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New license plate number structure in Hungary from July 2022

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New license plate number structure in Hungary from July 2022

As of 1 July 2022, newly issued license plates have a new structure and a new design to ensure that every vehicle can have a unique registration number in the foreseeable future and number plates are harder to forge.

Changes to license plate numbers

While number plates issued since 1990 have been made up of 3 letters and 3 numbers, new number plates are be made up of 4 letters and 3 numbers.

  • AA-BC-123

Same as before, license plates will only have letters of the English alphabet, leaving out Hungarian vowels with diacritics and composite consonants. The first two letters will always be the same, and they will be followed by the coat of arms of Hungary.

Moreover, a new font is to be used on license plates so that letters are more difficult to alter. The new plates also have a QR code in the bottom right corner, and the full license number repeated in small grey script under the last digit.

Vehicle registration numbers in Hungary

Over the last thirty years, Hungarian vehicle registration plates were made up of 3 letters and 3 numbers. Since the introduction of this system in 1990, we have not yet reached the end of the alphabet, but we were getting close. As in Hungary there is only one central database of vehicle registration without any regional distinction in registration numbers, it made sense to choose one date to implement the change before the numbers run out.

You do not have to change your license plate

Existing license plates remain valid. You only need to apply for new vehicle registration plates for your car if both get lost or damaged (if that happens to only one of them, you can ask for just one new plate and keep the old number). Trailers and motorbikes have only one plate, so if that gets lost or damaged, you will get a new number with the new plate. If you want a license plate with a new number, you can apply for it for HUF 8,500 (ca. EUR 20) at your local government office.

The data of vehicles with both old and new registration numbers can be checked online. You just have to log in to Ügyfélkapu, the Hungarian portal for electronic administration, and find the option for the Vehicle Registry (“Jármű Szolgáltatási Platform” in Hungarian). After you start the procedure, you can simply enter the number visible on the license plate, and you can check all relevant data. This is most convenient if you are buying a used car.

Customization is possible

When you are applying for a new license plate, you can ask for a customized plate for a fee.

  • Anything that matches the normal setup of AA-BC-123 costs HUF 112,450 (ca. EUR 280).
  • You can also ask for anything that has 7 characters in total, starts with a letter, ends with a number, and displays any combination of a “first letters, then numbers” structure. So e.g. it can be 2 letters and 5 numbers, or 6 letters and 1 number. It will cost you HUF 435,000 (ca. EUR 1,100).

However, there are two restrictions. Your custom Hungarian license plate cannot be anything that is obscene, offensive, or otherwise inappropriate. E.g. you cannot ask for a license plate that reads SE-XY or PO-RN. Moreover, you cannot ask for a misleading license plate.

In Hungary, there are some letter combinations that can only be used by specific types of vehicles or certain authorities. Using them would indicate that you and your vehicle belong to those groups, which would be misleading to others. In line with this, you cannot use the following as the first letters of your new vehicle registration number:

  • TX = Taxi
  • CD = Diplomat
  • OT = Old timer
  • HA = Hungarian Army
  • RA = Hungarian Police
  • MA = Ambulance
  • NA = Tax Authority
  • BA = Prisons
  • I = Temporary plates (previously P, SP, M, Z, E)

Administrative assistance from the experts

Helpers Hungary offers administrative assistance to foreigners in Hungary for more than 15 years. Our services include all aspects of living, working, and doing business in Hungary, such as residency or work permit application and company formation. Is there anything we can help you with? Fill in the form below and contact us today.

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