - Matatiele (KwaZulu-Natal: NCX)
* CD - King Williams Town (Eastern Cape)
* CDA - Elliot
* CDL - Maclear
* CDX - Middledrift
* CDZ - Venderstad
* CE - East London & Gonubie (Eastern Cape)
* CEA - Moorresburg
* CEB - Kirkwood
* CEC - Garies
* CED - Hankey
* CEE - Warrenton
* CEF - Whittlesea
* CEG - Heidelberg
* CEH - Jamestown
* CEJ - Lady Grey
* CEK - Pofadder
* CEL - Noupoort
* CEM - Hermanus, Gans Bay, Onrus River & Stanford
* CEN - Indwa
* CEO - Grabouw
* CEP - Strekstroom
* CER - Bonnievale
* CES - Albertinia
* CET - Joubertine
* CEU - Hartswater & Jan Kempdorf
* CEV - Postmasburg & Daniëlskuil
* CEW - Olifantshoek, Sishen & Kathu
* CEX - Porterville
* CEY - Strand & Gordons Bay
* CEZ - Williston
* CF - Grahamstown (Eastern Cape)
* CFA - Wolseley
* CFB - Molteno
* CFC - Stutterheim
* CFD - Alice
* CFG - Vredenburg & St Helena Bay
* CFH - Kokamas
* CFG - Adelaide
* CFK - Keiskammahoek
* CFM - Somerset West
* CFO - Keimoes
* CFP - Velddrif (formerly used for Laaiplek)
* CFR - Kuilsrivier & Brackenfell
* CFS - Groblershoop
* CG - Oudtshoorn
* CH - Queenstown
* CJ - Paarl & Franschhoek
* CK - Malmesbury & Darling
* CL - Stellenbosch
* CM - De Aar
* CN - Wellington
* CO - Calitzdorp
* CR - Hopefield & Langebaan
* CS - Bredasdorp & Napier
* CT - Ceres
* CU - Port Nolloth
* CV - Vredendal
* CW - Worcester, De Doorns & Touwsrivier
* CWB - Walvis Bay (Namibia)
* CX - Knysna, Sedgefield & Plettenberg Bay
* CY - Bellville, Durbanville & Kraaifontein
* CZ - Beaufort West

Transvaal Province

* TA - Benoni
* TAA - Barberton
* TAB - Bethal
* TAC - Christania
* TAD - Lichtenburg
* TAE - Lydenburg
* TAF - Zeerust
* TAG - Piet Retief
* TAH - Nylstroom
* TAI - Wolmaranstad
* TAJ - Louis Trichardt
* TAK - Wolmaransad district
* TAL - Pietersburg
* TAM - Wakkerstroom
* TAN - Potgietersrust
* TAO - Ottosdal
* TAP - Graskop
* TAQ - Balfour
* TAR - Messina
* TAS - Delmas
* TAT - Greylingstad
* TAU - Fochville
* TAV - Hercules
* TAW - Bronkhorstspruit
* TAX - Rodeon, Zwartruggens
* TAY - Randfontein
* TAZ - Britz
* TB - Boksburg
* TBA - Dullstroom
* TBB - Leeudoornstad
* TBC - Tzaneen
* TBD - Duivelskloof
* TBE - Delareyville
* TBF - Hendrina
* TBG - Charl Cilliers
* TBH - Nelspruit
* TBI - Koster
* TBJ - Trichard
* TBK - Morgenzon
* TBL - Machadodorp
* TBM - Breyton
* TBS - Sabie
* TBZ - Thabazimbi
* TC - Carolina
* TCA - Groblersdaal
* TCB - Belfast
* TCC - Coligny
* TCD - Kempton Park
* TCE - Westonaria
* TCX - Maquassi
* TDD - Pilgrims Rest
* TDG - Nigel
* TDH - Witrivier
* TDJ - Leslie
* TDK - Alberton
* TDL - Edenvale
* TE - Ermelo
* TEA - Amsterdam
* TF - Amersfoort
* TG - Germiston
* TH - Heidelberg
* TI - Rustenburg
* TJ - Johannesburg
* TK - Krugersdorp
* TL - Bloemhof
* TM - Middleburg
* TN - Ventersdorp
* TNS - Naboomspruit
* TO - Brakpan
* TP - Pretoria
* TQ - Standerton
* TR - Schweizer-Reneke
* TS - Springs
* TSN - Sandton
* TT - Volksrust
* TU - Roodepoort-Mariasburg
* TV - Vereeniging
* TVB - Van Der Bijl Park
* TW - Witbank
* TWB - Warmbaths
* TX - Potchefstroom
* TY - Klerksdorp
* TZ - Stilfontein
* TOY - Orkney

KwaZulu-Natal Province

The different regions in the KZN province use the place names to determine the letters that are used to identify each region. This pattern does not always hold, especially for smaller areas.

