Trailer

1923-1927: trailers started having a license plate just in 1923 and the very first plates were similar to the Italian plates for cars of the same age, with white background, a red number as origin code followed by a black serial number and the print "RIMORCHIO" on top.

1927-1959: in 1927 Italian plates changed a lot and also plates for trailers were modified in the same way, keeping the same look of normal plates for cars: white digits on a black background. The print "RIMORCHIO" at the beginning was on the first line with the number and the origin code on the second line (1927-1931), then it was moved on the third line, under the origin code on the first and the number on the second; the word "RIMORCHIO" was in italic characters between 1931 and 1951 (picture number 1) and in capital from 1951 to 1959 (but maybe not in all the provinces); the official seal was the same used on the normal plates.

Trailer
Picture 1: 1931 - 1949
Trailer
Picture 2: 1949 - 1959

1959-1985: in 1959 the system of trailer plates changed again a lot and two plates were used for each trailer: the first one was a repeater of the plate of the motor, with an added "R" over the seal of the Italian republic (picture number 3); the second was placed on the right lateral side of the trailer and was the plate of the trailer itself, with the registration number under the word "RIMORCHIO", the seal of the Italian republic and the province code on just one line (picture number 4). The same trailer was often used with many motors, so the repeater plate had to be changed every time, so it was common to build hand-made repeater plates to change them more easily. You can see one of them in picture 6: it's made on a French base and the origin code is red to look like the orange used on normal license plates of the same age. Anyway this is just one of a large varieties of different kinds of hand-made plates used on trailers to show how "strange" they could be.

Trailer
Picture 3: 1959 - 1985 (repeater)
Trailer
Picture 4: 1959 - 1985 (lateral)
Trailer
Picture 5: Aosta (1959 - 1985)
Trailer
Picture 6: Hand-made repeater plate (1976 - 1985)

1985-1994: in 1985 the was a change in the look of all Italian plates, trailers included, even if the numbering system didn't change at all. The lateral plate became white with the print "RIMORCHIO" in red (picture number 7). The repeater plate became yellow, with just a red "R" in place of the seal of the republic and was made of two parts that could be arranged in one or two lines. The plate was given "blank" and had to be composed with stickers by the owner, copying the plate of the motor (pictures number 8 and 9). Moreover metal was used to produce these plates, while plastic had been in use since 1963.

Trailer
Picture 7: 1985 - 1994 (lateral)
Trailer
Picture 8: 1985 - 1994 (repeater)

Trailer
Picture 9: 1985 - 1994 (repeater)

1994-Today: the last changes were introduced in 1994: the plate of the trailer was moved on the back of the trailer, near the repeater plate, instead of on the right side, and the origin code was removed, as in all Italian plates, so the new format became AA 00000 (picture number 10). For the same reason the origin code was removed also from the plate of the motor and consequently from the repeater plates (picture number 11).

Trailer
Picture 10: 1994 - Today (trailer)
Trailer
Picture 11: 1994 - Today (repeater)

Aosta has got its typical coat of the arms (see plates from Aosta) also on the plates of the trailers: you can see one of these plates in the picture number 5.

It's possible to find also other pictures of trailer plates in this web site, issued for agricultural vehicles, for the Royal Army, for the Italian army, for the Navy and for the Customs Authority.

I want to thank Alessandro Libanore for pictures number 1 and 3, Marcello Taverna for pictures 4 and 7, Paolo Troncatti for picture number 5, Louis Fierens for the picture number 6, Roy Klotz for the picture number 9, and Guglielmo Evangelista for his documentation about trailers.




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Plates in Rome by Michele Berionne