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Code list

International Identification letters

special thanks to Victor Brumby for most of the older pictures
in general:
a) bold = valid today
b) some countries use there oval in all their territories *)
beware that some letter combinations give more results, normally in different age era's
 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |  
picture letters country since

A Austria 1910-now
ADN Aden, now Yemen (YAR) 1938-1990
AFG Afghanistan 1971-now

AL Albania 1934-now
ÅL Åland (part of Finland) unofficially
should be FIN

AM Armenia 19??-now
AND Andorra 1957-now
  AU Australia *) pre 1954?

AUS Australia *) 1954-now
AZ  Azerbaijan 1993-now

B Belgium 1910-now
  BA Burma (later BUR), now Myanmar (MYA) 1937-1956
  BD Bangladesh 1978-now
  BDS Barbados 1956-now
BF Burkina Faso 1990-now
BG Bulgaria 1910-now
m BH British Honduras, now Belize (BZ) 1938-1980

BIH Bosnia-Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina) 1993-now
  BI British India, now India (IND) 1912-1947
BL Basutoland, now Lesotho (LS) 1935-1967
  BOL Bolivia 1967-now
m BP Bechuanaland Protectorate, now Botswana (RB) 1935-1967
  BR Brazil 1930-now
BRG British Guiana, now Guyana (GUY) 1954-1972
  BRN Bahrain 1954-now
m BRU Brunei 1956-now
  BS British Somaliland, now Somalia (SO) 1935-1960
BS Bahamas 1950-now
  BUR Burma (former BA), now Myanmar (MYA) 1956-1995
  BVI British Virgin Islands 19??-now

BY Belarus (Byelorussia) 1995-now
  BZ  Belize 1990-now
  C Cuba 1930-now
  CA Canada (later CDN) 1955-1956
CAM Cameroon, later RUC 1960-1984

CAT Catalonia, part of Spain unofficially
CB Belgian Congo (Congo Belgique) and Ruanda-Urundi 1931-1961
  CC Consular Corps (in French: Corps Consular) 1936?
CD Diplomatic Corps (in French: Corps Diplomatique) (1951 GB forces in Germany?) 1932?
CDN Canada 1956-now
  CFS French Somaliland (Côte Française des Somalis, now Djibouti ?
  CGO Congo (Kinshasa) 1961-1972

CH Switzerland (Confoederatio Helvetica) 1911-now

CI Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) 1961-now
  CL Sri Lanka (Ceylon until 1972) 1932-now
  CNB Colony of North Borneo, now Sabah, Malaysia (MAL) 1955-1963
  CO Colombia 1932-now
CR Costa Rica 1956-now
  CRO Croatia 1991?

CS Czechoslovakia (now CZ and SK) 1922-1992
CU Curaçao (part of the Netherlands Antilles), now NA) 1936-1957

CY Cyprus 1932-now

CYMRU Wales unofficially
CZ  Czech Republic 1993-now
D Germany (Deutschland) 1910-now
  DA Danzig, now part of Poland (PL) 1922-1939
  DDR East Germany (Deutsche Demokratische Republik), now part of Germany (D) 1974-1990
DG Belgium's German speaking community (Deutsche Gemeinschaft) unofficially
DK Denmark and Greenland (also Faeroe Islands (until 1976) and Iceland (until 1936)) 1914-now
  DOM Dominican Republic 1952-now
DY Benin (Dahomey, until 1976) 1961-now

DZ  Algeria (El Djezair) 1963-now

E Spain (España) 1910-now
  EA British East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Zanzibar, Tanganyika, Nyasaland and from 1936 Northern Rhodesia) 1932-1938

EAK Kenya (used to be East Africa Kenya) 1938-now

EAT Tanzania (used to be East Africa Tanzania (Tanganyika until 1964) 1938-now
EAU Uganda (used to be East Africa Uganda) 1938-now
EAZ East Africa Zanzibar, now Tanzania (EAT) 1938-1964
  EC Ecuador 1962-now

