Chinese Car Plate

My reader in Wuxi suggested me to talk about the car plate in China – this is an interesting topic. There is a Chinese character on the plate as the first character, and there are difference colors – blue, yellow, and black. What do all these mean?

Here is a picture of a car plate:

The Chinese Character

There must be a Chinese character on each car plate. It represent the province of the car. Although the full name of China province is at least two or three Chinese characters, they all have abridged version, just like WA for Washington, CA for California in U.S.

There is something different though. The Chinese abbr. of a province name is often completely different from the Chinese name.

For example, Shang Hai 上海 has two characters. Its abbr. is neither Shang 上 or Hai 海. It is Hu 沪.

So every car registered in Shanghai will have a plate starting with

沪A

沪B

沪C

沪D

My car is registered in Hangzhou, Zhejiang (why, limitations), it starts with

浙A.

浙 means Zhejiang province.

The Second Character

The second character, which is an English letter, represent the city of the province (or districts of a city like Shanghai).

A in Henan means Zhengzhou

B in Henan means Kaifeng

C means Luoyang

R means Nanyang

So every city has its number.

Here is a complete list of these places (all in Chinese) since the translate of location names does not work well.

北京市(京)

京A、京C、京E、京F、北京市(城区),京G 北京市(远郊区), 京B 出租车,京O警察

天津市(津)

津A、津B、津C、天津市 ,津E 出租车

上海市(沪)

沪A、沪B、沪D 上海市区,沪C 远郊区

重庆市(渝)

渝A 重庆市区(江南),渝B 重庆市区(江北),渝C 永川区,渝F 万州区,渝G 涪陵区,渝H 黔江区

河北省(冀)

冀A 石家庄,冀B 唐山,冀C 秦皇岛,冀D 邯郸,冀E 邢台,冀F 保定,冀G 张家口,冀H 承德,冀J 沧州,冀R 廊坊,冀T 衡水

河南省(豫)

豫A 郑州,豫B 开封,豫C 洛阳,豫D 平顶山,豫E 安阳,豫F 鹤壁,豫G 新乡,豫H 焦作,豫J 濮阳,豫K 许昌,豫L 漯河,豫M 三门峡,豫N 商丘,豫P 周口,豫Q 驻马店,豫R 南阳,豫S 信阳,豫U 济源

云南省(云)

云A 昆明,云B 东川,云C 昭通,云D 曲靖, 云E 楚雄彝族,云F 玉溪,云G 红河哈尼族,云H 文山壮族苗,云J 思茅,云L 大理白族,云K 西双版纳,云M 保山,云N 德宏傣族,云P 丽江,云Q 怒江傈族,云R 迪庆藏族,云S 临沧

辽宁省(辽)

辽A 沈阳,辽B 大连,辽C 鞍山,辽D 抚顺,辽E 本溪,辽F 丹东,辽G 锦州,辽H 营口,辽J 阜新,辽K 辽阳,辽L 盘锦,辽M 铁岭,辽N 朝阳,辽P 葫芦岛,辽V 省直机关

黑龙江省(黑)

黑A 哈尔滨 ,黑B 齐齐哈尔,黑C 牡丹江,黑D 佳木斯,黑E 大庆,黑F 伊春,黑G 鸡西,黑H 鹤岗,黑J 双鸭山,黑K 七台河,黑L 松花江行署,黑M 绥化,黑N 黑河,黑P 大兴安岭

湖南省(湘)

湘A 长沙,湘B 株洲,湘C 湘潭,湘D 衡阳,湘E 邵阳,湘F 岳阳,湘G 大庸,湘H 益阳,湘J 常德,湘K 娄底,湘L 郴州,湘M 零陵,湘N怀化,湘P 湘西州

安徽省(皖)

皖A 合肥,皖B 芜湖,皖C 蚌埠,皖D 淮南,皖E 马鞍山,皖F 淮北,皖G 铜陵,皖H 安庆,皖J 黄山,皖K 阜阳,皖L 宿州,皖M 滁州,皖N 六安,皖P 宣城,皖Q 巢湖,皖R 池州

山东省(鲁)

鲁A 济南,鲁B 青岛,鲁C 淄博,鲁D 枣庄,鲁E 东营,鲁F 烟台,鲁G 潍坊,鲁H 济宁,鲁J 泰安,鲁K 威海,鲁L 日照,鲁M 莱芜,鲁N 德州,鲁P 聊城,鲁Q 临沂,鲁R 菏泽,鲁U 青岛开发区

新疆维吾尔(新)

新A 乌鲁木齐,新B 昌吉回族,新C 石河子,新D 奎屯,新E 博尔塔拉,新F 伊犁哈萨,新G 塔城,新H 阿勒泰,新J 克拉玛依,新K 吐鲁番, 新L 哈密,新M 巴音郭,新N 阿克苏,新P 克孜勒苏柯,新Q 喀什,新R 和田

江苏省(苏)

苏A 南京,苏B 无锡,苏C 徐州,苏D 常州,苏E 苏州,苏F 南通,苏G 连云港,苏H 淮阴,苏J 盐城,苏K 扬州,苏L 镇江,苏M 泰州,苏N 宿迁

浙江省(浙)

浙A 杭州,浙B 宁波,浙C 温州,浙D 绍兴,浙E 湖州,浙F 嘉兴,浙G 金华,浙H 衢州,浙J 台州,浙K 丽水,浙L 舟山

江西省(赣)

赣A 南昌,赣B 赣州,赣C 宜春,赣D 吉安,赣E 上饶,赣F 抚州,赣G 九江,赣H 景德镇,赣J 萍乡,赣K 新余,赣L 鹰潭

湖北省(鄂)

