Every country has its own unique license plates. Some countries, like the United States, even have specific license plates for territories (states) within the country. That also makes license plates specific to each state, but what about license plates by country? Is there any unique or particular distinction to denote to which country a license belongs?
Country Codes: License Plates by Country
For any vehicle registered in any country, the owner must fill out forms for a vehicle registration plate. The country that issues the vehicle registration also assigns that license a country code.
The country code was formerly the International Registration Letter (also known as the International Circulation Mark). Initiated by the Geneva Convention in 1968, the goal was simply to designate the state (e.g. country) of origin. Currently, a department branch of the United Nations handles the allocation of these country codes.
License plates by country, sure, they are called Country Codes. An example of these simple country designations is as follows:
Country Code A: Austria
Country Code B: Belgium
Country Code C: Cuba
Country Code D: Deutschland (Germany)
Country Code UK: United Kingdom
Country Code USA: United States
Country Code V: Vatican City
Country Code VN: Vietnam
Country Code WAL: Sierra Leone / West Africa Sierra Leone
Country Code WAN: Nigeria / West Africa Nigeria
Country Code WD: Dominica / Windward Islands Dominica
Country Code WG: Grenada / Windward Islands Grenada
Country Code WL: Saint Lucia / Windward Islands Saint Lucia
Country Code WS: Samoa / Formerly Western Samoa
Country Code YAR: Yemen (formerly the Yemen Arab Republic)
Country Code YV: Venezuela
These are only a few of the many Country Codes that essentially act as license plates by country. And for every recognized country a designated Country Code is assigned. Most people will never be aware of or need to know about their assigned Country Code, but it is recorded and governed.
It is also evident from some of the examples, that once a Country Code is assigned, it remains intact regardless of the reorganization or renaming of a country. Country Codes also provide a way to simplify data and information regarding vehicle registration by eliminating the potential variables within a country.
While many of the Country Codes are obvious, the USA and UK's codes, for example, other Country Codes aren't nearly as clearly defined. Yet, to the governing bodies, every vehicle is registered and accounted for, via license plates by country, or Country Codes.