The Italian Almanac

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Italian car plate

Italian News - July 15

Italy is facing a dire shortage of vehicle license plates, automobile associations warned on Friday. The associations said the registration of new cars, vans and trucks could suffer long delays as a consequence. They also said the shortage would be exacerbated in coming months by a complex new law which came into force on Friday requiring scooters to change their number plates.

"There is a real risk that it will be impossible to satisfy demand," the associations said. Under the new law, owners of scooters under 50cc will be required to obtain a new number plate if they intend riding with another person on their bikes. The new plates will consist of six figures instead of five and be officially registered, unlike the old tags. Those who fail to change their plates face fines of up to 257 euros.

Riders who do not intend travelling in two on their bikes - a practice which will in any case will be forbidden for those under 18 - can retain their old plates. Given that there are more than 5.2 million under 50cc scooters in circulation in Italy, motoring and consumer associations warned that the new law could cause havoc. They stressed that there was also a great deal of confusion surrounding the reforms.