The DGT Loophole That Allows Personalised Number Plates In Spain

Unlocking The Secret To Personalised Number Plates In Spain

Credit: Grisha bruev/

Have you ever wondered why customising your car’s number plate in Spain is so restricted?

Unlike some countries, where drivers can personalise their plates freely, Spain’s Direccion General de Trafico (DGT) imposes strict regulations, according to OK Diario.

The Current Spanish System

The existing registration system in Spain was introduced in the year 2000. It adheres to a ‘European’ model, which consists of four numerals and three letters (0000 AAA). Additionally, the plate displays an ‘E’ for Spain above the European Union flag.

What Spanish Drivers Want

According to a study by Samar’t, one of the main manufacturers of number plates, 50 per cent of Spanish drivers would like to customise their number plates. However, the General Vehicle Regulation (RGC) outlines stringent criteria that limit the scope of personalisation.

The Loophole In The Regulation

Annex XVIII of the General Vehicle Regulation offers a small window for customisation. It states that cars can have ‘geometric designs without recognisable meaning,’ as long as these designs do not interfere with the retro-reflection and legibility requirements set by traffic authorities.

Furthermore, advertising borders are allowed, and you can choose between methacrylate or metal for the material of the number plate.

The Future Of Spanish Number Plates

The current system employs numerals ranging from 0000 to 9999 and letters from BBB to ZZZ, deliberately omitting vowels and the consonants Ñ and Q. According to the ‘Diesel or Gasoline’ portal, the last number plate assigned was 44** MKD.

This system allows for up to 80 million different combinations, theoretically sufficient until 2040. However, due to significant drops in car sales during events like the 2007-2008 financial crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, experts predict the system will last until 2050.

Additional Considerations

It’s worth noting that the current registration system was designed to avoid swear words and proper names by omitting certain vowels and consonants. With up to 80 million different combinations, the system is expected to be sufficient for many years to come, despite fluctuations in car sales.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.