Isle of Man Number Plates
Vehicle registrations were introduced by an Act of ‘Tynwald’ onto the Isle of Man and began on 1 January 1906, following the introduction of the ‘Highways Act Amendment Act 1905’. The first number plates started with the letters 'MN' followed by up to four numbers. In 1935, the prefix 'MAN' came into use, followed by up to three numbers, and the following year a further system was introduced which had ‘A’ to ‘Y’ preceding the ‘MN’ regional tag letters followed by up to three numbers (BMN 1 through YMN-999).
In 1959, the system was reversed so that numbers preceded the letters, starting with 1 MN, and then after 1964, starting with 1 MAN, and from 1965 until 1971, 1 BMN through 999 YMN were issued.
In 1971, unissued number plates from the original MN 1 to MN 9999 range were issued. When they ran out in 1974, a suffix letter was added, producing MAN 1A through to MAN 999Y. In 1979 this was swapped to be a prefix (A1 MAN up to Y999 MAN), and in 1983 the range MAN 1000 to MAN 9999 was introduced. This was reversed in 1985, giving 1000 MAN to 9999 MAN, which lasted until 1987.
At that point, the current system was introduced, which has an initial letter, followed by MN, then up to three numbers, and ending in a suffix single letter. The first number plate in this system was therefore AMN 1A, with the registration BMN 1A being issued after AMN 999Y. This means that the suffix letter in this system does not indicate the vehicle age, unlike the similarly formatted British Suffix plates of 1963 to 1982.
The letters I, Q, S and Z are not used on Manx number plates.
The Isle of Man uses reflective number plates with black letters on a white background on the front of the vehicle, and on a yellow background on the rear as is the case on the mainland. Vehicles manufactured prior to 1 February 1990 are still permitted to display white on black number plates.
Since 23 April 2004 may registration plates incorporate the Manx flag, bearing the triskelion symbol surrounded by a circle of six stars, and the country identification code ‘GBM’ for Great Britain-Mann. These Manx number plates are similar to number plates of vehicles registered in the Republic of Ireland. This is because the typeface used on Manx number plates is the same as that used on Irish vehicle registration plates, and similarly transitions between numerals and letters are marked by hyphens. The Celtic font 'Isle of Man', or 'Ellan Vannin', identifier above the registration number is the same position as the county identifier displayed on Irish registration plates.
The region code 'MN' was reserved for the Isle of Man in the original Great Britain 1903 numbering system, and the code 'MAN' in the 1932 mainland system. This means that no Isle of Man registration is duplicated by a mainland registration. When the Current Style of registration was adopted in Great Britain in 2001, the region code 'MN' was reserved for eventual use by the Isle of Man.
There are around 45,000 registered vehicles on the Isle of Man. Number plates are produced and supplied privately; they are not produced by the government.
The name of the supplying car dealer is often displayed along the bottom of the plate and registrations can be transferred from vehicle to vehicle.
The official car of the Lieutenant Governor carries the registration number MAN 1. Registrations that include the numbers 999 or 112 (for example, AMN 999A) are used for emergency services vehicles.
Trade plates on the Isle of Man have red letters on a white background, and display a number prefixed by MNA.