Prague License Plates to Get Extra Letter

Ondřej Hájek, ČTK

In a recent move, vehicles registered in Prague will soon display license plates with an extra letter. The letter will replace the number in the fourth position of the plate. The plates are already being produced, and around 6,000 pairs have been created so far, with motorists expected to receive them in the fall. The first plate of the new series will have the format 1AA A000. Ivan Novák from the Ministry of Transport presented the new plates on Thursday.

The combination of two letters and five digits currently used for Prague license plates is soon to be exhausted, with the last plate in the old series set to be 9AZ 9999. The ministry spent several months considering what the new plates would look like.

“We agreed that we didn’t want to change the size or format because we have a contract with the manufacturer that supplies us with registration plates. The easiest thing to do was to replace the number with a letter,” said Novák, the road vehicle operations department director.

The contract with SPM from Štětí ends in 2027. If the cluster of letters and numbers were to change, the agreement would have to be amended, and the company would have to produce a new form.

“The change does not currently represent any major problem, and we have only adjusted the software so that a letter will be used instead of a number. If the positions were to change, a new form would have to be created,” said Zdeněk Kůstka from SPM – Security Paper Mill.

There are around five million combinations in the new numbering system. “We will endure with that for several years,” said Novák. The ministry is not currently considering what the plates will look like afterward. “We have more important things planned, such as digitization,” Novák added.

According to Novák, the ministry is not opposed to the plate’s design suggestions as long as a study supports them.

Over a Million Plates Produced Annually

The design of the current license plate has not changed since 2001. The first position is always a digit, the second is a letter that indicates the region, and the next are digits. A letter will replace the third position when the combinations are exhausted. The production of a plate costs 37 crowns.

A stamping machine stamps The specific combination onto the provided aluminum profiles. After the plate is covered, it is packed in pairs into transport boxes, which are then sent to the central warehouse in Pardubice. From there, they are distributed to individual municipal offices.

In addition to standard plates, there are special plates for export vehicles, test vehicles, veterans, and diplomatic vehicles. Approximately 1.1 million plates are produced annually in Štětí, with a reserve prepared nine months in advance. The plates are not returned to circulation.