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In accordance with the Laws of Malaysia, all private and commercial motorised vehicles are to display their valid vehicle registration number plates at the front and rear of such vehicles. The governing body responsible for the regulation and administration of the issuance of appropriate and legal licence plate numbers is the Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (JPJ) Malaysia, or the Malaysian Road Transport Department (RTD).
The JPJ is also responsible with the formulation of policies pertaining to design, format and colour of Malaysian vehicle licence plates. Any deviation from such regulation would be tantamount to breaking the law and hence would be appropriately punishable as gazetted in the respective enactments.
In general, the format for a standard licence plate number in Malaysia takes one of the following forms. Note that the alphabets I and O are not used as they look like numbers. Also not used is the alphabet Z which is reserved for the military. For this category of vehicles, leading zeroes are not used nor allowed.
The generic registration number format is ABC <num> where the leading prefix A represents the State or Federal Territory, B is a running alphabetical sequence and C the next running alphabetical sequence followed by <num>, a running number from 1 to 9999.
The prefix for West Malaysian states are A=Perak, B=Selangor, C=Pahang, D=Kelantan, J=Johor, K=Kedah, M=Malacca,N =Negri Sembilan, P=Penang, R=Perlis, T=Terengganu, W=Kuala Lumpur, L=Labuan. Putrajaya, a Federal Territory, is an exception where the word Putrajaya is used as the alpha part of the licence plate number.
Quite recently though, for the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, or Wilayah, the ABC series had exhausted and hence, the format for the W category has assumed the format W <num> D, where W is the Kuala Lumpur prefix, <num> is the running number and the end prefix of D is a running alphabetical series. When D has been exhausted, the format will take on the form of WX <num> D where X is a running alphabetical sequence, and when that is exhausted, we will have WXY <num> D where Y is the next alphabetical sequence, and so on.
Vehicles registered in the state of Sabah are allocated vehicle number plates commencing with the letters S (Sabah). Then follows the regional code and a serial number – when 9999 is reached a serial letter is used, in alphabetical order, to augment. Hence, similar to West Malaysia, the Sabah licence plate number follows the format SXY <num> D where S=Sabah, X=division of Sabah, <num> = a running number and D is an alphabetical sequence.
The Division codes or prefixes for Sabah are SA= Kota Kinabalu and Kota Belud , SB=Beaufort, SD= Lahad Datu, SK= Kudat, SS= Sandakan, ST= Tawau, SU= Keningau,
Sarawak is similar to Sabah where the division codes are QA and QK= Kuching,
QB= Sri Aman, QC= Kota Samarahan, QL= Limbang, QM= Miri, QP= Kapit, QR= Sarikei ,
QS= Sibu, QT= Bintulu, QSG= Government
The newer Malaysian taxi takes on a format of HXY <num> where H = static prefix for taxi, X = the Malaysian state or Territory, Y = an alphabetical sequence and <num> = a running number from 1 to 9999. To differentiate taxis from standard vehicles, their plate numbers will be black on a white background.
Limos are basically engaged to service the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and hence their plate number format is LIMO <num> S, where LIMO is a static prefix, <num> is a running number from 1 to 9999 and S denotes the Malaysian state (currently the State prefix is either W for Wilayah or the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, or B for Selangor).
Wilayah or Kuala Lumpur Taxi
HW 1183, HWA 3405
HB 183, HBA 7605
HP 83, HPA 405
Wilayah or Kuala Lumpur Limo
LIMO 8975 W, LIMO 457 B
The Licence Plate numbers for the Malaysian military takes the format ZX <num> where Z is the constant prefix for military vehicles, X is the second prefix to denote the branch of military (e.g ZA to ZD = Army, ZL = Navy, ZU = Air Force). <num> is a running number (without leading zeroes) ranging from 1 to 9999.
ZA 1, ZB 1, ZC 1, ZD 1
ZL 1, ZL 2, ZL 9998, ZL 9999
ZU 1, ZU 2, ZU 9998, ZU 9999
Personnel of the Diplomatic Corps or other International Organisations have unique registration plate numbers. Their number format takes the shape of 1C-2C-DC where 1C would be the first code that represents the nationality (e.g 39=Singapore,49=China). 2C would be the second code in the format to represent the rank of the User or Owner (e.g 01=Head of Mission’s Official Car, 52=Attache). The DC is a static code to represent Diplomatic Corps. The number characters are either in white on a red background or white on a black background. Unlike the formats above, leading zeroes and hyphens are a feature of DC plate numbers.
Similar to Diplomatic Corps, the number format for Consular Corps takes the shape of 1C-2C-CC where 1C would be the first code that represents the nationality (e.g 39=Singapore,49=China). 2C would be the second code in the format to represent the Malaysian state and rank of the User or Owner (e.g 01=Head of Consular Mission in Kuala Lumpur, 02= Head of Consular Mission in Penang). The CC is a static code to represent Consular Corps. The number characters are white on a black background. Leading zeroes and hyphens are similarly used.
Similar to DC and CC, the number format for the UN takes the shape of 1C-2C-UN where 1C would be the first code that represents an organization within the UN (e.g 10=UNDP,11=WHO). 2C would be the second code in the format to represent the rank of the User or Owner (e.g 01=Head of UN Office Official Car, 04= Head of UN Office Personal Car). The UN is a static code to represent United Nations. The number characters are white on a red or black background
Similar to the Diplomatic Corps, the number format for this group takes the shape of 1C-2C-PA. The International Natural Rubber Association is one such User of the PA plate number.
The Sultans of Malaysia, Rulers of States and their immediate royalties are the only Users who are privileged to use unique registration vehicle plate numbers where usually, these official number plates will bear the official title or crest of the Owners, such as “DYMM Sultan Pahang” or “Tengku Mahkota Pahang”.
Special Occasion Vehicle Registration Licence Plates
In addition to the standard JPJ number plate formats and design, the JPJ does issue out a limited number of special and customized vanity plates on special occasions or purposes.
These special prefixes may denote the brand of the car (such prefixes are often used, for example, on Proton and Perodua cars). Among the more commonly used special prefixes are:
WAJA – Issued for Proton Waja cars., Satria – Issued for Proton Satria cars, NAZA – Issued for Naza vehicles, SUKOM – Issued only during the 1998 Commonwealth Games held in Kuala Lumpur.
XIII NAM – Issued only during the 2003 NAM Summit which was held in Kuala Lumpur,
X OIC – Issued only during the 2003 OIC Summit which was held in Kuala Lumpur, XI ASEAN – Issued only during the 2005 ASEAN Summit which was held in Kuala Lumpur, BAMbee – Issued only during the 2000 Thomas and Uber Cup which was held in Kuala Lumpur at that year.
More recently, the JPJ Malaysia has approved the issuance of special car plate numbers in the range SAS 1 to SAS 9999, which went up for bidding from September 2014. This was in conjunction with 40 years of rule of the Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah. Hence, the acronym SAS. SAS 1 to SAS 1000 is reserved only for state VVIPs including royalty while SAS 1001 to SAS 9999 was open to all.
Please note that our content is only meant as a leisurely reading of the JPJ Number Plate policy. Please visit the JPJ Number plate webpage for the actual content.