To Homepage License plates Codes     French registrations between 1901 and 1928

A : Alès (Alais before 1926) F : Clermont-Ferrand P-K : Poitiers (1901-1919)
B : Bordeaux (1901-1919) H : Chambéry (1901-1919) R : Arras
B-P-K : Bordeaux (1919-1928) J : Strasbourg (1922-1928) S : Saint-Étienne
C : Chalon-sur-Saône (1901-1919) L : Le Mans (1901-1919) T : Toulouse
C-H : Lyon (1919-1928) L : Nantes (1919-1928) Y-Z : Rouen (Versailles)
D : Douai M-V : Marseille  
E-G-I-U-X : Paris N-O : Nancy See 1901-1919 and 1919-1928 maps

Decemb. 1924 Paris

During this period, many parameters have changed : arrondissements included different departements with time, 3 département were created after World War 1 and rules changed too :

For Paris, here are the successive formats :

From Sept 1901 to April 1903, plates have the system 1 to 999-E with successively the letters E, G, I, U and X
From April 1903 to Sept 1904, plates have the system 1 to 999-EE with successively the double letters EE, GG, II, UU and XX
From Sept 1904 to July 1910, plates have the system 1 to 999-E2, 1 to 999-E3, ..., up to 1 to 999-E9 (last digit is never 1) with successively the letters E, G, I, U and X
From July 1910 to June 1918, plates have the system 1000 à 9999-E with successively the letters E, G, I, U and X
From June 1918 to Feb 1928, plates have the system 1-E1 to 9999-E9 with successively the letters E, G, I, U and X (the letter I has began with the number 1000-I2)
From Feb 1928 to Sept 1928, plates have the system 1-E10 to 999-E10, 1-E11 to 999-E11, ..., up to 928-E55. In this format, the only used letter was E.

Photographs from books such as Almanach Citroën :


When 2 letters were affected to a "chef-lieu", the sequence was similar to this one for Nancy (N and O letters) :

1 to 999-N, 1 to 999-NN,
1 to 999-O, 1 to 999-OO,
1 to 999-N1, 1 to 999-N2, ..., 1 to 999-N9, (numbers 1 to 999-N1 normally not expected)
1 to 999-O1, 1 to 999-O2, ..., 1 to 999-O9, (numbers 1 to 999-O1 normally not expected)
1000 to 9999-N, etc.

Michel Raulet and Alain Léon made a huge work on arrondissements of Poitiers (P and K) and Bordeaux (B, P and K), that you can see in detail in this Excel sample file. Successively, have been issued : 

         Two wheels vehicles : from 1899 to 1942, bikes and motorcycles had this kind of tab, mentionning the year : 

 Also read the end of articles on garage, provisionaltransit, administration, military or diplomats vehicles.

"Arrondissements" in 1901, by Yann Sciardis : (on this map, read H for Chambéry and not Grenoble)

and from 1922 to 1928 (mention Alsace and Lorraine departments switching to J code) : 

French départements were created in 1790 (map in french)

Page written by
Jean-Emmanuel Chevry, Jean-François Zuraw, Bruno Vernhes and Michel Raulet. Maps by Yann Sciardis.