EH Basque Region, part of Spain and France (Euskal Herria = where Basque is spoken) unofficially
EIR Irish Republic (Éire), now IRL 1938-1962
  EQ Ecuador (Equador), now EC 1932-1962
  ES El Salvador 1970-now
EST Estonia 1993-now
ET Egypt 1927-now
ETH Ethiopia 1964-now

EW  Estonia (E W), now EST 1930-1940

F France *) 1910-now
  FIF French India (F I F), now IND 1925-1930
FIN Finland 1993-now
  FJI Fiji 1971-now

FL Liechtenstein (Fürstentum Liechtenstein) 1923-now
  FM Federated States of Malakka (Negri, Sembilan, Pahang, Parak and Selangor), now MAL 1932-1958
Faeroe Islands (Føroyar), officially DK, unofficially FØ (later FR, now FO) 1948-1976
FO Faeroe Islands (Føroyar) 1995-now
FR Faeroe Islands (Føroyar) (now FO) 1976-1995
FWI  French West Indies (Caribbean)
(here Guadeloupe, St. Martin)
should be F
  G Guatemala, now GCA 1932-1956
  G Gabon 1974-now
GB United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, incl. Ireland (until 1924) ?Scotland 1936? 1910-now

GBA Alderney 1924-now

GBG Guernsey 1924-now

GBJ Jersey 1924-now

GBM Isle of Man (Ellan Vannin) 1932-now
GBY Malta (now M) 1924-1966

GBZ Gibraltar 1924-now
GCA Guatemala (Guatemala Central America?) 1956-now
GE Georgia 1993-now
GEO Georgia, now GE 1993?

GH Ghana 1959-now
GOZO Gozo, part of Malta unofficially
GR Greece 1913-now
  GUY  Guyana 1972-now

H Hungary 1910-now
HK Hong Kong (1999?) 1932-now
  HKJ Jordan (Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan) 1966-now
HR Croatia (Hrvatska) 1991-now
  HV  Upper Volta (Haute Volta), now Burkina Faso (BF) 1961-1970

I Italy *) 1910-now

IL Israel 1952-now
  IN Netherlands Indies
Indonesia (now RI)
IND India 1947-now

IR Iran 1936-now

IRL Ireland, (Republic of) 1962-now

IRQ Iraq 1936-now

IS  Iceland 1936-now
  J Japan 1964-now
JA Jamaica (incl. Turks and Caicos Isl., Cayman Isl. and Windward Islands, being: Grenada, Grenadines, Martinique, St. Lucia and St. Vinent) 1932-now
  JO Johore (part of the non-Federated States of Malakka)(now MAL) 1932-1948
  JOR  Jordan, now HKJ 1955-1966
  K Cambodia (Kampuchea until 1989) 1956-now
m KAT Katanga, later ZR then ZRE now CGO 1960-1963
  KD Kedah (part of the non-Federated States of Malakka)(now MAL) 1932-1948
  KL Kelantan (part of the non-Federated States of Malakka)(now MAL) 1932-1948
  KS Kyrgyzstan 1995-now
KT Kuwait, now KWT ?
KWT Kuwait 1954-now
KZ  Kazakhstan 1995-now

L Luxembourg 1911-now
LAO Laos 1959-now
  LAR Libya (Libyan Arab Republic) 1972-now
  LB Liberia 1967-now
m LR Latvia (L R) (now LV) 1927-1940
  LS Lesotho 1967-now
  LSA Lebanon, Syria and Alaouites (SL?) (now RL and SYR) 1929-1931
LT Lithuania 1925-1940
LV  Latvia 1991-now
  M Palestine (Mandate of), now IL 1930-1948

M Malta 1966-now
M Madeira, part of Portugal unofficially

MA Morocco (Maroc, El Maghreb) not in the 1936 list?, F in use? 1924-now
  MAL Malaysia 1967-now

MC Monaco 1910-now
MD Moldova 1993-now
  ME Spanish Morocco (Marruecos Español), now E 1935-1952
  MEX Mexico 1932-now

