Australian vehicle number plates are issued by the states and territories, the Commonwealth government, and the armed forces of Australia. The plates are associated with a vehicle and generally last for the time the vehicle remains registered in the state, though as they become unreadable (or for other reasons) they may be recalled or replaced with newer ones. From the 1970s until the late 1990s, most Australian plates were of the form xxx·xxx (with x being either letters or numbers) – for example, aaa·nnn in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory; naa.nnn in Western Australia, where the starting number was between 6 and 9; and nnn.aaa in Queensland. More recently as these series have reached the limit of their capacity, different states and territories have chosen different continuations, so the commonality with respect to format is at an end. The most recent adoption of a new sequence plate is in the state of Victoria, which from 2013 issues plates in the format 1aa.naa. Nevertheless, standard issue plates have the same dimensions regardless of their state-of-issue so there remains an element of consistency between them. Western Australia deemed itself too large to fit into the proposed scheme and adhered to one of its own devising; plates in the Ixx-nnn series were to be skipped (as a capital-I was believed to be easily mistaken for a number 1). This allowed the two populous states with greater registrations of vehicles 6 letter-series each (NSW had A-F, Victoria G-H and J-M), and others with 3 letter-series (Queensland N-Q, South Australia R-T, Western Australia was allocated U-V). Tasmania was only given one, W, due to its size, and the ACT Y. Z was for federal government department use Australia-wide, the 2nd letter reflecting the commonwealth department. Plates were to be uniform in size. NSW adopted yellow background and black lettering, ACT white background and blue lettering, Victoria adopted a black background with white lettering for its initial scheme allocation. Once this overflowed, Victoria began using from AAA-000 to FZZ-999 on white background and green lettering (later blue commencing at NAA-000), Qld black background with white lettering, Tasmania white background and blue lettering, SA white background and black lettering, and WA white background (later changed to yellow) and black lettering. NT kept to their white background and all-numbers in ochre that the all numerics ended in June 2011 and began using CA-00-AB onwards. In case if you want to get additional info, then make sure to check out this community California license plate search service intended for investigators.
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