Japan license plate info for beginners.

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100% ricer
Posts: 30
Joined: October 27, 2007

October 28, 2007

Image JDM license plate basic information for beginners

How they are classified

Private vehicle - More than 660cc engine have white plate color and green text color

Commercial vehicle - More than 660cc engine have Green plate color and white text color

Lightweight Private vehicle - less than 660cc engine have yellow plate color and black text color

Lightweight Commercial vehicle - Less than 660cc engine have black plate color and yellow text color

Private 2 wheel with a 0-49cc engine have White plate color and Blue text

Private 2 wheel with a 50-89cc engine have Yellow plate color and Blue text

Private 2 wheel with a 90-124cc engine have Pink plate color and Blue text

Private 2 wheel with a 125-249cc engine have White plate color and Green text

Private 2 wheel with above 250cc engine have White plate color with green border and Green text

Getting to know the license plate

Plates shown below are issued from 1971 to Present time Image
The topmost part contains the name of the issuing office and a vehicle classification code. The bottom part has a hiragana character and a four-digit number written and also divided in two groups of two digits which are separated by a hyphen. Any leading zeros are to be replaced by centered dots.

A white license plate can have the following hiragana:


and for rental vehicles have the following hiragana:


A green license plate can have the following hiragana:



"A license plate in Japan thus follows this format: KK?*H##-## (e.g., 足立500き21-41) , where KK is the name of the issuing office in kanji, H is a hiragana, ? is a 5 for vehicles less than 2000 cc and a 3 for vehicles greater than 2000 cc (other numbers are less common - 1 for large trucks, 2 for buses, etc [1]) , * is a number from 0 to 99 (pre-1971 license plates will omit this) , and # is a number from 0* to 9 (*leading zeros are replaced by centered dots) ." - Wikipedia

"Vehicles owned by personnel with the United States military in Japan under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) have a "Y" on white plates, or an "A" on yellow plates, where the hiragana character is normally displayed. Earlier versions of the SOFA license plate displayed the letters "K", "M," "G," "H" and "E". These letters indicated the car was imported into Japan under SOFA and was left-hand drive. Since the 1980s, servicemembers assigned to Japan have been discouraged from shipping their vehicles from the U.S. into the country. Many opt to purchase second-hand domestic vehicles through used car dealers off-base, and from other servicemembers departing Japan at on-base "lemon lots". " - Wikipedia

Out of country plates
"Because the Japanese writing system, particularly the kana, is unique to Japan, Standard-issue Japanese license plates are considered unacceptable for international travel. If a motorist wishes to bring their vehicle with them while traveling abroad, the Ministry of Transport will issue to them a plate with the hiragana and kanji scripts replaced with roman letters. The hiragana prefix is replaced by a kunrei-shiki romanization of that character. The kanji prefecture/office code is replaced by a two- or three-letter abbreviation, the first two letters representing the prefecture, the third (if present) representing the office within the prefecture. All the numerical portions of the plate remain the same." - Wikipedia

Jurisdiction Types

"In Japan, a ken will be divided into the various municipal jurisdictions as shown. Large cities or Metropolises (such as Tokyo and Osaka) will be dividied up into wards. These municipal divisions are usually done on a population basis, with villages of course having the smallest population. Keep in mind that the divisions in some cases were done years ago so a village may in reality be now a built-up suburb! Even so, the villages are the rarest of all subdivisions; most ken are divided up in to some shi, many chobut only one or two mura, or maybe none at all.
Each municipality will have its shiakusho (city hall) or yakuba (town hall) or ward office depending on the situation. This is where these small plates are issued. Sometimes the ward symbol (ku) is not always found on the plate. In this case, you may see the city name, followed by the name of the ku. Click on the Municipality to find out more." - Tigerdude.com