* NA - Harding
* NAT - Amanzimtoti(reserved)
* NB - Bergville
* NBA - Babanango
* NBB - KwaZulu Natal Administration Boards vehicles
* NC - Camperdown
* NCO - Colenso
* NCV - Butterworth
* NCW - Kokstad
* NCX - Matatiele
* ND - Durban
* NDM - Durban Metro Council
* NDE - Dundee
* NDH - Dannhauser
* NDW - Ndwedwe
* NE - Estcourt
* NES - Eshowe
* NF - Msinga
* NGL - Glencoe
* NH - New Hanover
* NHL - Hlabisa
* NIM - Impendle
* NIN - Ingwavuma
* NIP - Polela
* NIX - Ixopo
* NJ - Verulam
* NK - Richmond
* NKA - Nkandla
* NKK - Kranskop
* NKR - Klip River(Ladysmith)
* NM - Mapumulo
* NMA - Mahlabatini
* NMG - Magudu
* NMR - Mooi River,Nottingham Road
* NN - Newcastle
* NND - Nongoma
* NO - Melmoth
* NP - Pietermaritzburg
* NPA - Natal Provincial Administration vehicles
* NPB - Natal Parks Board vehicles
* NPC - Pietermaritzburg city council
* NPN - Pinetown
* NPP - Paulpietersburg
* NPS - Port Shepstone
* NR - Lions River, Howick
* NRB - Richards Bay
* NS - Ngotshe
* NT - Stanger,Ballito
* NTU - Nqutu
* NU - New Germany,Waterfall,Hillcrest,Kloof
* NUB - Ubombo
* NUD - Underberg
* NUF - Empangeni
* NUL - Umbumbulu
* NUM - Umvoti/Greytown
* NUR - Umhlanga Rocks
* NUT - Utrecht
* NUZ - Umlazi
* NV - Vryheid
* NW - Weenen
* NX - Scottburgh
* NZ - Gingindlovu,Mtunzini

Orange Free State Plates

* OA - Bethlehem
* OAB - Reitz
* OAF - Kestell
* OB - Bloemfontein
* OBB - Brandfort
* OBD - Dewetsdorp
* OBG - Reddersburg
* OBT - Botshabele
* OBW - Phuthadistjhaba
* OC - Bethulie
* OCC - Springfontein
* OD - Boshoff
* ODB - Hertzogville
* ODD - Deslesville
* OE - Edenburg
* OEB - Trompsburg
* OF - Fauresmith
* OFB - Jagersfontein
* OFD - Koffiefontein
* OFH - Petrusburg
* OG - Picksburg
* OGB - Fouriesburg
* OH - Frankfort
* OHB - Villiers
* OHS - Harrismith
* OIC - Warden
* OIL - Sasolburg
* OJ - Heilbron
* OK - Hoopstad
* OKB - Bultfontein
* OKC - Odendaalsrus
* OKD - Wesselsbron
* OKE - Welkom
* OL - Jacobsdal
* OM - Kroonstad
* OMB - Bothaville
* OMF - Viljoenskroon
* OMG - Edenville
* ON - Ladybrand
* ONB - Hobhouse
* OND - Clocolan
* OO - Lindley
* OOD - Steynsrus
* OOE - Petrus Steyn
* OP - Philippolis
* OR - Senekal
* ORD - Marquard
* ORE - Paul Roux
* ORX - Rouxville
* OS - Smithfield
* OU - Vrede
* OUB - Memel
* OV - Parys
* OVB - Vredefort
* OVE - Koppies
* OW - Wepener
* OX - Winburg
* OXD - Theunissen
* OXF - Ventersburg
* OXG - Excelsior
* OXH - Hennenman
* OXV - Virginia
* OZ - Zastron

Circa 1980 to 1994

A new numbering scheme had to be introduced in the Transvaal, after the Johannesburg series exceeded the number TJ 999-999 . An alphanumeric system was therefore introduced in this province, which allowed more permutations with fewer characters. The series comprised three letters followed by three numbers and the letter "T". All number plates used black text on a yellow background, for example: BCD123T .

