At no surprise, license plates are a little different in Ireland than the US. Not just size and shape although they’re longer and all white in the Irish Republic with no national or county motto like “Land of 10,000 Lakes” or “Sunshine State.” In a way, they’re much more specific.
Ever wonder while riding in a taxi in say, Cork City, the driver says, “Aw, now will you look at that, wouldn’t you know, a Dublin driver. They simply get their drivers license through the post office.” Or, when you’re in the taxi in Dublin and the taxi man says, “Bollocks, behind a Cork driver. This is liable to take a while, they’re not used to pavement.” How in the world do they know? There’s nothing specific on the car mentioning the locale of a dealership. The offending driver looks just the same as everyone else.
After reading the following, you too will be able to complain with complete, Irish accuracy. Irish license plates provide very specific information if you know how to read them. Let’s say the license reads like this, 172 D 12345. Here’s the translation; 172 refers to when the year of the particular model and when it was purchased. In this case the vehicle is a 2017, purchased in the second half, of the year, JulyDecember. D refers to the county the vehicle is registered in, in this case Dublin. Sounds simple enough and of course the county name is spelled out on the license plate, but unfortunately, it’s spelled out in Irish. See the chart for the proper designation of all 26 counties.
12345 refers to the issuance of the registration to this specific vehicle in the specific county. In this instance it was the 12,345th vehicle registered in Dublin county. The license number will remain exactly the same for the life of the vehicle. Now you, too, whether passenger or driver, can complain with specificity about any Irish driver on the road. Enjoy