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This is silly, but it's been driving me crazy
September 17, 2010 12:07 PM   Subscribe

I need help identifying an anomalous EU-license plate that I saw in Salzburg, Austria a couple years back.

The license plate was a standard EU-style license plate, with a white background. The country code in the euroband (where you would normally see "D", "A", "CZ", "NL" and so on) was "BZ".
For what it's worth, the car was a little Fiat hatchback, not new, which I would walk past on my way to school every day.
posted by dunkadunc to Grab Bag (12 answers total)
It appears that BZ stands for Belize in this context... is that all you are asking?

List of international vehicle registration codes
posted by Perplexity at 12:10 PM on September 17, 2010

Some possibilities here:

Especially the first three listings. I'm not sure if a regulation dictates the letters on the plate - whether it relates to purely the country of registration or if there is scope for 'area I come from or originate from'.
posted by Brockles at 12:13 PM on September 17, 2010

According to the list of international vehicle registration code, Belize is officially BH (previously being known as British Honduras), but uses BZ.

Brockles' suggestions are a little off the mark - the OP's talking about the letters that appear in the European strip (the blue vertical stripe) to the left side of a number plate. In that example, RO is the country code, for Romania, and B is the county code, for Bucharest.
posted by zamboni at 12:24 PM on September 17, 2010

Are you sure it was the country code? Might it have been an Italian plate from the municipality of Bolzano?
posted by HFSH at 12:43 PM on September 17, 2010

Brockles' suggestions are a little off the mark - the OP's talking about the letters that appear in the European strip

I was fully aware of that, but perhaps didn't make it clear enough - as I said I don't know if it HAS to be the country code of registration of the vehicle (which would make Belize spectacularly unlikely as the answer), but if it can be the anything the owner wants, and they are from Belize it is possible that is what it is. That was why the suggestion I gave was one of the first three answers, with the proviso of not knowing the regulation about the letters.
posted by Brockles at 12:51 PM on September 17, 2010

I think HFSK has it and you're just remembering it on the other side. That seems the most plausible idea by far.

My only other guess is a Belgian dealer plate, since B is the Beligian plate letter and Z is reserved in Belgium for dealers. Belgium is not yet using standardised EU plates, and you can have one non-standard plate in Belgium, so...

It's not a great guess but on the plus side, it doesn't annex South America.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:15 PM on September 17, 2010

Very sure it was the country code. There were plenty of italian plates on the streets and I remember double- and triple-checking to make sure I wasn't seeing an Italian plate wrong- BZ was right there under the EU stars.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:48 PM on September 17, 2010

could it maybe be GBZ for Gibraltar?
posted by melissasaurus at 2:30 PM on September 17, 2010

My guess would be BZH for Breizh, i.e. Brittany. Not uncommon.
posted by TheRaven at 3:02 PM on September 17, 2010

"BZ" stands for the district of Bludenz, Austria: see for details.
posted by knz at 3:20 PM on September 17, 2010

According to this site, from 1994 to 1999 there was an optional sticker for Italian license plates that had the EU stars and a province code. In the image on that site, it shows PS for Pesaro. BZ is the province code for Bolzano.
posted by clorox at 1:42 AM on October 26, 2010

And according to this site, they were unofficial add-ons with varying levels of believability. They must have been fairly popular, though, as almost every license plate website I found has mentioned or pictured them.
posted by clorox at 2:18 AM on October 26, 2010

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