Sat, Sep 22, 2012 - Page 11 News List

New license plates set to take to the streets by end of the year
新車牌年底上路 變長、變高也變輕

The so-called “super 8” license plate is shown in this photo taken in Taipei on Feb. 5.

Photo: Tsai Wei-chi, Liberty Times

The Directorate General of Highways (DGH) under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications says that it will be inspecting the first batch of new license plates for issuance at the end of the month. After enough of the plates are collected, it will begin issuing them to anyone applying for tags. The plates currently being used do not need to be replaced, it says, which means that both old and new plates will be in use at the same time. The size of the new plates and the font have been altered to accommodate the new design. Forgery prevention mechanisms have also been added and readability has been enhanced.

The DGH says that the number of license plates in circulation every year exceeds one million. It also says that the plates they are purchasing now for use next year are all new plates, which have an extra letter added to them. It is expected that half of next year’s plates will be ready by the end of November, which will be enough for distribution to every motor vehicles office in Taiwan. The DGH has announced that it is very likely that the new tags will be available by the end of the year.

After the new plates are in circulation, the DGH says that the current plates can still be used until a vehicle is declared unserviceable. It says that although the new and old plates have different numbers of digits, it will not create any problems with vehicle registration or readability because each plate is unique and has its own distinct set of numbers.

The Motor Vehicles Division says that the materials and paint used for the new plates is the same as the current plates, but since the font size stayed the same and an extra number has been added, the new plates are slightly bigger than the old ones, going from the current 320mm by 150mm to 380mm by 160mm. The thickness, however, has gone down from 2mm to 1.4mm, making the new plates lighter despite the overall increase in size.


1. forgery n.

偽造 (wei3 zao4)

例: The letter was found to be a forgery.


2. unserviceable adj.

不能再使用的;報廢的 (bu4 neng2 zai4 shi3 yong4 de5; bao4 fei4 de5)

例: The junkyard has taken in hundreds of unserviceable vehicles this year.


3. to take into account v. phr.

考量 (kao3 liang2)

例: The final results were adjusted to take into account the changes that occurred.


The font used for plate numbers has also been altered. The Motor Vehicles Division says that it has taken into account how the numbers “3” and “8” and the letter “B” were often confused, so it modified the font to enhance readability and make it more difficult to forge.

The division also says that the original license plate design with letters coming first followed by numbers, where cars had two letters followed by four numbers and motorcycles had three letters followed by three numbers, eventually had to be changed, either mixing up the combination of letters and numbers or placing the letters behind instead of before the digits because there were not enough combinations available. The new license plates, having added an extra place, will have three letters followed by four numbers for car plates and three letters followed by four numbers for motorcycle plates. Since the extra spot on the plates for cars is for letters, there are now 26 times more combinations available. For motorcycles the added place is for numbers, so there are 10 times more combinations available. It is estimated that there will be enough new plates to be used for the next 100 years.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)



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