Custom license plate in France

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Publié par Eplaque - 7 min de lecture ⏳

Le 23/08/2023 - Mis à jour le 05/09/2023

In many countries around the world, it is possible to choose your license plate number, or even the design, to make it more personal and brighten it up. If France is rather behind regarding personalized number plates, there has been a bit of progress. Let’s delve into what’s possible or not regarding custom license plate in France.

Personalised license plate in France in a nutshell

Since 2009 and the introduction of the new SIV registration system, it is possible to choose the department number which is displayed on any French car registration plate, regardless of where the holder of the “carte grise” is domiciled. The choice of this department also results in the display of the logo of the corresponding region. If you spent your youth in Brittany and now live in Île-de-France, you have the option of displaying your Breton origins on your Ile-de-France license plate.

Regarding the dimensions and the materials that compose it, the possibilities are padlocked by the approval as defined by the Ministry of the Interior. These very specific criteria frame what is possible or not in terms of license plates in France. Deviating from the formats, standard layout and authorized visuals is illegal and therefore liable to a fine. This is why it is imperative to order your plates from a service provider approved by the Ministry of the Interior.

Approved French license plate: how does it look like?

To drive legally on public roads, your vehicle must be equipped with approved number plates that are sold by specialized private companies such as ours. They are composed of three separate parts:

  1. The “euroband”: located on the left, it includes the identifier of the country of registration (F for France) as well as the European stars of the EU
  2. The central part: on a flat white area for standard plates, it contains the registration number of vehicles presented in the following form since the implementation of the SIV system in 2009: AA-123-AA
  3. The territorial identifier: on the right, on a blue background, we find the number of a department as well as the corresponding regional logo (old or actual, both are legal). This can be personalized at any time if desired

Special plates can display other characteristics:

Personalize approved number plates with your custom message

By law, a driver can therefore choose the department number (and the corresponding region logo) that is displayed on his plates. It doesn’t have to reflect the department of registration of the car. You can change as much as you like, provided that you don’t do it with stickers.

Our site also offers you the option of displaying a personalised message on our plexiglass plates (instead of www.eplaque.fr which is displayed in the photo above). The name of the garage for a professional, or any other text for an individual. This possibility exists for car plates (format 520 x 110) and number plates for motorcycles (210×130)! How much is a personalised license plate? An approved model just cost EUR 1.5 extra for the custom text underneath the plate. The choice of the region is free of charge.

We have in stock every departmental and regional design. Our custom number plates are made in France, in our workshops near Paris. The delivery of your product is made in 24 or 48 hours, in a secure way. Those made and validated before 3 p.m. are sent the same day! Your orders are delivered with a set of free aluminium rivets (without covers). To fix your plates, you can choose a model of premium white rivets at €0.45 per piece (to be added to your basket when validating the order). Order with us! More than 20,000 customer reviews certify the quality of our services.

Limited possibilities to get personalized license plates in France?

In addition to the Anglo-Saxon nations, many European countries offer great flexibility in the personalization of the number plate itself. For example:

  • Free choice of the registration « number » (which can be composed of letters only, as is the case in Belgium)
  • Display of various visuals

France could one day catch up. For example, in Île-de-France Valérie Pécresse proposed at the beginning of September 2015 the total customisation of the space which currently displays the logo of the region. Unfortunately, there was no follow-up on this proposal. If this idea had passed, drivers in Île-de-France would have been able to display an image of their choice instead of the Ile-de-France logo… After the payment of an additional tax, of course. Some drivers do it anyway, but it is a forbidden practice that can lead to a fine of EUR 135.

Drivers wishing to customise number plates (like tuning enthusiasts) will cross their fingers so that this kind of proposal is, one day, validated: it could break down other doors, namely the personalised license plate number.

When will France adopt custom license plates, if ever?

Unfortunately, it will probably not be possible to choose a vanity number plate in France before decades. Why? There have been such calls among the French politicians. However, the actual system that was introduced in 2009 was not designed to cater custom license plates. Modifying the SIV would be too heavy and time consuming, according to preliminary assessments. Therefore, the possibility to get a personalised number plate shouldn’t appear before the actual system runs out of number plates and must be replaced. This won’t happen before 45 or 50 years, so don’t hold your breath!

Private number plates in Europe and the UK

This situation saddens many foreigners settling in France and used to their custom number plate. Such vanity license plates are common in the UK, in Belgium, in Germany… While in the latter the personalization is limited to the sequence following the area code (e.g., F for Frankfurt), it’s totally free in Belgium. In the UK a personalised registration number can be bought. Directly with the DVLA, through auctions for the most desirable personal number plates or via a private sale on the secondary market. It’s a little less flexible than the Belgian system, let’s say, but nonetheless it has the merit to exist!

Personalised license plate: what is prohibited in France

Certain practices are formally prohibited by law. First, you must drive with plates in good condition (readable) and well attached by rivets (you cannot screw them). If they don’t stick to the official specifications (dimensions, colours…) or are poorly maintained, you might get a fine of €135.

You cannot modify the euroband. Any means of motorized transport registered in France must have an « F » on its plates, on a blue background. Any colours or font type customization is also prohibited. It is forbidden to stick a sticker on the right part to put a personalized logo (Porsche, BMW, Audi, Citroën, Renault, your football team logo…). If you wish to change the area identifier on the right side, you must order a new set. In other words, even stickers displaying an official design are prohibited.

It is also forbidden to use black vintage plates on vehicles that don’t sport “collection” on the carte grise. As for personalized carbon license plates, if it is manufactured according to the regulations, it can be an alternative to plexiglass and aluminium. This type of carbon product is, however, more expensive.

Custom license plates for off-road use

As we have just seen, fancies are not allowed on public roads. That said, if you want a personalized license plate to decorate a wall, for a dealership or for use on private land (tuning or classic cars rally), everything is possible. Eplaque can custom manufacture the plate of your dreams, and this time anything goes. Font, colours, logo… Let us know your wishes and we will create your custom car or motorcycle number plate made to order. For example, we can display a BMW, Audi, Tesla, VW, Mercedes logo… Coat of arms, the logo of Chelsea, Liverpool or MU…

Order your 100% customizable number plate via contact@eplaque.fr

These plates can only be used in a private environment, of course. As a gift, or as decoration for your truck cabin, your garage or your living room. For a car dealer, they can be used as an aluminium nameplate. Eplaque also offers license plate covers for use outside public roads. Click on the button to discover them and order. For example, for:

  • Custom license plates for tuning addicts
  • Personalized number plate for a gift, a showroom…
  • Personalized motorcycle license plate

This service is available to both professionals and individuals. To order a French custom license plate approved for public roads :

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