May 22, 2024

Court ruling: The short license plate imported from the United States was rejected

In Europe, the size of vehicle license plates is strictly standardized. The license plate may have a maximum width of 52 cm and a height of eleven cm. With special approval, drivers can also use two-stripe license plates for their cars – but not just for aesthetic reasons. This has now been confirmed by the Bavarian Administrative Court.

The lawsuit was filed by the driver of a Chrysler 300C Touring SRT-8 (built in 2008), which was previously imported from the United States as the Dodge Magnum SRT8. As is usual in the USA, the license plate opening at the back is much narrower than in Germany and the European Union. According to the owner, a matching license plate will look more aesthetically pleasing. It seems that this justification is not sufficient.

Widely used in the American landscape

Drivers of American cars in Europe often use the two-line license plate familiar from light motorcycles. However, if the wide license plate is rear-mounted or at least can be mounted, it is not necessary for the registry office to grant special approval for the narrow license plate.

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Green license plates
There are actually no test flights

The court's precise wording is: “An exceptional claim for a reduced two-line license plate on a (US) vehicle – without the characteristics of a classic car – with a small attachment point cannot be considered if a regular license plate is used by simple means.” , such as dividers or license plate holders.”

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The indentation in the back of the Dodge is 32 cm wide and only 16 cm high. The previous owner also obtained a similar exception from the Unstrut-Hainichen area for a reduced two-line European license plate. According to the authority, this is not a reason to grant new approval again.


The Bavarian Registration Authority refused a Dodge driver a reduced two-line European license plate. Two-stripe license plates are especially popular with American imports because they fit perfectly into the indent on the back. However, aesthetic reasons would not be sufficient for exemption – this was also confirmed by the Bavarian Administrative Court after the lawsuit filed by the owner.

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