鄂A 武汉,鄂B 黄石,鄂C 十堰,鄂D 沙市,鄂E 宜昌,鄂F 襄樊,鄂G 鄂州,鄂H 荆门,鄂J 黄岗,鄂K 孝感,鄂L 咸宁,鄂M 荆州,鄂N 郧阳,鄂P 宜昌,鄂Q 鄂西州

广西壮族(桂)

桂A 南宁,桂B 柳州,桂C 桂林,桂D 梧州,桂E 北海,桂F 南宁,桂G 柳州,桂H 桂林,桂J 贺州(属梧州),桂K 玉林,桂M 河池,桂L 百色,桂N 钦州,桂P 防城

甘肃省(甘)

甘A 兰州,甘B 嘉峪关,甘C 金昌,甘D 白银,甘E 天水,甘F 酒泉,甘G 张掖,甘H 武威,甘J 定西,甘K 陇南,甘L 平凉,甘M 庆阳 ,甘N 临夏回族,甘P 甘南藏族

山西省(晋)

晋A 太原,晋B 大同,晋C 阳泉,晋D 长治,晋E 晋城,晋F 朔州,晋H 忻州,晋J 吕梁,晋K 晋中,晋L 临汾,晋M 运城

内蒙古(蒙)

蒙A 呼和浩特,蒙B 包头,蒙C 乌海,蒙D 赤峰,蒙E 呼伦贝尔盟,蒙F 兴安盟,蒙G 锡林郭勒盟,蒙H 乌兰察布盟,蒙J 伊克昭盟,蒙K 巴彦淖尔盟,蒙L 阿拉善盟

陕西省(陕)

陕A 西安,陕B 铜川,陕C 宝鸡,陕D 威阳,陕E 渭南,陕F 汉中,陕G 安康,陕H 商洛,陕J 延安,陕K 榆林,陕U 省直机关

吉林省(吉)

吉A 长春,吉B 吉林,吉C 四平,吉D 辽源,吉E 通化,吉F 白山,吉G 白城,吉H 延边朝鲜族

福建省(闽)

闽A 福州,闽B 莆田,闽C 泉州,闽D 厦门,闽E 漳州,闽F 龙岩,闽G 三明,闽H 南平,闽J 宁德,闽K 省直机关

贵州省(贵)

贵A 贵阳,贵B 六盘水,贵C 遵义,贵D 铜仁,贵E 黔西南州,贵F 毕节,贵G 安顺,贵H 黔东南州,贵J 黔南州

广东省(粤)

粤A 广州,粤B 深圳,粤C 珠海,粤D 汕头,粤E 佛山,粤F 韶关,粤G 湛江,粤H 肇庆,粤J 江门,粤K 茂名,粤L 惠州,粤M 梅州,粤N 汕尾,粤P 河源,粤Q 阳江,粤R 清远,粤S 东莞,粤T 中山,粤U 潮州,粤V 揭阳,粤W 云浮,粤X 顺德,粤Y 南海,粤Z港澳进入内地车辆

青海省(青)

青A 西宁,青B 海东,青C 海北,青D 黄南,青E 海南州,青F 果洛州,青G 玉树州,青H 海西州,

西藏(藏)

藏A 拉萨,藏B 昌都,藏C 山南,藏D 日喀则,藏E 那曲,藏F 阿里,藏G 林芝

四川省(川)

川A 成都,川B 绵阳,川C 自贡,川D 攀枝花,川E 泸州,川F 德阳,川H 广元,川J 遂宁,川K 内江,川L 乐山,川Q 宜宾,川R 南充,川S 达县,川T 雅安,川U 阿坝藏族,川V 甘孜藏族,川W 凉山彝族,川Z 眉山。 

宁夏回族(宁)

宁A 银川,宁B 石嘴山,宁C 银南,宁D 固原

海南省(琼)

琼A 海口,琼B 三亚,琼C 琼北

According to this chart,

A, B, D in Shanghai means cars registered in downtown Shanghai

C means cars in Shanghai registered in rural areas.

In some places, taxi has its own unique numbers.

The Rest 5 Characters

The rest of the numbers are numbered according to rules of each province. For example, in Shanghai, the third (or the first of the rest numbers) can be English letters, while in Zhejiang, the fifth character can be letters. The rest are numbers.

Colors

The most common color is blue. It means it is small or middle sized car. For big cars, like buses, or trunks, it is in yellow. There are also black car plates, which means the car is owned by a foreigner or foreign company (I don’t know why thy make it different).

P.S. This is according to the 1992 standard of car plate.

5 thoughts on “Chinese Car Plate

  1. Sean

    I have also seen some other characters like 军 which stands for ‘military’ and 使, which I think stands for ‘consulate’ (领事馆). If you have one of these licenses, I guess you don’t have to worry about getting a ticket ☺ Are there any other interesting characters on licenses that don’t represent a province?

  2. Denis

    Jian Shuo Wang

    interesting facts about the vehicle license plates. especially interesting is the complete list of all cities, towns and areas. wonder though if you could add a little information concerning the plate colours, which might also be useful to some readers. As Sean states there are special characters for certain vehicles or persons, but these are also reflected by the colour of the plate itself, like the example you gave for ‘military’ (the symbol is in red), which are customary on a white plate while the rest of the numerals and letters are black.

  3. Ginn Chen

    Update of Beijing plates,

    ??????

    ?A??C??E??F????(??)??G ???(???)? ?B ?????O??

    ?O will not be used any longer.

    ?H, ?J, ?K are already added as downtown plates.

    I think ?L is coming soon.

  4. chee8218

    I thought I have seen WJ and if I am not wrong it stands for 武警and was told that nobody can stop such cars on the road. Right or not Jian Shuo?

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