Registration plates
 

Registration plates

General information

Trafi registers vehicles in Finland and subcontracts the manufacture of official registration plates. Currently there are 28 different types of plates manufactured, plus some old models which are still in use. Vehicles of the Finnish Defence Forces and those registered in the Åland Islands have their own plates.

EU registration plates were introduced in Finland in 2001. EU plates are automatically given to all vehicles unless the owner makes a separate request for old model plates. If desired, EU plates can be changed for old model ones at inspection sites.

Registration plates used in Finland are made of aluminium with a reflective membrane coating. Numbers and letters are embossed and painted. The embossing height is 1-1.2 mm.

The number sequence of the registration plate cannot start with a zero, nor can zero be the only number. The letter combination CD is reserved for diplomatic vehicles.

Usually the next available ID is given as the plate number. Special registration plates with a selected ID are also available upon request. A special registration plate is a regular plate with a special ID. The ID is subject to certain restrictions and requires a separate application subject to a fee. The application fee for a special registration plate is EUR 850.

A vehicle has one or two plates depending on the vehicle class. In certain cases, a vehicle can also be given an additional plate.

 

Lost or damaged registration plate

If a registration plate is lost or damaged, the registered owner or holder of the vehicle must submit a written report at an inspection station on how it was lost or damaged. There are registration plate order forms available at inspection stations; the owner or holder must fill in the form and sign it. The registration plate(s) ordered to replace a lost or damaged registration plate may be collected from the inspection station where the order was placed. The plate(s) must be paid for when ordering.

Vehicle with two registration plates: only one registration plate lost

You must give a detailed description on the order form of how the registration plate was lost. A new plate will be ordered to replace the lost one, and you must collect it from the inspection station. The inspection station may authorise you to operate the vehicle with a temporary registration plate bearing the vehicle’s registration number for a maximum of one month.

Vehicle with two registration plates: both registration plates lost

If both registration plates of a vehicle have been lost, you must submit a copy of the report of an offence submitted to the police in addition to your description of how the plates were lost. In such a case, it is recommended that the registration number of the vehicle be changed. You will then immediately receive new registration plates with the new number at the inspection station and thus avoid any difficulties in traffic with the police or Customs.
If you wish to use the old registration number, you may be pulled over by the police, because the report of lost/stolen registration plates will remain on file with the police until the lost plates are found.

Vehicle with one registration plate: registration plate lost

If the only registration plate on a vehicle with one registration plate (e.g. a moped) has been lost, you must submit a copy of the report of an offence submitted to the police in addition to the registration plate order form. A reliable report of your own on how the plate was lost will also be acceptable if the report excludes the possibility that the registration plate has been stolen or could be misused. The inspection station may authorise you to operate the vehicle with a temporary registration plate bearing the vehicle’s registration number for a maximum of one month.

 

 

Special Registration Plate

You can apply to Trafi for special registration plates for your vehicle, with the personalised number of your choice.

For enquiries on the vehicle registration numbers available, please call Trafi service number +358 29 534 5100 (local network charge/mobile call charge).

How to apply for a special registration plate

To apply for a special registration plate, you need to fill in an electronic application form. Send the application form to Trafi in electronic format.

If you are unable to fill in the electronic application form, you can order an alternative form from Trafi by calling service number +358 29 534 5100. Send your application by e-mail to kilvet(at)trafi.fi, by fax to +358 29 534 5606, or by post to the address shown on the form.

Before a decision on special registration plates can be made and the registration plates ordered, the special registration plate application must be filled out with detailed information on the vehicle to which the registration plates will be attached. If necessary, you can provide additional information for your application by calling +358 29 534 5100 or by sending e-mail to kilvet(at)trafi.fi. A pending application will be valid for three months. Once the information on the application is complete, a decision on the special registration plates will be made. The registration plates may be ordered once the decision has been made.

How to collect your special registration plate decision

If you submit the special registration plate application to Trafi in electronic format, on the application form you can indicate whether you would like the decision in electronic form or on paper.