MGL Mongolia 1997-now

MK Macedonia (Makedonija) 1993-now
MLD Moldova, now MD 1992-1993
MN Montenegro 1913-1918
MNG Mongolia unofficially
should be MGL
  MO Monaco (by mistake listed?) 1962?
MOC Mozambique (Moçambique) 1932-1956
MS Mauritius 1938-now
  MT Tangier (Morocco Tangier) 1932-1956
MW Malawi 1965-now
  MYA  Myanmar, formerly Burma (BUR) 1995-now
N Norway 1922-now
NA Netherlands Antilles 1957-now
NAM Namibia 1993-now
  NAU Nauru 1968-now
NC New Caledonia unofficially
  NEP Nepal 1970-now
  NF Newfoundland (later CA, now CDN) 1938-1949
NGN Netherlands New Guinea (Nouvelle Guinea Neerlandaise, now RI) 1955-1962
  NGR Nigeria 1992-now
NI Northern Ireland unofficially
  NIC Nicaragua 1952-now
  NIG Niger 1961-?

NL Netherlands 1910-now
NP Nyasaland Protectorate, later RNY now MW 1938-1960

NR Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), later RNR, now Z 1938-1960

NZ  New Zealand *) 1958-now
P Portugal 1912-now
  PA Panama 1932-now
  PAN Angola (P A N) 1936? (now AN) 1932-1956
PAK Pakistan, now PK 1947-1990
  PE Peru,  in 1932 list 1937-now
  PI Philippines, now RP 1952-1975
  PK Pakistan 1986-now

PL Poland 1921-1939
PNG Papua New Guinea 1981-now
  PR Persia (from 1936 Iran), now IR 1933-1936
  PS Perlis (part of the non-Federated States of Malakka), now MAL 1933-1948
PTM Malaysia (Perseketuan Tanah Melayu), now MAL 1958-1967
  PY  Paraguay 1932-now
  Q  Qatar 1972-now
  R Russia (later SU, than RU and now RUS) 1910-1926
R Romania (now RO) 1930-1981
  RA Andorra? ?
RA Argentina (Republic of) 1927-now
  RB Bolivia, now BOL 1963-1967
RB Botswana (Republic of) 1967-now
RB Benin (République du) unofficially
(used DY?)
  RC Taiwan (Republic of China) 1932-now
RCA Central African Republic (République Centrafricaine) 1962-now
  RCB Congo (République Congo Brazzaville) 1962-now
RCH Chile (Republic of) 1930-now
RCI Ivory Coast (République Côte d'Ivoire) unofficially
should be CI
RCL Congo (République Congo Leopoldville, later ZR then ZRE, now CGO 1961-1970
RFC Cameroon (République Federale du Cameroun) unofficially?
  RG Guinea (Republic of) 1970-now
RGB Guinea-Bissau (Republic) (no official oval) unofficially
  RH Haiti (Republic of) 1932-now
RHV Upper Volta (Haute Volta, République), (now Burkina Faso - BF) 1960-1990
RI Indonesia (Republic of) 1955-now
RIM Mauritania (République Islamique de Mauretanie) 1960?-now
RL Lebanon (Republic of) 1952-now
  RM Romania (later R, now RO) 1912-1930
RM Madagascar (Republic of) 1962-now
  RMM Mali (R M M) 1962-now
RN Niger (Republic of) 1980-now
RNR Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia
(now Zambia - Z)

RNY Rhodesia, Nyasaland (now Malawi - MW) 1960-1965

RO Romania 1981-now
  ROK South Korea (Republic of Korea) 1971-now
ROU Uruguay (Republica Oriental del Uruguay) 1970-now
  RP Philippines (Republic of the) 1975-now
RSM San Marino (Republic of) 1932-now
RSR Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe - ZW) 1960-1979
  RU Ruanda-Urundi, now RU and RWA (1964) 1959-1960
  RU Burundi (part of Ruanda-Urundi until 1962) 1960-now
RU Russia unofficially?
  RUC Cameroon (République Unie du Cameroun) 1984-now
RUS Russia 1993-now
  RWA  Rwanda 1964-now

