Information about the number plate
Offical number plates for passenger cars, lorries etc. have the following dimensions:
Single-line number plates: 520mm x 110mm (length x width)
Double-lined number plates: 340mm x 200mm (length x width)
Especially with vehicles from the USA, smaller number plates are sometimes necessary, e.g. due to space restrictions or because of the limited original illumination. Basically, this is possible, but the following procedures and preconditions must be met:
The inspecting expert notes the maximum possible size of the back number plate due to technical (not optical) requirements in his certificate.
The registration office in charge (depending on where you live) decides about the registration, not TÜV SÜD! Decisive, among other criteria, is the availability of short letter-number combinations. In some cases, the registration office needs to get permission from the superordinated regional council, e.g. for the so-called "fette Engschrift" (bold narrow font) allowing for smaller number plates.
If the registration office is not able to allow a smaller number plate, it is entitled to demand a modification to be made to make a “normal” number plate with corresponding lighting possible; this needs to be noted in the certification by the TÜV SÜD expert before registration. However, in practice, a case like this hardly occurs at the moment.
Smaller dimensions for the front number plate are not possible officially, TÜV has a corresponding announcement from the authorities, only in rare and technically justified cases a smaller number plate for the front or even a number sticker will be permitted.