To obtain the special registration plate decision in electronic format, you need an e-mail address and a personal e-banking ID. You will receive a link by e-mail. Click on the link to pay for the decision with your e-banking ID, and collect the electronic decision from the form service.

If you want to receive the decision on paper, it will be sent to you by post.

The fee for a special registration plate decision is EUR 850. If you fail to collect the decision, you may have to pay a charge that will be recovered by enforcement without a separate court order.

Registration of special plates

You can register and collect your plates at the inspection site indicated in your application. You will need your special plate decision for this. The inspection site will charge a fee for the registration and the plates. The vehicle must be registered for the special plates within three months of the date of the decision.

Decisions concerning special registration plates are vehicle-specific. If you would like to install existing plates on another vehicle, you must apply for a new special registration plate decision.

Restrictions concerning special registration plates

Restrictions concerning special registration plates include:

  • Special registration plates for passenger cars can have two to three letters and a number up to three digits long.
  • Special registration plates for motor cycles and mopeds can have either two or three letters and a number up to three digits long, or vice versa.
  • Special registration plates for trailers always begin with a P, W or D.
  • The letter combination CD is reserved for diplomatic vehicles only.
  • Zero cannot be the first or only digit in the plate’s number sequence.
  • The use of the letters W, Q, Å, Ä and Ö is subject to restrictions for vehicles other than passenger cars.

Special registration plates with a black background can be issued for

  • veteran vehicles or vehicles that have already had such plates, or
  • vehicles imported from abroad that have been commissioned prior to 1972.
 

Additional registration plate

Trafi may grant a permit for an additional registration plate, subject to a charge, if:

  • the registration plate is covered by temporary equipment attached to the front or rear of the vehicle
  • a Finnish towing vehicle is used to tow a foreign trailer that has not been registered in its home country, i.e. the trailer does not have a licence plate.

Application

Additional registration plates are applied for either with Trafi’s application form or a free-form written application. The free-form application must contain the following details:

  • Applicant’s name (owner/holder of the vehicle)
  • Vehicle’s plate number
  • Vehicle's make
  • Three last digits of the serial number
  • Information on the additional registration plate’s purpose of use
  • Power of attorney, if needed

Submit the completed application for an additional registration plate:

  • by mail to: Trafi, PO Box 320, 00101 Helsinki
  • by e-mail to
  • by fax to the number 029 534 5095.

Using the registration plate

The additional registration plate will be sent by post. The invoice for the registration plate will be sent later. The total price for an additional registration plate consists of the permission to use the plate and the price for the plate itself (other registration plate). You may check the price on Trafi’s website for customer prices for registration (link on the right). Additional registration plates are made on order and the time of delivery is approximately 2–4 weeks.

Trafi will not provide a separate decision on granting the plate. Details of the additional registration plate are recorded in the vehicle register.

If the vehicle owner changes, the additional registration plate must be returned to the nearest vehicle inspection office for removal of the additional plate information. The change is free of charge.

 

EU registration plates

EU registration plates were introduced in Finland in 2001. Since then vehicles have automatically been given EU plates unless the owner specifically requests for old model plates. If desired, EU plates can be changed for old model ones at an inspection site.

A vehicle equipped with EU registration plates does not need a separate national ID when in the EU area. Outside of the EU, a nationality sticker is required.

EU plates with a new plate number

Old model registration plates can be replaced with EU plates at an inspection site. Upon replacement the vehicle’s plate number will change.

The EU plates may be collected from the inspection station by the owner or holder of the vehicle. The person collecting the plates must either present an ID or the notification part of the registration certificate. The old plates must be handed in at the inspection station when the new plates are collected.

The total price for EU plates with a new plate number consists of the new registration plates (vehicle registration plate) and a registration fee. You may check the price on Trafi’s website for customer prices for registration (link on the right).

EU plates with the old plate number

If EU plates with the old (current) plate number are desired for the vehicle, the plates are ordered at an inspection site. The notification part of the registration certificate is not needed.

The normal delivery time for the plates is two weeks from the order. The plates are collected from the inspection site by the person who placed the order. When collecting the new plates, the old plates must be returned to the inspection site.

You may check the price of the plates with the old plate number (other registration plate) on Trafi's website for customer prices for registration (link on the right).

