Number plates for motorcycle in France: the ultimate guide
Actual number plates for motorcycles were last changed in 2009. Nowadays this “new “system is not really new, let’s see what it entails in every aspect. How to get a French motorcycle license plate? How to read such number? What is the legal size for a motorcycle number plate? How to get a black and silver motorbike license plate in France? Follow the guide, or order right now French approved or unapproved plates for any kind of vehicle by clicking on the button below:
And click on the following link to know how to register a motorbike in France (imported or local, new or second-hand).
French motorcycle license plates in short
In 2009, the SIV, the new vehicle registration system replacing FNI, made significant changes to the registration of motobikes, as well as to the number plates in France. From now on, two-wheelers get a number plate for life. In other words, even in the event of a change of owner or department, the machine retains its license plate.
In addition, since July 1, 2017, motorcycle license plates must have a standard size of 210 mm x 130 mm. And this in order to facilitate the reading of the number by LAPI systems. Thus, if you travel on a light vehicle, whether it is a moped, a motorcycle, a tricycle or a quad whose license plate does not sport this legal-size motorcycle plate, you risk a 4th class fine (EUR 135).
In France, plates are not provided by the State. The owner must make them via a private company selling approved license plates for motorbikes. Us, for example ;).
How does a motorcycle license plate look like in France
In 2023, a standard motorcycle license plate has 7 characters arranged as follows: two letters, a dash, three numbers, a dash and two letters (all random). However, older series prior 2016 can have less characters (4, 5 or 6). There is a unique standard size: 210×130 mm. The number is displayed in black, on a white background.
An approved motorcycle plate has a eurostrip (EU stars + F for France country code, as every European number plate) at the top left. At the top right, a mandatory area identifier appears. It displays a department number, and the logo of the region to which that department belongs to. Please note that this regional identifier does not have to show where the owner has registered the motorbike. Owners are free to display the department of their choice, irrespective of their home address. It can be changed anytime by ordering a new motorcycle license plate. Using stickers to change the logo, by a customized one or an official one, is strictly prohibited.
Legal size for motorcycle number plates
Nowadays, there is one legal license plate format for motorbikes and moped: 210×130 mm. Before 2016 it was common to use a 170×130 mm license plate, or even a 140×110 mm plates for 50cc. Then the law was changed, making mandatory to use the 21 x 13 cm unified size.
Here and there, we can still see some old 2-wheelers number plates, but they are not legal. Owners will get a € 135 fine if they get caught. Please note that vintage motorbike with “collection” status are no exception to the rule!
Black and silver number plates for motorcycles
We just mentioned vintage motorbikes. Those are allowed to mount a black and white number plate for motorcycles (size 210×130 mm), and only those. It doesn’t matter if your 2-wheeler is 60 years old, it must be registered as a vintage vehicle (“collection” must appear on the French registration certificate, in the field “Z”).
How to get it? This mention is obtained via a specific request for adding the mention collection on the “carte grise”. You’ll have to get first a “certificate of dating and characteristics” (certificate de datation et de caractéristiques) of the FFVE or the manufacturer.
To be eligible, the motorcycle must be:
- Over 30 years old, and in decent shape
- No longer manufactured
- In its original condition, in other words not heavily modified (engine replacement, etc.)
Personalized motorcycle number plate in France
Albeit limited, we can, to a certain extend, legally make and use a custom number plate for a motorbike in France. As the SIV reform has been allowing since 2009, we offer you the freedom to choose the department number (and, therefore, the attached region logo) which will be displayed on your 210×130 mm motorcycle plate. As a reminder, the 140×120 mm (moped) or 170×130 mm formats are no longer legal. These dimensions were still tolerated until July 1, 2017. Since then, it is mandatory to attach a personalized 210×130 mm motorcycle plate to your two-wheeler.
Have you registered your motorcycle in Île-de-France, but you want to show your love for Brittany, and more particularly to Ille-et-Vilaine, on your machine? During the quick process of ordering your personalized license plate for motorcycles online on Eplaque, specify “35” as your department/region choice and include the Breton flag on your plate. This option is, of course, free of charge. We have every different kind of motorcycle plates in stock. Your personalization choice will in no way slow down the delivery of your order! But there is more…
Personalize your French your motorcycle license plate with a custom text message
For a small additional fee, you can include a personalized 22-character message below your motorbike license plate number. Let your imagination run wild by displaying a humorous, personal or other message (respecting decency, of course)! This offer is only valid on our Plexiglass offering.
Private number plates for motorcycles in France?
France does not cater to the needs of the bikers wishing to get vanity plates. There is no way to choose a number, every number plate for motorcycle is created randomly, or rather sequentially. This is true since 2009, and the centralization or French vehicle registrations. In the old days, if an owner knew someone at the prefecture, it was possible to choose among the fixed format references still free.
Custom license plates for two-wheelers in high-quality plexiglass
For motorcycle plates, Eplaque sells 3 models:
- Top quality 2-wheelers plate in plexiglass (approved)
- Collection plate (black and silver or « white », approved)
- Black and white license plate (unapproved)
The cheapest model is a Plexiglas plate for motorcycles in 2 dimensions. You can choose a personalized plexiglass embossed motorcycle plate; this type is legal. Unfortunately, we do not offer it at this time. All our approved products guarantee that you will not fear the police in the event of an inspection.
Unapproved personalized motorcycle license plate
We also offer personalized motorcycle license plates that are not approved to use on public roads. They can be used on private land, as decorative objects, etc. For example, you can order a plate in black and white (regional and European logo in grayscale) with your name. On special order, we can also make any type of personalized plate. Click on the button below to send your inquiry and/or order your custom-made French motorcycle plate. Or simply send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know your wishes.
Personalize my French motorcycle number plate with a sticker?
If you plan to stick a personalized motorcycle license plate sticker, be aware that it is not legal. In case of road traffic control, you risk a fine of €135 for non-compliant plate. This is also valid if you use a sticker displaying an official regional logo on your plate. As a reminder, the law says that French license plates must “form a homogeneous whole”. Any kind of sticker is therefore forbidden.
If you replace the regional logo by a personalized one, the chances of being caught are even higher. For example, some people play with fire by sporting the logo of their favourite football team. Or the emblem of an independentist region (Pays basque, Savoie…). Sooner or later it will end up with a fine. MOT (contrôle technique) can also be denied on those grounds.
How do I mount a motorcycle license plate in France?
To properly fit a French motorcycle plate, it is imperative to rivet it. This involves having a few tools, such as a drill if you have to remove an existing plate, and a rivet pliers. The plate must be mounted at 20 cm minimum from the ground, in the axis of the wheel. The angle of fitting must not exceed 30 degrees.
It must be 210×130 and, in general, approved. This approval can be see on the plate, it should display 2 codes: TPPR (on the top right, see picture at the top of the page) and TPMR.
This kind of offence will cost you € 135.
210×130 mm, with no exception.
No, private number plates do not exist in France. UK license plates, on the other hand, allow such fantasy.