RSM San Marino: passenger plates RSM

1922-1927: plates were introduced in San Marino in 1922, after that Italy had decided that vehicles from San Marino needed a plate to be used outside the small republic. The very first plates had the letters RSM (Republic of San Marino) followed by a serial number on just one line, with white digits on black background, but it was changed very soon to black or blue digits on white background (pictures 1 and 2).

Plate from San Marino
Foto 1: 1922 - 1927 (?)
Plate from San Marino
Foto 2: 1922 - 1927 (?) front

1927-1952(?): in 1927 plates of San Marino became made of two lines: on the first one there wat the coat of the arms followed by a serial number of three digits, on the second there were the letters RSM (picture 3). When the number 999 was reached, the series A00 was started and then after A99 there was B00 and so on.

Plate from San Marino
Picture 3: 1927 - 1952 (?)

1952(?)-1979: in 1952 (?) the look and the numbering system changed: on the top line there were the coat of the arms and the letters RSM, while on bottom there was a number of 4 digits, with leading zeros if needed (pictures number 4 and 5). Since there was not room for a fifth digit, also in this case A000 was used after 9999: the letter in first position substituted two digits (A=10, B=11 and so on... picture number 4). At this time (1976?) also plates on just one line started being issued: in this case the number was written with all five digits (for instance A000=10000), without the leading letter and the coat of the arms was placed between the letters RSM on the left and the number on the right (picture number 5). At that same time blue (picture 5 and 6) started being used instead of black (picture 4). You can also see a validation sticker used on the plates (pictures 5 and 6).

Front plates issued between 1927 and 1979 were always smaller, on just one line, without any symbol or coat of arms and had the letters RSM after the number, like all Italian plates of the same age (picture number 6).

Plate from San Marino
Picture 5: 1952 (?) - 1979 (two lines blue)
Plate from San Marino
Picture 4: 1952 (?) - 1979 (two lines black)
Plate from San Marino
Picture 6: 1952 (?) - 1979 (one line)
Plate from San Marino
Picture 7: 1927 (?) - 1979 (front plate)

1979-1987: a new kind of plate was used between 1979 and 1987, with a very different coat of the arms made with polychromatic techniques (picture number 8). The format of these plates was the same used on previous plates of just one line: 00000, with leading zeros if needed (actually in 1979 the number was over 9999, but some people were permitted to keep their old number). A validation sticker was present also on these plates; front and back plates became identical.

Plate from San Marino
Picture 8: 1979 - 1987

1987-1993: in 1987 many differences were introduced on plates of San Marino (picture number 9): first of all they became embossed (both the numbers and the coat of arms); secondly, the validation sticker, already seen above, was removed. You can read "Repubblica di San Marino" under the coat of arms, even if it's printed very small.

Plate from San Marino
Picture 9: 1987 - 1993

1993-Today: On December the 3rd, 1993 the first number was substituted with a letter (picture number 10), even if it was not needed because the last issued number of the old series was 47.999 (I must thank Olav Arne Brekke for this detail), the numbering restarted from A0001 and this kind of plates has been used since then. Front and back plates have been identical.

Plate from San Marino
Picture 10: 1993 - Today
Vanity plate from San Marino
Picture 11: 2004 - Today: vanity plate

In 2004 vanity plates of San Marino were introduced: with a higher price (750 euros?) you can choose the number of the plate, but it must have one of the following formats: "AAA00", "AAAAA", "AA00A" or "AAAA0" (picture number 11... TMS stands for "Telefonia Mobile Sanmarinese").

Many thanks to Jim Fox for picture number 1, to Olav Arne Brekke for picture number 4, to Jean-Emmanuel Chevry for pictures number 3, 5 and 7, to Louis Fierens for picture number 8, to Alessandro Libanore for pictures 6 and 7, and to Guglielmo Evangelista for the history and all the details about plates of San Marino! Picture number 11 is taken from blog of Marco.

Plates in Rome by Michele Berionne