EU nationality stickers

An EU nationality sticker is the sticker with the member state’s country code which must be affixed to a vehicle when driving outside of the EU. Vehicles with no EU plates must display a nationality sticker when in another EU country.

The Finnish nationality sticker bears the code FIN. Nationality stickers can be purchased from well-stocked service stations or the online store of the Automobile and Touring Club of Finland (in Finnish), for example.

In addition to nationality stickers required when driving abroad, non-mandatory “EU stickers” are also available. When abroad, nationality stickers cannot be replaced by an EU sticker or a similar EU emblem.

Sticker placement

Nationality stickers are placed in a visible place on the vehicle such as on the tailgate or a window.

Licence plates and transfer marks must remain easily readable. No other stickers or marks may be affixed to the licence plate or its immediate vicinity. However, a transfer mark can be placed on top of the registration plate provided that it completely covers the plate.

 

Seizing of register plates

If your vehicle’s register plates have been seized by an authority for surveillance reasons, you can collect them at an inspection office when you have done what the authority requires. Seized register plates will be kept at the inspection office for 3 months, after which they will be scrapped.

 

Cleaning of registration plates

The ID on registration plates must be clearly visible in traffic, and thus the registration plates will have to be cleaned once in a while. The plates are usually cleaned when the vehicle is washed. Registration plates may require special cleaning, however, and attention should be paid in selecting the cleaning method, because the materials used when manufacturing registration plates pose limitations to the cleaning agents that can be used.

The following can be used to clean registration plates:

  • regular household detergents (such as dishwashing liquid)
  • white spirit that does not contain aromatic solvents containing aliphatic hydrocarbons (such as engine washing agent).

The following cannot be used to clean registration plates:

  • detergents that contain active chlorine
  • solvents that contain a high quantity of aliphatic alcohols, ketones, esters or aromatic solvents (such as ethanol, acetone, toluene, thinner)
  • solvents that contain chlorinated hydrocarbons
  • paint removal agents
  • gasoline
  • glass detergent
 

History of registration plates

  • Right after Finland gained independence, in 1917–1922, different registration plates were issued for each town and city.
  • 1922-1929: The standard plate has a white field, on which a provincial designation and four-digit number was marked.
  • 1930s to 1940s: Annual plates were issued. Plates for odd-numbered years were white with black markings, and plates for even-numbered years were black with white markings. The registration plate ID consisted of a provincial designation, dash and a (maximum) four-digit number. A seal and the last two digits of the current year were marked on the left side of the plate.
  • The annual plates were no longer issued after 1950. The standard registration plate ID after that consisted of two letters, a dash and a (maximum) three-digit number, embossed in white on a black field. The first letter was the provincial designation.
  • 1960: A white border was added to the plate. The registration plate ID consisted of three letters and one or two numbers.
  • The current registration plate type was introduced in 1972.
  • The size of the vehicle registration plate was reduced in 1996. The old dimensions were 123 mm x 342 mm and 123 mm x 397 mm.
  • The transfer registration plate was replaced with the transfer mark in 2000.
  • EU registration plates were introduced in 2001 for cars, trailers and motorcycles.
  • 2008: The registration plate ID for motorcycles changed. Before 2008 it consisted of 2-3 letters and a (maximum) three-digit number. Since 2008 the ID consists of a (maximum) three-digit number and 2-3 letters.
  • 2012: The old vehicle registration plate was replaced with a small white plate.
  • 2013: The manufacturing of tall EU registration plates for trailers started.
 

Vehicle country codes

Vehicle country codes can be found in here.

 

Types of registration plates in Finland

The following pages give further information on the vehicle registration plates used in Finland.

All vehicles registered in Finland are normally issued with EU registration plates. However, plates without the EU marking can be ordered on request.

 

Services

Application for an additional registration plate (in Finnish and Swedish)

Special registration plate application (in Finnish and in Swedish)

 

Contact information

Registration plate information desk
Registration advice
Phone +358 29 534 5100 (local network charge/mobile call charge)

 
 
 

 

Page updated 01/05/2017