S Sweden 1911-now
SA Saarland (now part of Germany) 1925-1935
  SA Saudi Arabia 1970-now
  SAU South African Union, now ZA 1933-1936
SB Seborga, this town claims independence from Italy (near Monaco) unofficially

SCG Serbia and Montenegro (and Kosovo) (Srbija i Crna Gora) 2003-now
SCO Scotland unofficially
  SD SwazilandSCO - Scotland 1935-now
  SE Irish Free State (Saorstat Éireann), later EIR, now IRL 1924-1938
SE Spanish Sahara (Sahara Español) 1966
SE Savoie, part of France unofficially
SER Serbia unofficially
SF Finland (Suomi Finland), now FIN 1921-1993
SGP Singapore 1952-now
SK Sarawak (now Malaysia), later FM then PTM, now MAL 1955-1963

SK Slovakia 1993-now
  SL Syria and Lebanon, now SYR and RL 1931-1952
  SM Siam, now Thailand (T) 1930-1955
SME Suriname 1936-now
SN Senegal 1962-now
SLO Slovenia (Slovenija) 1991-now
SO Slovakia, later CS, than SO and SQ, now SK 1939-1945
  SO Somalia 1970-now
  SP Somalia (Somaliland Protectorate) 1938-1960
SQ Slovakia (Slovaquie), now SK 1993
SR Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) (later RSR, now ZW) 1932-1960
  SS Straits Settlements, now Singapore (SGP) and part of Malaysia (MAL) 1932-1952
SU Soviet Union, now RUS 1926-1991
  SUD Sudan 1963-now
x seen in 1996 SWA South West Africa, now Namibia (NAM) 1935-1966
SXM St. Martin (also see FWI) unofficially
  SY Seychelles 1938-now

SYR  Syria 1952-now
T Thailand 1955-now
TC Cameroon (French Trust of), now CAM 1932-1952
  TCH Chad (Tchad) 1970-now
  TD Trinidad and Tobago, now TT 1938-1964
TG Togo 1962-now
  TJ Tajikistan 1995-now
TM Turkmenistan 1994-now
  TMN Turkmenistan, now TM 1993-1994

TN Tunisia 1957-now

TR Turkey 1935-now
  TT Togoland (French Trust of), now TG 1932-1952
TT Trinidad and Tobago 1964-now
  TU  Trengganu (part of the non-Federated States of Malakka), now MAL 1935-1948
U Uruguay, now ROU 1949-1970

UA Ukraine 1994-now
UAE United Arab Emirates 19??-now

UN United Nations ?
  UR? Ukraine unofficially
US United States of America *) (now USA) 1910-1950

USA United States of America *) 1950-now
  UZ  Uzbekistan 1995-now
V Vatican City 1931-now
  VN  Vietnam 1953-now
WAC Ghana (West Africa Gold Coast, incl. Achanti (now part of Ghana) and Togo) (now GH) 1936-1959

WAG Gambia (West Africa Gambia, incl. Gold Coast (later Ghana), Achanti (now part of Ghana) and Togo) (last 3 until 1936) 1932-now
WAL Sierra Leone (West Africa Leone) 1932-now
WAN Nigeria (West Africa Nigeria), now NGR 1937-1992
WD Dominica (Windward Islands, Dominica) 1954-now
  WG Grenada (Windward Islands, Grenada) 1932-now
WL St Lucia (Windward Islands, St Lucia) 1932-now
  WS Samoa (Western Samoa) 1962-now
  WV  St Vincent (Windward Islands, St Vincent) 1932-now
Y Yugoslavia (later YU) 1936-1952
  YAR Yemen (Yemeni Arab Republic), now YAR 1970s?-now
  YMN Yemen (North), now YAR ?

YU Serbia and Montenegro (and Kosovo) (former Yugoslavia), now SCG 1952-2003
  YV  Venezuela 1955-now
Z Zambia 1966-now

ZA South Africa (Zuid-Afrika) 1936-now
ZR Zaire, then ZRE now CGO 1973-1980
ZRE Zaire, now CGO 1980-1998
ZW Zimbabwe 1980-now

If you have any comments,
pictures or even plates,
please drop me an e-mail.