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Personalised number plates: How it works in SA provinces

2016-08-19 12:35

HOW IT WORKS: SANA sheds light on how to apply for a personalised number plate in various SA provinces. Image: YouTube

Cape Town - In August 2016 Wheels24 reported on new number plates set to be introduced in South Africa.

This has caused many readers to express their displeasure towards the Department of Transports intended plans.

The intended plans will affect all road-legal vehicles, including those with personalised number plates.

Wheels24 spoke to Zurika Louw, chief executive officer at the South African Number Plate Association who shares information on personalised number plates:

1 How do I apply for a personalised number plate? What is the process?

  • Members of the public should apply at their local licensing office by completing the relevant provincial application form. 

  • The provincial forms make allowance to list between three and five choices and the licensing official will immediately confirm whether the most favourite choice is available or not.

  • The customer will receive a printout similar to the standard vehicle license registration document, bearing the personalised number, which must be submitted along with acceptable identification of the owner and the vehicle, when ordering the number plates from an Embosser.

  • The provincial Government usually appoint an Embosser, by means of a tender process, to emboss personalised number plates for the province.

READ: PICS - SA drivers to sport new licence plates 

2 Once I've applied, when will I be issued a new plate? 

  • The personalised number is issued immediately.

  • The process to “lift” an existing registration and allocating a personalised number between provinces can take a few days.


Do you have any questions regarding number plates in SA? Email us or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter

3 Are their character limits? Are their restrictions depending on your province?

The specific format for personalised number plates each province is specified in the applicable Provincial Gazette. The legal provincial formats are as follows:

  • Eastern Cape: A maximum of six letters, or six numbers or a combination of alpha-numerics embossed in the colour black on the applicable provincial reflective and followed by the letters “EC”.

  • Free State: A maximum of six letters, or six numbers or a combination of alpha-numerics embossed in the colour green on the applicable reflective and followed by the letters “FS”. The first six characters shall not consist of the combinations appearing in the FS license number system.

  • Gauteng: A maximum of seven letters or seven numbers or a combination of alpha-numerics, embossed in the colour blue on white reflective, bearing the provincial logo and followed by the letters “GP”.  The first six alpha-numerics shall not consist of the combinations appearing in the GP license number system.

  • KZN: A maximum of six letters, or six numbers or a combination of alpha-numerics, embossed in the colour green on white reflective with the wording “KWAZULU-NATAL” at the bottom, followed by the letters “ZN”.  Three consecutive letters may NOT follow three consecutive numbers.

READ: SA number plate confusion - Department of Transport responds

  • Limpopo: A maximum of seven letters or seven numbers or a combination of alpha-numerics, embossed in the colour black on white reflective, bearing the baobab tree, green hills with the wording “Limpopo” at the bottom and the provincial logo, followed by the letter “L”.


Do you have any questions regarding number plates in SA? Email us or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter

  • Mpumalanga: Three letters followed by three numbers, embossed in the colour black on white reflective, bearing the provincial logo and followed by the letters “MP”.  A maximum of seven letters, or seven numbers or combination thereof is allowed; the first six alpha-numerics shall however not consist of the combinations appearing in the MP license number system.

  • North West: A maximum of seven letters or seven numbers or a combination of alpha-numerics, embossed in the colour green on the applicable graphics (differs from general number plates) and followed by the letters “NW”.  

  • Northern Cape: Three numbers followed by three letters or a maximum of six alpha-numerics,  embossed in the colour green on the applicable provincial reflective, followed by the letters “NC”.

  • Western Cape: A maximum of seven letters or seven numbers or a combination of alpha-numerics, embossed in the colour blue on white reflective, followed by a hyphen and the letters “WP”. 



Do you have any questions regarding number plates in SA? Email us or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter


Read more on:    cape town  |  south africa  |  number plates

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