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11 Several Types Of Nigerian Plate Numbers & Their Meaning 

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There are several plate numbers on different cars on Nigerian roads. It can be challenging to understand why your car plate number differs from the other person’s. But, different car plate numbers indicate the different classes of their owners. 

One of the most common ways most people can spot the differences in plate numbers is their varying colour, background, design, and lettering. Still, there’s more. In this article, we explain 11 different Nigerian plate numbers to help you identify these various classes of plate numbers.

The Special-Fancy Number Plates

The special or fancy number plate is usually reserved for a specific class of Nigerians identified as “special.” These plate numbers are unique, but they also have this fanciful look. The background is white, with blue lettering written on the Nigerian logo.

So, when you find this type of plate number, you can now immediately sense the class of the rider.

The Mass Transit Number Plates

This plate number is mainly reserved for commercial cars and car owners. To identify it, it has a white background but red lettering. The numbers are also longer than the special/fancy plate number.

The Private Number Plates

The private plate numbers are reserved for private vehicles. They are hugely common on Nigerian roads. It comes with a white background and blue lettering of the numbers.

The School Bus Number Plates

The next time you come across a registered school bus, pay attention to the plate number. It differs from the private plate numbers and is the same as commercial plate numbers. It comes with a white background and red lettering. 

The Government Number Plates 

A common name for the government plate numbers in Nigeria is the “green plate number.” The moment you see a car with the green lettering, it’s a government vehicle. It comes with the usual white background and green lettering. You’ll also find the number starting with the FG mark.

The Armed Forces/ Paramilitary Number Plates

Another type of plate number you’ll find on Nigerian roads is the one that belongs to the Nigerian Armed Forces. Unlike other plate numbers, it comes with its unique design, the usual white background, and black lettering.

No other person in Nigeria uses this plate number except those in the Nigerian military.

The Diplomatic Number Plates

The diplomatic plate number is another set of unique plate numbers on Nigerian roads. You’ll find this plate number type in three different categories listed below.

The Corps Diplomatic Number Plates

The diplomatic corps number is the first in this category. To identify it, unlike others with a white background, it comes with a neon purple background and white lettering. Only corps diplomats own this plate number.

The Corps Consulate Number Plates 

The second in this category is the corps consulate plate number. Its background is brown, and it has white lettering and is only driven by those belonging to the corps consulate.

The Corps Technique Number Plates 

The corps technique plate number is the third in this category. It comes with a navy blue background and is lettered in white colour.

The Temporary Number Plates 

The last on the list is the temporary plate number issued temporarily. It has a black background and white lettering of the numbers. Those you’ll mostly find riding with this type of plate number belong to a Special task force unit.


All plate numbers in Nigeria are not the same. The type you use determines your class. Also, it’s a punishable offence to drive with a plate number that does not belong to a particular field. 

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