From this point onwards, a Transvaal vehicle's origin could no longer be narrowed down to a specific town or city. However people soon realized that the first letter of the registration indicated the date of first registration of a vehicle, as the sequence grew alphabetically. It was therefore very obvious to a casual observer if someone had a new vehicle.

Other provinces also adopted the new black on yellow number plates, but kept their existing numbering systems. Government plates were coloured red on a white background. There were still no personalised number plates.

Homeland Number Plates

Under Apartheid South Africa, each of the homelands had their own departments of vehicle licencing.

Venda

* VD - Dzanani
* VDF - Defence Force vehicles
* VM - Government vehicles
* VP - Police vehicles
* VS - Tshitale
* VT - Thohoyandou
* VTA - Traffic Administration vehicles
* VV - Dzanani, Mutale, Sibasa & Vuwani, Venda

Qwaqwa

* WR - Government vehicles
* WRP - Police vehicles

Transkei

* XA - Umtata
* XAA - Nqamake
* XAB - Tabankulu
* XAC - Tsomo
* XAD - Xhora
* XAE - Mqanduli
* XAF - Bizana
* XAG - Gatyana
* XAH - Siphaqeni
* XB - Ccuwa
* XC - Lusikisiki
* XD - Cofimvaba
* XE - Engcobo
* XF - Umzimvubu
* XG - Transkei government vehicles
* XGA - Agriculture & Forestry Dept vehicles
* XGC - Commerce, Industry & Tourism Dept vehicles
* XGH - Health & Welfare Dept vehicles
* XGL - Local Government & Land Tenure Dept vehicles
* XGW - Works & Energy Dept vehicles
* XH - Umzimkulu
* XJ - Maxesibeni
* XK - Kwabhaca
* NCX - Matatiele
* NCW - Kokstad
* XM - Transkei Army vehicles
* XN - Idutywa
* XO - Tsolo
* XP - Transkei police vehicles
* XPT - Transkei Traffic Police vehicles
* XR - Cacadu
* XRT - Transkei Road Transport Services vehicles
* XS - Xalanga
* XT - Herschel
* XU - Libode
* XV - Qumbu
* XW - Mt Fletcher
* XY - Centane
* XZ - Ngqeleni

Bophuthatswana

* YB - Government vehicles
* YBA - Molopo
* YBB - Odi
* YBC - Moretele
* YBD - Hafekeng & Tlhabane
* YBE - Ditsobotla
* YBG - Lehurutshe
* YBH - Tlhaping-Tlharo
* YBJ - Madikwe
* YBK - Thaba 'Nchu
* YBL - Mankwe
* YBM - Ganyesa
* YBN - Taung
* YBP - Police vehicles
* YBX - Mabopane

Zululand / KwaZulu

* ZG - Government vehicles
* ZK - Paramount Chief vehicles
* ZP - Police vehicles
* Z - General vehicles

Lebowa

Government

  • LG - Lebowa Government
  • LP - Lebowa Police
  • Civilian

  • LEB-1-NUMBER/S - Lebowakgomo & Surrounds
  • LEB-2-NUMBER/S
  • LEB-3-NUMBER/S - Mahwelereng & Surrounds
  • LEB-4-NUMBER/S - Seshego & Surrounds
  • LEB-5-NUMBER/S
  • LEB-6-NUMBER/S
  • LEB-7-NUMBER/S - Tzaneen & Surrounds
  • LEB-8-NUMBER/S
  • LEB-9-NUMBER/S
  • LEB-10-NUMBER/S - Botlokwa & Surrounds

    Controversy

    A growing illegal trend amongst motorists in the South Africa, especially those with high performance vehicles, is to remove their number plates so as not to be caught by speed cameras. [cite news|url=http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=13&art_id=qw1155221101193B236|Police launch number-plate clampdown|date=April 10, 2006|publisher= [http://www.iol.co.za iol.co.za] ] This evasion is possible due to a lack of enforcement as well as the comparatively low sanction for not displaying number plates relative to the cost of speeding fines.

    References


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