Motorcycle plates between 1927 and 1994

Motorbike plates issued between 1927 and 1995 are not very different from those for cars of the same time as you can see in the pictures below.

Look: Plates were initially made of metal, but then, from 1963 to 1985, plastic was used, like for car plates. They were white on black at the very beginning (picture 1), then in 1935 changed to blue on white (pictures from 2 to 9) until 1985, even if a very dark blue was often used and sometimes it seems that it is black: all the previously issued plates were replaced brtween 1935 and 1936, keeping the same number. In 1985, when car plates changed from white on black to black on white, also motorbike plates changed and the blue became black on white (picture 10). In the pictures below you can also see two different characters used for the plates: the change from the first to the second was in 1959.

Motorcycle plate
Picture 1: 1927 - 1935
Motorcycle plate
Picture 2: 1935 - 1944
Motorcycle plate
Picture 3: 1935 - 1944

Numbering system: Motorbike plates are not very different from car plates: two letters or the print "Roma" (picture 10) as origin code (see table) and then up to 6 digits. The origin code is after the serial number if it has got 4 or less digits (pictures 1, 2, 3 and 5) while it's before the number if it's got 5 or 6 digits (pictures 4, 6, 8, 9 and 10). Actually from 1959 the origin code is before the number even if it has got just 4 digits, but anyway this change was visible just in Enna (EN), Matera (MT) and Nuoro (NU) as they were the only provinces that still had just 4 digits in that year (picture number 7). Plates from Aosta had the origin code after the number, even if it is made by more then 4 digits, until 1967. You can see a difference in the used character between picture 8 and picture 9: the first is made of metal, while the second of plastic (from 1963 to 1985). Anyway metal has been used since 1985.

Motorcycle plate
Picture 4: 1944 - 1948
Motorcycle plate
Picture 5: 1944 - 1948
Motorcycle plate
Picture 6: 1949 - 1951
Motorcycle plate
Picture 7: 1959

Symbol: Like car plates, they have got various symbols as separators: the fascio (pictures 1, 2 and 3) from 1927 until the Second World War, the "disabled men" (picture 4 and 5) till 1948 and then the seal of the Italian Republic until 1995 (pictures from 6 to 9). In the first two years (1949 - 1951) this was rather bigger than later, as you can see in picture 6.

Motorcycle plate
Picture 8: 1951 - 1963
Motorcycle plate
Picture 9: 1963 - 1985
Motorcycle plate
Picture 10: 1985 - 1994

Front plates have never been used on motorbikes, though it's possible to find old pictures of motorbikes with a plate placed over the front mudguard with the number on both sides: they were unofficial (picture 11). The only motorbikes with a front plate were those used by the Royal Army, by the Milizia della Strada and by the Decima MAS.

Motorcycle plate
Picture 11: front (unofficial)

Notice the number 1 in the plates from Rome and from Como (CO) shown in the pictures number 2 and 3!!

I really need to thank Giancarlo Raposo, Alessandro Libanore, Marcello Taverna, Guglielmo Evangelista and Ivo Pulcini for these pictures and their explanations: you all were very helpful! The picture number 7 is taken from the web site Lambretta Club Nuoro.




Home
Plates in Rome by Michele Berionne