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Motorcycle Registration

Need to know about motorcycle registration? Unsure about how to read motorcycle registration plates, or want to know more about what motorcycle registration looks like in other countries? 

This blog post will cover all you need to know about motorcycle registrations. You will discover what motorcycle registration plates look like in the UK, in France, and other EU countries.

Want to know what a car registration is? Need to know if you need a new registration for your vehicle when moving to a new country in Europe? Looking for car registration information in the UK? Click these links to read more.

What do Motorcycle Registration Plates Look Like in the UK?

In the UK, vehicle registration plates on your vehicle, whether that’s a car or a motorbike, must be made from a reflective material and display black characters on a white background for the front plate, and black characters on a yellow background for the rear plate.

The current UK vehicle registration number format was introduced in 2001. It consists of:

  • 2 letters representing the region of the country your vehicle was first registered in e.g. AA
  • 2 numbers that tell you when the registration was issued e.g. 00
  • 3 letters chosen at random e.g. ABC 

For information on what flags and other identifiers you may display on your registration plate, you can check the GOV.UK website. 

Motor vehicle registration plates in the UK are no different than the plates you would see on a car apart from a slight change in the layout and size of the plate. Motorcycle number plates in the UK are 228mm x 178mm.

Motorcycles that were registered in the UK on or after 1st September 2001 need to only display registration plates on the rear of their motorcycle. Motorcycle registration plates in the UK also legally need to be laid out on 2 lines. 

What do Motorcycle Registration Plates Look Like in France?

Registration plates in France are white with black characters, display the EU flag on the left, and a letter code denoting that France is the country of registration – F. 

The characters on French registration plates consist of three groups: two letters, three numbers, and two letters. Each group is separated by a dash. The final component of licence plates in France is a blue strip at the right end of the plate. This blue section contains the logo of a French region and its corresponding code. 

Similarly to the UK, French registration plates for motorcycles are laid out across 2 lines rather than one. The size of motorcycle number plates in France are usually 210 x 130 mm.

What do Motorcycle Registration Plates Look Like in Spain? 

Spanish registration plates are white with black characters and also show the EU flag on the left hand side of the plate. The country code ‘E’ is also present denoting that the vehicle has been registered in Spain. 

The format of registration plates in Spain consists of 7 characters – the first 4 characters are numbers, and the last 3 characters are letters. For example: 1234 BBB. No vowels are used on licence plates in Spain with only consonants (excluding the letter Q) being displayed.

No characters on Spanish licence plates carry any specific meaning denoting region or location of registration. Vehicles registered in Spain are provided with a plate on a serial system with plates being assigned based on the order of vehicle registration. 

Similarly to France and the UK, registration plates may be displayed exclusively on the rear of the motorcycle in Spain. There is some variation in the size of Spanish registration plates for motorcycles. Like France and the UK, the registration number is displayed across 2 lines on the smaller motorcycle plates in Spain. 

Where and How to Register Your Motorcycle Abroad

If you are importing your vehicle, such as a car or a motorcycle, to a new country for a prolonged period of time, or making a permanent move to a new country, then it is very likely that you will need to display new registration plates on your vehicle. You will need to register your vehicle with the correct authority in the new country in order to be able to apply for the new registration plates.

When importing your vehicle into another country, you will need to register your vehicle with the local authority there. A list of notable European countries and their transport registration authorities is available below: 

Below is a list of countries in Europe and the corresponding institution with which you will need to register your motorcycle: 

Country Name of institution
AUSTRIA Bundesanstalt für Verkehr
BELGIUM Federale Overheidsdienst Mobiliteit en Vervoer
BULGARIA Информация за регистрация и промяна в регистрацията на ПС
CYPRUS Road Transport Department
CROATIA Srdešni državni portal
DENMARK Registreringsafgift for køretøjer
SLOVAKIA Ústredný portál verejnej správy – Prihlasovanie vozidiel
SLOVENIA State Portal of the Republic of Slovenia
SPAIN Dirección General de Tráfico
ESTONIA Maanteeameti Liiklusregistri Bürood
FRANCE Service –
GREECE Μεταφορές
GUERNESEY The official website for the States of Guernsey
IRELAND Department of Transport


Country Name of institution
ITALY Direzione Generale per la Motorizzazione
JERSEY Registering your vehicle in Jersey
LATVIA Ceļu Satiksmes Drošíbas Direkcija
LICHTENSTEIN Motorfahrzeugkontrol – Landesverwaltung
LUXEMBOURG Société Nationale de Contrôle Technique
MALTA Registration and Licensing Malta
NORWAY First-time registration in Norway
POLAND Procedure of car registration
PORTUGAL Instituto do Registos et Notariado
CZECH REPUBLIC Registrace vozidel – MD ČR
ROMANIA Directia Regim Permise de Conducere si Inmatriculare a Vehiculelor
SWEDEN Swedish Import Agency – Importing vehicles
SWITZERLAND Eidgenössische Zollverwaltung EZV


What Else Do I Need to Register My Motorcycle?

It is likely that in order to register your motorcycle, you will need to show a Certificate of Conformity for your vehicle. A European Certificate of Conformity declares that a vehicle is compliant with EU transport regulations. If you buy a motorcycle abroad and want to register it, most EU countries require a Certificate of Conformity.

EuroCoc is the European market leader in Certificate of Conformity mediation for motorcycles and has been since 2008. If you need a Certificate of Conformity for your motorbike when travelling or relocating abroad, then you are in the right place.

We can help you to obtain a CoC for your motorbike in a simple, hassle free way. Simply click here to obtain your CoC now. EuroCoc can help you to get a Certificate of Conformity for 18 brands of motorcycles. With Trustpilot reviews of 4.7 / 5 stars, you can be confident that EuroCoc is the right choice to help you get a CoC for your motorcycle. Grab your CoC here