Registration regulation: Cities want their old license plates back

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Cities want their old license plates back

Registration regulation: Cities want their old license plates back-registration

Old and new. This Mercedes from 1975 is still emblazoned "ALF" for Alfeld. The identifier has been abolished

Source: dapd / DAPD

CAS, RY or ERK: In Germany there are hundreds of abolished location codes on license plates. But they could return soon.

I.More and more cities in Germany want to have their old license plates back. According to the Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences, 150 German cities are now demanding the reintroduction or retention of their traditional letter combinations on their license plates.

In the course of administrative reforms, city mergers or regional reorganizations, countless license plates that were once common in Germany have been abolished over the years. In part, this happened against protests in the population, for example in the case of the Lower Rhine town of Rheydt (license plate RY), which was merged with Monchengladbach in the 1970s.

Another example is Wattenscheid (label WAT), which was merged with Bochum. There are also a number of cases in the new federal states. Since extensive administrative reforms were organized there in the 1990s, there are a number of labels, some of which were only issued for a few years.

The conference of transport ministers of the federal states advocated the reintroduction of the old location codes. She had asked the federal government to change the approval regulation accordingly.

Car license plates as a marketing tool

"The cities see their own symbol on their license plates as a marketing tool that increases their awareness without additional expenses," said Prof. Ralf Bochert from Heilbronn University.

In a scientific project in 2010 and 2011, the economist had around 25,000 people in more than 100 cities surveyed. 73 percent would have liked the abolished license plates. "They are primarily concerned with identifying with their homeland," stressed Bochert.

Most recently, the city council of Castrop-Rauxel in the Ruhr area spoke out in favor of reintroducing the “CAS” label, which was discarded 35 years ago. Because of the incorporation into the Recklinghausen district, newly registered vehicles in Castrop-Rauxel have had the "RE" license plate since 1976.

Nationwide implementation required

Interested cities and districts include Leonberg, Nurtingen, Schwabisch Gmund, uberlingen on Lake Constance, Plauen, Hoyerswerda, Riesa, and in Alfeld, Lower Saxony, a return to the old identifier is still being discussed.

Bochert, an economics professor specializing in tourism marketing, also pleaded for the nationwide implementation of a model that allows multiple labels in one district. However, a prerequisite for this is also the change in the vehicle registration ordinance.

So far there have only been exceptions in Hesse, where the reintroduction of the “WZ” label for Wetzlar was recently announced, as well as in Saarland and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Saxony also supports the rapid implementation of an unbureaucratic regulation.

Bochert assumes that the reintroduction of expiring license plates could take place in 2012 – "if the citizen-friendly decision of the conference of transport ministers is implemented quickly".

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