Military vehicles used Military Service plates until 1927, then, as all normal civil plates, their plates totally changed: they remained white, with red letters and a black serial number, but new codes were introduced for the different corps.
Picture 1: Front
Picture 2: Front
Picture 3: Rear
The first three pictures show plates of Regio Esercito, respectively two front plates with different style and a rear one. They were assigned to the different kinds of vehicles according to the following table:
1 - 9.999 (*)
|Tanks, armoured and special vehicles|
10.000 - 49.999
|Cars and light vehicles|
50.000 - 99.999
1.000 - 29.999
(*) In some cases there was also a letter (A, B,G or T) next to the number, following the same rules used on the plates of Servizio Militare before 1927, as you can see in the pictures nujmber 4, 5, 6 and 7 (plates "RE 138 A", "RE 51 B", "RE 1145 G" e "RE 6019 T"): anyway this use disappeared after a few years. Moreover, armoured vehicles had a special symbol like a flame: you can see it in picture number 8 and also in the page of plates of the Italian Army, as it has been used also after the Second World War.
Pictures 4, 5, 6 and 7: With a letter at the end
Picture 8: Armoured vehicle
Vehicles requisitioned during the Second World War had a plate with a leading zero: you can see one of them in the picture number 9.
Picture 9: Requisitioned vehicle, rear
In the picture number 10 you can see a plate for a trailer of Regio Esercito: these were made adding a red "R" (it stands for Rimorchio) to a normal plate of one of the first two groups of the table above.
Motorcycles had also a front plate in addition to the normal rear plate: it was placed over the front mudguard and for this reason had a round shape, and had the prints on both sides, as you can see in the picture number 11, though its quality is very poor. Anyway Regio Esercito was not the only that had front plates for motorcycles: the same happened also for the motorbikes of the Regia Marina, of the Milizia della Strada and of the Decima MAS. In the site it's also present a picture of a group of motorcycles of Regio Esercito and you can find it in the old photo gallery (picture 9).
Picture 10: Trailer
Picture 11: Motorcycle
Obviously all these plates disappeared in 1946, when Italy became a republic: if you are interested in modern Italian military plates, go to the page of plates of the army.
I want to thank very much Guglielmo Evangelista for his good explanation of this subject. Many thanks also to Alessandro Libanore for the pictures number 1 and 10, to Adolfo Arena for the pictures number 2 and 6, to Giancarlo Raposo for the picture number 3 and to Luigi Di Gabriele for the picture number 8. The fourth picture is taken from the "L'Illustrazione Italiana" of 1932 and I want to thank very much Marcello Taverna who sent it to me, the pictures number 5 and 7 are taken from the issue number 1 of December 2002 of the newsletter of AISTA, and last the picture number 11 is taken from the issue of November 1998 of "La Manovella".