Issuing Offices

Mikawa : 三河 ACM
Nagoya : 名古屋 ACN
Owarikomaki : 尾張小牧 ACO
Toyohashi : 豊橋 ACT
Akita : 秋田 ATA
Aomori : 青森 AMA
Hachinohe : 八戸 AMH
Chiba : 千葉 CBC
Narashino : 習志野 CBN
Noda : 野田 CBD
Sodegaura : 袖ヶ浦 CBS
Ehime : 愛媛 EH
Fukui : 福井 FI
Chikuhō : 筑豊 FOC
Fukuoka : 福岡 FOF
Kitakyūshū : 北九州 FOK
Kurume : 久留米 FOR
Fukushima : 福島 FS
Iwaki : いわき FSI
Gifu : 岐阜 GFG
Hida : 飛騨 GFH
Gunma : 群馬 GMG
Fukuyama : 福山 HSF
Hiroshima : 広島 HSH
Asahikawa : 旭川 AKA
Hakodate : 函館 HDH
Kitami : 北見 KIK
Kushiro : 釧路 KRK
Muroran : 室蘭 MRM
Obihiro : 帯広 OHO
Sapporo : 札幌 SPS
Himeji : 姫路 HGH
Kōbe : 神戸 HGK
Mito : 水戸 IGM
Tsuchiura : 土浦 IGT
Ishikawa : 石川 IKI
Iwate : 岩手 ITI
Kagawa : 香川 KAK
Kagoshima : 鹿児島 KOK
Kawasaki : 川崎 KNK
Sagami : 相模 KNS
Shōnan : 湘南 KNN
Yokohama : 横浜 KNY
Kōchi : 高知 KCK
Kumamoto : 熊本 KUK
Kyōto : 京都 KTK
Mie : 三重 MEM
Miyagi : 宮城 MGM
Miyazaki : 宮崎 MZ
Matsumoto : 松本 NNM
Nagano : 長野 NNN
Nagasaki : 長崎 NS
Sasebo : 佐世保 NSS
Nara : 奈良 NRN
Nagaoka : 長岡 NGO
Niigata : 新潟 NGN
Ōita : 大分 OT
Okayama : 岡山 OYO
Okinawa : 沖縄 ONO
Izumi : 和泉 OSZ
Naniwa : なにわ OSN
Ōsaka: 大阪 OSO
Saga : 佐賀 SAS
Kasukabe : 春日部 STB
Kumagaya : 熊谷 STK
Ōmiya : 大宮 STO
Tokorozawa : 所沢 STT
Shiga : 滋賀 SIS
Shimane : 島根 SN
Hamamatsu : 浜松 SZH
Numazu : 沼津 SZN
Shizuoka : 静岡 SZS
Tochigi : とちぎ TGC
Utsunomiya : 宇都宮 TGU
Tokushima : 徳島 TST
Adachi : 足立 TKA
Hachiōji : 八王子 TKH
Nerima : 練馬 TKN
Shinagawa : 品川 TKS
Tama : 多摩 TKT
Tottori : 鳥取 TTT
Toyama : 富山 TYT
Wakayama : 和歌山 WKW
Shōnai : 庄内 YAS
Yamagata : 山形 YA
Yamaguchi : 山口 YUY
Yamanashi : 山梨 YN

New offices added as of 2006

Sendai : 仙台 MGS
Aizu : 会津 FSA
Nasu : 那須 TGN
Takasaki : 高崎 GMT
Tsukuba : つくば IGK
Kawagoe : 川越 STG
Narita : 成田 CBT
Kashiwa : 柏 CBK
Suwa : 諏訪 NNS
Izu : 伊豆 SZI
Kanazawa : 金沢 IKK
Okazaki : 岡崎 ACZ
Toyota : 豊田 ACY
Ichinomiya : 一宮 ACI
Suzuka : 鈴鹿 MES
Sakai : 堺 OSS
Kurashiki : 倉敷 OYK
Shimonoseki : 下関 YUS

Source - Wikipedia

Additional sources:


Edited - by me.


Note: This thread is created for members who does not have any knowledge about JDM license plates. It's because it's JDM but don't ever say "Oh yeah I bought this super tight JDM license plate and it's madz jdms yo!" Unless you know what it really is. Yes , you have a JDM license plate , but DO YOU REALLY KNOW WHAT IS IT?.

Q: Where can I get a JDM license plate?

A: Sometimes in classifieds section, EBAY and of course, Japan.
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Posts: 1021
Joined: June 02, 2006
Location: washington

October 28, 2007

i laugh at kids who rock a jdm plate from a hillbilly town.

imagine not knowing english and buying an alabama license plate thinking it's from new york. hahahah.

tokorozawa FTMWF!!!
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Posts: 2818
Joined: December 19, 2003
Location: 大阪

October 28, 2007

you left out the real first step. move to japan and live in japan.
Just call me Dr. Vice.
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Joined: January 31, 2003
Location: Somewhere between Heaven and Hell.

October 28, 2007

Interesting to read. Alot I didn't know. Good for someone who is looking to buy one, though. That way they're not rocking some off the wall plate that isn't right.
Built Motorsportswear - Function/Form Autolife - ICB Motorsports
Go Autoworks
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Posts: 2818
Joined: December 19, 2003
Location: 大阪

October 29, 2007

also, bolt spacing on authentic japanese plates is different. good luck ;P
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Posts: 1427
Joined: March 05, 2008
Location: Hyndman, Pennsylvania

February 19, 2009

wow thats a lot of shit I didn't know glad I checked mine before I got it
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