The current vehicle registration plate system of Cuba was introduced in May 2013. Current plates are European standard 520 mm × 110 mm, completely replacing the previous system introduced in 2002.The international vehicle registration code for Cuba is C.
From the 1950s through 1978, and again from 2002 through 2013, plates were North American standard 6 × 12 inches (152 × 300 mm).
|Image||First issued||Design||Slogan||Serial format||Serials issued||Notes|
|1957||white on black||July expiry-black version|
|1957||July expiry-green version|
|1958||July expiry-white version|
|1958||July expiry-red version|
|1960||yellow on light blue||January expiry|
|1960||black on white||July expiry-white version|
|1960||July expiry-aqua version|
|1961||yellow on black||January expiry-last semi-annual plate|
|1962||black on white|
|1978||black on orange-yellow|
|1978||black on white|
Cuban vehicle registration plates contained three letters and three numbers. The colour of plates is also an important identification element. Ordinary (non-special) licence plates have also a number on the lower central part of the plate ranging from 0 to 9, denoting the type of the vehicle. As of 2016, some of these plates are still in use, but are being phased out. Particular refers to privately owned vehicles. The letter denotes the expiry month: E = Enero (January), J = Julio (July).
The first letter denotes the province where the licence plate was issued. Until 2011, "B" was used by the former La Habana Province.
|Province||First letter of|
|Pinar del Río||P|
|Ciudad de La Habana||H|
|Ciego de Ávila||A|
|Santiago de Cuba||U|
|Isla de la Juventud||I|
The second letter identifies the type of vehicle owner.
|A||white||government ministers, provincial officials, and other important state persons|
|light brown||authorised government and official persons of lower rank|
|E / F / G / H||yellow||private vehicles|
|K||yellow||vehicles and motorcycles owned by foreign natural persons|
|light brown||vehicles and motorcycles owned by foreign and mixed companies, foreign journalists, religious institutions|
|R||yellow||private motorcycles and "cocotaxis"|
|D / S / T / U / V / W||blue||state owned vehicles|
|Y / Z||state owned motorcycles|
The vehicle type number can be found on the lower central part of the plate, it is a one digit number ranging from 0 to 9, it denotes the type of the vehicle. This is not used on special licence plates.
|black on yellow||private vehicle|
|white on orange||private vehicle-note Cuban plates are often repaired and repainted by their owners as they become weathered|
|black on orange||private vehicle|
|white on azure||state owned vehicle|
|black on reflective green||Ministry of the Interior|
|white on black||diplomatic|
|white on dark red||tourism|
|white on brown||joint venture company|
Under the new system black characters on white background is the standard format for all licence plates. A letter is placed before six digits. The most common is "P", which indicates a personally owned vehicle. "B" government, "F" is for military FAR vehicle, "M" is for Internal Affairs Ministry, "T" for rental units, "D" diplomatic, "E" embassy, and "K" for foreign companies. The same system is used on all classes of vehicles, from lorries to motorcycles. However, to accommodate available space the motorcycle plates are square rather than the standard long rectangle.
Cars of the Cuban Army and the Cuban Ministry of Interior use plates with one letter (A, B, C, F or S) followed by five digits. On the cars of the Cuban Army there is a "FAR" (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias) inscription in the central lower part of the licence plate. In the case of the Ministry of Interior, there is a "MININT" (Ministerio del Interior) inscription. Licence plates of the Army are always light green, while plates of the Ministry of Interior are dark green.
Diplomatic cars use 6 digits without preceding letters. There is a "D", "C" or "E" letter in the lower left part of the licence plate (D = diplomatic, C - consular, E - other status). They have a black licence plate.
Cars for hire have a dark red licence plate beginning with "T" letter (meaning turista), followed by five digits in white color. The border of the plate is also in white.
Provisional licence plates are light red and have the normal code of the province followed by 4 digits and a "P" letter.
Cars of the United States military in the Guantanamo Bay use licence plates with one letter and four numbers, and texts "U.S.N.B." and "Gtmo Bay Cuba".
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