Background car news Interview

Personal car license plate in the Netherlands: is it feasible?

March 22, 2023

Accidental hit

Currently, it is not possible to choose a personal car license plate in the Netherlands. Every once in a while, there is an accidental hit among them, where the license plate matches the car perfectly. Consider the number combination 007 on an Aston Martin, an abbreviation such as 911 on a Porsche 911 or the letter combination “TVR” on a TVR. But motorists do not have a choice.

Personal car license plate

The editors of are regularly asked why we do not have a personal car license plate in the Netherlands, as is possible in several neighboring countries. Because is it at all possible to introduce a personal license plate in the Netherlands? We speak with Thérèse de Vroomen, RDW spokeswoman.

Personal license plate in the Netherlands

What do you think are the biggest disadvantages of a personal license plate in the Netherlands?

“The license plate number has multiple uses and is used in all kinds of systems and processes in the Netherlands. The format of the license plate – the number and sequence of numbers and letters – is used by processes of external parties, such as the police for enforcement. A personal license plate has no set format, making systems enormously complex and expensive. A vehicle’s license plate number is unique. A personal license plate should be the same because of its identification function. This has a tremendous limiting effect on the number of possibilities.”

Is a personal car license plate at all feasible in the Netherlands?

“In theory, it could be done. But as mentioned, it is enormously complex and there are socially significant burdens and few benefits.”

What are any benefits?

“It may be nice for the individual user, social benefits are not there. The RDW doesn’t set policy either, the Ministry of IenW does.”

A personal car license plate not a nice additional revenue model? 

“The RDW is a tariff-funded independent administrative body. We adopt a moderate fee policy based on cost recovery. Rates are determined by the costs we incur for our various services. Thus, the revenues should be sufficient to cover the costs. The investment that switching to a personal license plate requires will be high. The demand for a personal license plate is unknown. This makes it uncertain that the cost of a personal license plate can be adequately covered from the fee.”

Conclusion personal car license plate in the Netherlands

Conclusion: the chances of the arrival of a personal car license plate in the Netherlands are extremely small. Implementation is expensive and complex, and the social benefits are minimal. Cars with “catchy” license plates thus remain rare in the Netherlands. As far as we are concerned, the biggest social benefit is that there is more merriment on the streets, because a cool license plate always cheers up anyway. By the way, a new license plate series is coming for passenger cars, as the current X-999-XX license plate series is nearing completion. Following the S are the T, X and Z.