Like the fact that every person has a name, every vehicle has a number plate, and each number plate is distinct from each other. Number plates are controlled by the Malaysian Road Transport Department (JPJ), and are required by law to be displayed in the front and rear of your vehicle.

Format of number plates

Number plates usually come with white letters on a black background with such format: ABC 1234, where A would be the assigned letter for each state the vehicle was registered in. While this is true for vehicles that are registered in the past, it is now possible to acquire plates from different states for your vehicle.

APerakNNegeri Sembilan
KKedahVKuala Lumpur (2nd series)
MMalaccaWKuala Lumpur (1st series)

The numbers behind range from 1~9999, with no leading zeros in front. When the numbers in a series are used up, the alphabets will progress (eg: PY to PAA, PAA to PAB, PAY to PBA) and so on.

Sabah and Sarawak don’t completely follow this format, where the second alphabet is assigned to different areas in the state.

The alphabets I and O are also skipped in number plates due to the similarity between them and the numbers 1 and 0.

Reserved alphabets

You might have noticed that the alphabets above skipped Z, and that’s because Z is reserved for military vehicles. It is similar to the format of east Malaysia with the second alphabet assigned to different branches (eg: ZA 123, ZC 456). The alphabet Z won’t appear in non-military vehicles.

Taxis are designated to start with the alphabet H, then followed by the state of where the taxi operates and finally the alphabet and number sequence (eg: HP 456, HWA 789). Besides that, they also differ by using black letters on a white background.


Kuala Lumpur was the first state to use up all possible variations up to WYY 9999, so an alphabet was added behind the numbers to increase the possible variations (eg: W 1~9999 A to W 1~9999 B, W 9999 Y to WA 1~9999 A). But this format was retired due to being unpopular and it ended after WD 9999 F, and has since moved back to the regular format starting with the alphabet V.