In Which Year Was My Vehicle Registered?

In Which Year Was My Vehicle Registered?

Registering your vehicle is a fact of life in nearly every country. Since the early 1900s, long before cars were commonplace, drivers have been required to register their vehicles. The rules and regulations regarding vehicle registration vary depending on your location. In some places, drivers need to do this just once. In other countries, vehicles must be re-registered every year.

Determining what year your vehicle was first registered is easy in some places, but can be tricky in others. In many countries, the vehicle's registration plates (also known as number plates or licence plates) are coded to tell you the year in which the registration took place.

United Kingdom

In the UK, you can determine the year your vehicle was registered by looking at your number plate. Vehicles registered in 1963 or later indicate the year on the number plate.

If your vehicle was registered between 1963 and 1982, the year is indicated by a letter a the end of your number plate. A vehicle with the letter 'A' was registered in 1963, 'B' in 1964, and so on. However, several letters are not used at all, making it slightly trickier to determine the year. Additionally, 'E' and 'F' both indicate vehicles registered in 1967. 

The chart below lists the letter and registration year of all vehicles from 1963 to 1982.

Letter Year of Registration
A 1963
B 1964
C 1965
D 1966
E 1967
F 1967
G 1968
H 1969
J 1970
K 1971
L 1972
M 1973
N 1974
P 1975
R 1976
S 1977
T 1978
V 1979
W 1980
X 1981
Y 1982

For vehicles registered from 1983 to the first half of 2001, the system is slightly different. A letter at the beginning (rather than the end) of your number plate indicates the year in which your vehicle was registered. The letter 'A' at the beginning of the plate signifies 1983, 'B' in 1984, and so on. Again, some letters were not used at all, and in some years, two letters were used.

The chart below lists the letter and year for all vehicles registered from 1983 through to the beginning of 2001.

Letter Year of Registration
A 1983
B 1984
C 1985
D 1986
E 1987
F 1988
G 1989
H 1990
J 1991
K 1992
L 1993
M 1994
N 1995
P 1996
R 1997
S 1998
T 1999
V 1999
W 2000
X 2000
Y 2001

Vehicles registered in the second half of 2001 or later are not marked by a letter at the beginning or the end, but rather by a two-digit number. The number comes after the two letters at the beginning of the plate which indicate the region. With this system, different numbers are issued for March through to August, then September through to February. 

The chart below lists the numbers assigned for the years 2001 to 2017.

Number Year of Registration
51 September 2001 - February 2002
02 March - August 2002
52 September 2002 - February 2003
03 March - August 2003
53 September 2004 - February 2005
04 March - August 2004
54 September 2004 - February 2005
05 March - August 2005
55 September 2005 - February 2006
06 March - August 2006
56 September 2006 - February 2007
07 March - August 2007
57 September 2007 - February 2008
08 March - August 2008
58 September 2008 - February 2009
09 March - August 2009
59 September 2009 - February 2010
10 March - August 2010
60 September 2010 - February 2011
11 March - August 2011
61  September 2011 - February 2012
12 March - August 2012
62 September 2012 - February 2013
13 March - August 2013
63 September 2013 - February 2014
14 March - August 2014
64 September 2014 - February 2015
15 March - August 2015
65  September 2015 - February 2016
16 March - August 2016
66 September 2016 - February 2017
17 March - August 2017
67 September 2017 - February 2018


Determining the year a vehicle was registered in Australia is significantly more complicated. Number plates are issued by each state or territory. Beginning in 1951, each state was assigned a series of numbers and letters to use on plates. In theory, these would help determine when and where a vehicle was registered. However, each state altered the scheme slightly. Some states skipped certain combinations - for example, in Victoria, licence plates beginning with I weren't used, as they might be confused for the number 1. Many states and territories abandoned the numbering scheme altogether as they ran out of combinations.

The easiest way to figure out the year your vehicle was first registered in Australia is to contact the road transport authorities in your state or territory. You can obtain a copy of your vehicle's registration history there.


In Ireland, it's relatively simple. Vehicles registered before 1987 feature number plates with a two-letter code that indicates the city or county in which they were registered, followed by a three-digit number. Numbers were issued in sequential order beginning in 1903. A vehicle with a number plate that has a lower number is older than one with a higher number (for example, number plate XX 100 is older than XX 101).

From 1987, the system changed so that all number plates began with a two-digit number to indicate the year of registration. A number plate that starts with 87 was issued in 1987, and so on. Vehicles registered from 2013 onwards have a three-digit number. A vehicle registered between January and June 2013 will have a number plate beginning with 131, July to December 2013 will begin with 132.

United States

Vehicles in the United States are registered through each state. Registration must be renewed each year. Every state has its own system regarding licence plates, making it difficult to tell at a glance when a vehicle was first registered. States generally require drivers to display a sticker indicating the year and month in which their registration expires.

The best way to determine the year your vehicle was first registered is to contact your state's department of motor vehicles (DMV). You can obtain a copy of your vehicle's registration history there.


As in the United States, vehicles in Canada are registered through each territory. Registrations much be renewed each year, with stickers indicating the date of expiration. There is no set format for licence plate numbers, making it more difficult to determine the original year of registration. As with Australia or the US, drivers can contact the transportation authorities in their territory to obtain a copy of their vehicle's registration history.